Published Mar 17, 2020Jason Rainey — a former guitarist and co-founder of Sacred Reich — has died. In a statement, the Phoenix thrash metal outfit confirmed Rainey died of a heart attack yesterday (March 16). He was 53.
"It is with deep sadness and broken hearts that we must announce that our friend, guitarist and founding member of Sacred Reich, Jason Rainey has passed away," the band's statement reads.
"Jason started the band after only playing guitar for six months. With sheer determination and will, he lead us through the early years of the band. He worked tirelessly. Sacred Reich was his life," the statement continues. "In recent years he faced some serious medical issues. He ultimately succembed [sic] to a heart attack on Monday, March 16. He was 53 years old."
Rainey's passing was first reported by his wife, Renee Novak, who wrote on Facebook, "My husband Jason Rainey passed away a hour ago. Most likely a heat [sic] attack. They worked on him for a half hour but they couldn't save him."
Rainey co-founded Sacred Reich in 1985 and performed on the band's first four studio albums. Ahead of recording comeback album Awakening last August, the band parted ways with Rainey in February and replaced him with guitarist Joey Radziwill.
"Unfortunately, Jason just physically…there's some stuff going on with him. He just wasn't going to be able to do it. We tried everything we could," frontman Phil Rind said of the lineup change in conversation with Sonic Perspectives last August.
He continued: "We all tried. It just became apparent he wasn't going to be able to be up to it and come through for us. It's really sad. It's a real heartbreaking thing. Jason started the band. He and I did so much together, and I'm probably closer to him than anybody else on the whole planet. When it became apparent, I cried for two days straight. It was heartbreaking. We had to do what we needed to do. The band needs to keep going."
As Blabbermouth points out, Rainey reportedly wrote on Facebook after his departure, "I keep getting friend requests from people who must think I'm still in Sacred Reich, I am not, I hate them and am trying to get along with my life after being robbed by them, so I'm sorry but I'm not interested in talking about them answering questions about them or even thinking about them sorry but i just don't care about those a holes any more they've taken enough from me and i don't want to waste any more time on them sorry sad but true"