Bill Rieflin has sadly passed away at the age of 59 following a battle with cancer. Rieflin played drums for Ministry from 1986–1994 and also performed with numerous other bands including: R.E.M., King Crimson, Lard, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Pigface, Swans and more.
Ministry issued the following statement:
“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
#MinistryBand #WeAreMinistry #Ministry #Revco #RevoltingCocks #Lard #1000HomoDJs #LeadIntoGold #KMFDM #Swans #NineInchNails #REM #KingCrimson #Drummer #BillRieflin #RestInPeace”
R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe also commented:
“Bill Rieflin (1960-2020)
It is with heavy hearts we acknowledge the death of our dear friend and consummate drummer, Bill.
Bill sent me this picture last week of him and Lenny Kaye earlier this month when the Patti Smith Group were in town and they got to hang out. He was elated to see such great friends and gather at his favorite weird Chinese-American diner.
A forever memory is decades old, when I first met Bill at a late night Policeman’s bar in Seattle, sat at a greasy table drinking scotch, and we listened to ‘Birdland’ off the jukebox in reverent silence and awe. His attentiveness to that song then and there indicated a lot to me about what it would be to work with Bill— which commenced to create some magical and beautiful collaborations and life long friendships.
And so to Bill now, he is among all the fine points of the stars and we are looking up with love— and with our own reverence for his beauty, his humor, his relentless curiosity and of course his incredible musical ear, his time here with us so precious and golden. —Michael“
KMFDM briefly commented as well:
“RIP Bill Rieflin, my dear dear friend and partner in crime of 30+ years.”