Published Feb 21, 2012Christopher Reimer, guitarist for Calgary noise pop favourites Women and a former member of experimental outfit Azeda Booth, passed away in his sleep today (February 21). The sad news of the musician's death comes via the Calgary Herald, but it's as yet unknown how the young musician died. He was 26.
Reimer started playing guitar and keyboards in Azeda Booth in 2006 and formed Women in 2007 with fellow Azeda member Mike Wallace and brothers Patrick and Matthew Flegel. Shortly after the troupe issued their self-titled debut, which blended elements ranging from indie to Krautrock to psychedelia and '60s pop, Reimer and Wallace chose to focus on Women full time.
Women went on tour around the world and produced an equally acclaimed follow-up, Public Strain, in the fall of 2010. Shortly after the album dropped, however, the band seemingly imploded while on tour at a performance in Victoria, BC, which apparently erupted into an onstage fist fight. The group have not played since then, but are said to be on an indefinite hiatus.
Following Women's inner troubles, Reimer toured with the Dodos in 2011.
Neither the band's label Flemish Eye nor Women themselves have yet issued a statement about Reimer's death, and funeral arrangements have not been made public.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
UPDATE: A memorial website has been set up here by Reimer's sister.
UPDATE 2: In a statement on Jagjaguwar's website, Women's U.S. label wrote, "We're shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Women guitarist, Chris Reimer. Chris' virtuosic playing is one of the many reasons we fell in love with this band in the first place. If you were lucky enough to ever see them play live, you know what we mean. Always calm and collected while shredding. So much fun to watch. All of that aside, Chris was an incredible friend. He was one of the warmest and funniest people we've been lucky to know and work with. As sad as this is, it's hard to not smile when thinking of him. Our love and support goes out to Chris' family and friends. So so much love for you, Chris."
UPDATE 3: While the cause of Reimer's death is still not known, a post on Flemish Eye's website notes that he suffered from a heart condition, as well as other health issues. You can read the heartfelt letter from label head Ian Russell here.