Jared Koston, drummer for local metal band Venomin James, passed away yesterday at the age of 40, following a long battle with cancer.
Koston died at his Madison home in the care of his wife Michele. He was first diagnosed with melanoma several years ago; earlier this year it was found to have returned and spread.
Venomin James recently completed mixing for their second album of sludgy stoner rock. Crowe Valley Blues will be released on Cleveland-based Auburn Records later this year.
The band and label have committed to donating part of the proceeds to pay for Koston’s funeral expenses and medical expenses. Koston had no insurance, and Michele had left her job to take care of him.
In his final days, the metal community rallied around Koston and his family, holding a series of benefits for him. In a sense, it was payback for someone who was loyal to the community: Koston’s last show with the band, in February at the Breakfast Club in Lakewood, was a benefit for John Carroll University radio station WJCU-FM 88.7.
In addition to his wife, Koston is survived by four children. The family could still use help. Go here for more information. —Anastasia Pantsios