Mikey Welsh, former bassist for the rock band Weezer, was found dead in a Chicago hotel room of a suspected drug overdose, the Chicago Tribune reports. He was 40.
Welsh was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m. Saturday. His body was discovered by staff at the Raffaello Hotel when he failed to meet the hotel's 1 p.m. checkout time.
Welsh played with the band from 1998 to 2001. During that period the bend released the 2001 album "Weezer" (commonly referred to as "The Green Album"), which contained the hits "Island in the Sun" and "Hash Pipe." Welsh quit the band in August of that year due to a nervous breakdown, and in later years began a career as a painter.
On Weezer's web site, the band remembers Welsh as "[a] unique talent, a deeply loving friend and father, and a great artist," adding, "Mikey was never one to shy away from the absurd, dangerous or strange, and he did so with a gusto few others had."
The group's current bassist, Scott Shriner, remembered his predecessor via his Twitter account, writing, "Really bummed about Mikey. My heart goes out to his family and friends. Such a talent… he made a special mark on the world with his art."
Weezer is scheduled to perform at Chicago's RIOTfest on Sunday, for a show Welsh was expected to attend, the band's site notes.