Saliva guitarist Wayne Swinny dies after brain hemorrhage, band confirms

CHICAGO – DECEMBER 16: Wayne Swinny of Saliva performs at Q101’s Twisted XV concert at the House of Blues on December 16, 2008 in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Lyle A. Waisman/FilmMagic via Getty)

(NEXSTAR) – Wayne Swinny, guitarist and founding member of the hard rock band Saliva, has died, the group announced Wednesday night. His death comes after Saliva said Swinny was found “in medical distress” Tuesday morning.

“It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our brother Wayne Swinny,” the band wrote on Facebook. “Wayne passed away this afternoon from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage while we were on tour.”

On Tuesday, Saliva bandmates posted that Swinny was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a “spontaneous hemorrhage in his brain.”

Additional details, including where Swinny was hospitalized, were not released. According to Saliva’s website, the band had a show in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

“I’m not even sure what to think or how to feel right now,” Saliva singer Bobby Amaru said in a statement. “My heart aches for Wayne’s family, his friends, and anyone who had the joy of being around him. My heart aches for his daughter Nikki.”

Swinny helped found the Memphis-based hard rock band in the late 1990s alongside guitarist Chis Dabaldo, singer Josey Scott, bassist Dave Novotny, and drummer Paul Crosby.

In 2002, the band received a Grammy nomination for best hard rock performance for “Your Disease,” the lead track on their album “Every Six Seconds.”

More recently, Saliva released an album in 2021, called “Every Twenty Years,” as well as multiple singles, including “High On Me,” “Crows,” and Revelation Man.” The band plans to release a full album this spring, according to their website.

Saliva launched its Spring Mayhem Tour earlier this month in Florida. They have multiple shows scheduled for the rest of March and early April.

The band was set to perform at Piere’s in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Thursday. The venue shared on Facebook that Saliva will no longer be performing.

Details about additional shows have not yet been released.


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