Bill Bumgardner of Lord Mantis recently passed away last Sunday October 9th 2016 around six pm. Those close to him found out that same evening and eventually by the next morning word soon spread in the media. He was born August 22nd 1981 and died at the age of 35. Service for Bill was on Thursday, and the funeral home prepared all things considering pretty damn well with the amount of people that showed. Every seat and standing space up to the entry way at the Ferrari Funeral Home in Coal City, IL. was taken, and I think Bill by all means was done right by us all that evening and night.
Everyone got to see images of him throughout his life and share in the best of their own stories of him. Many of them hilarious beyond belief cause he was just a natural born comedian most of the time to those who knew him. Besides that and perhaps most importantly to his fans he was also a vicious and powerful performer. The fucking most shining example to anyone of pure unadulterated rawness when he played. I’ve never seen or felt anything like it personally. I was blessed enough to know and play with him. If you were fortunate enough to see it I’m not sure how you could disagree.
Bill’s drumset in the practice space at Superior St. looked just like he had been there. Out of control I may add. Almost like a jungle gym in its entirety but awesome in any case. I took a quick shot of a part of it mainly showing the sticks just as he last touched them.
His main live and recording kit will be taken by me and his girlfriend Jen down to his parents in Kentucky and possibly another kit of his to another part of his family. Sean from Tyrant Tone and I took a part of the kit after I took this photo and set it up at the service for Billy. We also found a bag of used drumsticks tucked away beneath a bunch of shit. There had to be nearly 200 sticks in there that Bill used when he practiced and for whatever reason never threw away. We handed them out at the end of the service and if you stuck around you probably ended up with one or a pair. His parents got the ones sitting on this snare. There were even ones that he used back in the old days when he played with his sticks reversed and the wear was all over the ass end of them. I took a few of those.
The emotion I and so many others have been dealt with is the impact of a comet none of us could imagine or foresee. At least not in this fashion, but life is life. Sometimes the unknown decides for itself when to make itself known, and when it does it can hit you harder than you ever could imagine. Knowing him as well as I did we both knew of many of each others demons. Of course we would. If you want to know look at the music he made. It’s all right there if you listen, and it’s pure.
I know many of us musicians who played with Billy will figure out the right way to honor him along with what was created with him. That’s what we do. In time. We are still processing his death.
For anyone who has ordered Lord Mantis merch through New Density these last few weeks, please understand I probably won’t get to mailings until the end of October since I was already out of town at the time as mentioned at ND, but also now due to this tragedy.
Thanks for all the tremendous words from all the fans of the music that Bill helped create. His friends and family totally appreciate all of it. Blast a record of Lord Mantis and Indian and make sure to turn it as loud as you can.
Onwards to Valhalla, Arktoga, Heaven, Hell, the Abyss, or wherever the hell you feel you need to go Bill.