We are saddened to report; Bill Rieflin has died at age 59. The drummer and multi-instrumentalist held a legendary career as he performed with a number of acts, including Ministry, KMFDM, R.E.M, King Crimson, Revolting Cocks, Swans, and more. Rieflin died on Tuesday (24th) morning. According to the Seattle Times, he died after battling cancer for years.
Ministry, R.E.M, and more have reacted to his death via social media with the following heartfelt messages:
“Today we lost a wonderful artist, tremendous human being and an integral part of Ministry’s developments and success…
Safe travels my brother on the way to your next universal gig.
R.I.P. Bill Rieflin”
“RIP Bill Rieflin, my dear dear friend and partner in crime of 30+ years.
From left: K., Shepard, Rieflin, 2000”
I could name about eight million Bill Rieflin performances but how about this one — he cowrote the song, and you can tell that, because listen to not only how the rhythms pound but skitter, fill in, accentuate. A master at work. RIP, hell of a legacy. https://t.co/kkimXgkYnX
— Ned Raggett (@NedRaggett) March 24, 2020
The great Bill Rieflin has changed hotel rooms for the last time – after a long battle with cancer he checked out and left us today. Musical genius and bleak perfectionist, Bill graced me with his drumming, harmonies and laser-sharp insight between 2005 and 2013. RIP dear boy.
— Robyn Hitchcock (@RobynHitchcock) March 25, 2020
Paying tribute to one of the most respected industrial drummers, Seattle-born, Bill Rieflin on @kexp 🥁 He played drums with Ministry, the Revolting Cocks, Lard, KMFDM, Pigface, Swans, Chris Connelly, and Nine Inch Nails. He was most recently a member of King Crimson. pic.twitter.com/2wyYZZyWcz
— Kevin Cole (@djkevincole) March 24, 2020
— Toyah Willcox (@toyahofficial) March 24, 2020
Nine Inch Nails
We’ve lost a giant…
Heartbroken to hear of #billrieflin ‘s passing; Positive vibes and prayers to his family and fans around the world.
— Tim Gainer (@axeslinginfrog) March 24, 2020
Saddened by the loss of great musician Bill Rieflin, who performed with scads of divergent bands: Ministry, King Crimson, Lard, nine inch nails, R.E.M., Robyn Hitchcock, KMFDM, Robie Williams, Minus5. Here he is drumming for R.E.M. with Bruce Springsteen: https://t.co/MEE0snXloH
— Lance Bangs (@lancebangs) March 24, 2020
Bill Rieflin was a gentleman and a gentle man, but he could beat the shit out of a set of drums. A musical polymath, deeply intelligent and very funny. I’ll miss sharing his darkness and his laughter. Words really don’t suffice. R.I.P., Spill Brieflin.
— Mike Mills 🌿 (@m_millsey) March 25, 2020
One of the wisest, kindest, funniest, grumpiest, most talented humans that has ever graced the earth has left us. Member of REM, King Crimson, and countless other projects, Bill Rieflin introduced me to so many new ways of thinking, both through his art and his friendship. pic.twitter.com/4jDp0u0fz1
— Dave Depper (@davedepper) March 24, 2020
So sorry to hear of Bill Rieflin passing away. A straight up person and excellent musician.
— Krist Novoselić (@KristNovoselic) March 24, 2020
RIP Bill Rieflin, an amazing musician, a part of the three-drummer King Crimson, still one of the best things I’ve ever seen on a stage. Got to see him host a Q&A with KC fans and he was hilarious and kind with every question.
— scharpling (@scharpling) March 25, 2020
Our thoughts and condolences go out to Rieflin’s family and friends during this difficult time.