Former METAL CHURCH vocalist Ronny Munroe has reflected on the recent passing of Mike Howe, calling it a "tragic loss."
Munroe, who left METAL CHURCH in 2014 to "pursue other interests", discussed Howe's sudden death in a new interview with The Metal Voice.
He said: "What a tragedy. Quick story: I met Mike and hung out with him one time. Basically, I believe it was in 2006. He came out to Reno, and we shared the stage and we did 'Date With Poverty' together. After the gig, we all went out to a club and had some drinks and just sat and talked shop. And he was a sweetheart. I never heard anybody say anything bad about the guy."
He continued: "What a tragic loss. But you never know what's going on with people. I feel really bad for — I believe he has a couple of sons and a wife — he's got a family — and that's devastating. So I wish the family the best and I send my condolences out to all Mike's family, friends and fans."
Howe was found dead at his home in Eureka, California on July 26. According to TMZ, Howe's official cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to hanging. A spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff's Dept. told the site authorities are calling it a suicide.
TMZ stated that cops in Eureka got a call just after 10 a.m. on July 26 reporting an unexpected death at a home. By the time deputies arrived, they found the 55-year-old dead at the scene.
According to police, drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the death and no controlled substances or paraphernalia were located at the scene.
Howe, who fronted METAL CHURCH from 1988 until 1994, officially rejoined the band in April 2015.
Prior to joining METAL CHURCH more than three decades ago, Howe spent two years fronting California metal act HERETIC.
Munroe first came to prominence in the metal world when he stepped into the role of frontman for the legendary band METAL CHURCH. During an audition for a project principal METAL CHURCH member Kurdt Vanderhoof was working on, Ronny was first put on Kurdt's radar. After watching Munroe's performance, Vanderhoof decided to resurrect METAL CHURCH with Ronnie on lead vocals. He would go on to sing four albums with the band, "The Weight Of The World" (2004), "A Light In The Dark" (2006), "This Present Wasteland" (2008) and "Generation Nothing" (2013). Ronnie would also wind up singing for Vanderhoof's progressive rock project, PRESTO BALLET, further showcasing his vocal talents.