For fans of You Say Party! We Say Die!, I bring some pretty heartbreaking news. Drummer Devon Clifford of Vancouver’s You Say Party! We Say Die! fell onto his drum kit in massive pain midway through the band’s Rickshaw Theatre show on Friday, April 16. He died the following Sunday in the hospital.
The band’s Twitter feed captured the tenseness of the moment with three short messages from the time Clifford entered surgery to announcing his death less than two days later. According to doctors, he suffered a brain hemorrhage caused by an undiagnosed congenital birth defect.
Canadian newspaper Vancouver Sun brings us these details. They also wrote an obituary including quotes from the band and Clifford’s parents. His death has affected the Vancouver music scene with fellow bands reaching out on You Say Party! We Say Die!'s Facebook page.
In their official statement, Clifford’s parents said, “Devon Clifford was an extremely gifted drummer and determined character. He loved his family, loved his band, loved traveling, loved being on stage and loved meeting people around the world. He was smart, witty, passionate, and music meant everything to him. He was also incredibly generous with his love and respected everybody he came into contact with. This was underlined by his work with the under privileged at the Portland Hotel Society.”
You Say Party! We Say Die!’s U.S. publicist Alexandra Baker also responded to the news. “It is with the heaviest of hearts to inform you of this sudden and tragic loss of a truly wonderful, vivid, talented and passionate young man whom we had the sincere pleasure of knowing and working with”
Clifford was the silly one in the band. I witnessed his antics at the Bottom of the Hill club in San Francisco. I remember Clifford telling one-liners and goofing around on bandmate Krista Loewen’s keyboard. He destroyed his drum kit before the encore and was jokingly reminded they still had a few more songs to play.
With Clifford’s death, unsurprisingly everything has ground to a halt for You Say Party! We Say Die!. This includes touring to promote their new album XXXX. Their next stop was Europe. XXXX contains some soft '80s New Wave sounds. One track, “Laura Palmer’s Prom,” speaks of wanting to keep a love close when it looks like it’s floating away. The tune is a fitting soundtrack for what the band and fans are going through.
You Say Party! We Say Die! April 16 Rickshaw Theatre photo taken by Joshua Grafstein.
Here is a clip of the band in better times at the beginning of their first U.S tour in four years.