School of Seven Bells musician Benjamin Curtis, who hailed from Lawton, died Sunday after a one-year battle with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. He was 35.
As my excellent colleague George Lang of Staticblog reports, the Oklahoma native and his brother Brandon Curtis formed the band UFOFU in Dallas in the 1990s. Brandon Curtis later became drummer for Tripping Daisy but reunited with his brother and joined their cousin Josh Garza in forming Secret Machines, which quickly became one of the foremost psych-rock bands of the 2000s and signed with Warner Bros.
Benjamin Curtis left Secret Machines after two albums and took a dramatic stylistic shift with a new group, School of Seven Bells. With sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, Curtis and School of Seven Bells helped usher in a new era of shoegaze and dream-pop on 2009′s “Alpinisms,” 2010′s “Disconnect From Desire” and 2012′s superb “Ghostory,” George reports.
An official statement was issued Monday on School of Seven Bells’ Facebook asking that fans respect the privacy of his immediate family, friends and bandmates during this difficult time. A special e-mail address, email@example.com, has been offered for fans to share condolences.
“We can’t thank all of you who supported him and his music through the years enough,” the official statement reads. “All of you who attended or participated in the various benefits in and around New York City over the past year since his diagnosis, and of course those who contributed and gave generously to help support him throughout that journey. You made it possible for all of us, and for him, to see how truly loved he was and how many lives he had touched through his music by your gestures. We will all miss this incredibly talented and rare person every day, but we are fortunate enough that he shared with us his music, and that is something that we can keep forever.”
Our thoughts are with Curtis’ family, friends and fans.