Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor, of the popular Canadian indie pop band Walk off the Earth, died suddenly over the weekend just days before a scheduled New Year’s show.
The band announced his death on Twitter Sunday, writing that Taylor succumbed to “natural causes” in his sleep on Saturday night.
Indie pop band member suddenly dies
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor,” the statement reads. “Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means.”
The statement was scant on details, but said that Taylor died of “natural causes.”
— Walk off the Earth (@WalkOffTheEarth) December 31, 2018
“He passed peacefully from natural causes last night in his sleep. Our deepest sympathies are with his two children, whom he adored more than anything else in the world. We ask for privacy for his family in this trying time.”
The mayor of Burlington, Ontario, where the band is based, also expressed condolences.
“Tragic loss. So sorry to her this. Our city’s condolences go out to the family, friends and bandmates of Mike. We are thinking of you,” Marianne Meed Ward tweeted.
The band is known for their unusual instrumentation that ranges from the theremin to the ukulele and their YouTube covers of popular songs as well as originals including recent single “Fifth Avenue.” In the 2012 cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” which made them famous, which has nearly 200 million views, all five members of the band play a single guitar and sing in harmony.
Taylor was a multi-instrumentalist, according to TMZ, but his primary instrument was the keyboard and he also sang on the band’s recordings. Shortly before Christmas, he released a solo piano cover of his favorite holiday song, “‘O Holy Night.”
“I’ve trained quite hard at being a keyboard player since I was four years old, worked my lifetime trying to get my chops up at the highest level I can,” he said in a 2012 interview.
“Beard Guy” joined the group sometime after it formed in 2006. The band was scheduled to play a New Year’s Eve show in Niagara Falls for CBC and then go on tour in February in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
The band’s Facebook page has more than 3 million likes and the band has nearly 2 million monthly listeners on the popular music streaming platform Spotify.
Come see us on our 2020 tour! Buy your tickets here: https://www.walkofftheearth.com/tour Stream/download our new album “HERE WE GO!” here: https://orcd.co/woteherewego A collection of songs about life, love, loss and straight-up kicking ass. Ranging from top 40 pop to organic folk ballads to EDM rise and drops, this eclectic album touches on many modern genres but still stays true to Walk off the Earth’s signature sound.