Bolt Thrower have finally officially broken up after going on hiatus following the death of their long-term drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns. Vocalist Karl Willets forming Memorian with original, still-living drummer Andy Whale heralded this. Bolt Thrower had not released an album in over a decade and their studio output had been a pale shadow of their 1980s grindcore peak. The band released a statement on their website:
On behalf of ourselves and Kiddie’s family, we would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and support over the last 12 months. Together with Kiddie’s family we made the conscious decision to keep his unexpected death a private matter, and to take time out to deal with it all.
When Kiddie joined us back in 1994, although he was only 17, he instantly improved Bolt Thrower as a live band, and no one was more loyal to, and prouder to be in Bolt Thrower than him.
We spent over 20 years together, touring the world, with 3 different vocalists, but he was so much more than just a drummer to us. So when we carried his coffin to his final resting place, the Bolt Thrower drummer position was buried with him. He was, and will now forever remain THE Bolt Thrower drummer, our Powerhouse and friend Martin “Kiddie” Kearns.
As for the rest of us, Bolt Thrower has been our way of life for 30 years, never driven by money, fame or ego, but by our own personal principles and values that have guided us through life, and which bonded us as friends long before Bolt Thrower was even formed…
“We are not now that strength which in old days
moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
– Tennyson – 1833