Rob Laakso (Kurt Vile & The Violators, Swirlies) has died

Rob Laakso, who played guitar in Kurt Vile & The Violators and Swirlies, died on Thursday after a battle with an aggressive cancer called Cholangiocarcinoma. He was 44. News came from his wife, via his a GoFundMe that had been set up to help cover his treatment: “I am absolutely shattered to share with you that our beloved Rob passed away quickly and peacefully yesterday afternoon. After praying for a miracle every day since he was diagnosed my prayers recently changed to a peaceful home departure surrounded by love. I realize now every day we had together was a miracle.”

Having played in bands since the late ’90s, Rob joined Swirlies in 1997 and also played in Diamond Nights and Amazing Baby in the ’00s before joining The Violators in 2011 (though he had played on 2009’s God Is Saying This to You…). Rob also played in Swirlies offshoot Mice Parade and The Wicked Farleys.

Rest in peace, Rob.