Gared O’Donnell, vocalist and guitarist for post-hardcore band Planes Mistaken for Stars, has died after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. He was 44 years old. The band revealed the news on social media, writing, “It is impossible to express the depth of sorrow in which we must announce that Gared O’Donnell, our brother, our leader, our captain, who has done more to cultivate love and light in this world than any of us can understand, has moved on from his physical form here with us and crossed the rainbow bridge into the eternal ether. In his final days/hours, he was surrounded by the love of his family, his friends, his bandmates, and many others from afar.”
O’Donnell co-founded Planes Mistaken For Stars in Peoria, Illinois in 1997 alongside guitarist Mat Bellinger, drummer Mike Ricketts, and bassist Aaron Wise. Following the release of their self-titled EP, the band moved to Denver, Colorado and dropped their debut album, Fuck with Fire, on No Idea Records. Before going on hiatus between 2006-2010, the band released two more albums, 2004’s Up in Them Guts and 2006’s Mercy. O’Donnell’s final album with the group, Prey, came out in 2016.
“Gared spent the last year of his life doing exactly what he loved, writing and recording music,” the band’s statement continues. “We are currently working hard to bring these multiple final projects to completion. It is heartbreaking to do this without him, but we know that he would want for us to complete what we had started together. We will do our absolute best to honor his legacy and spread word of the legend that he embodied.”