22 July 2020 10:35
The group had been on an indefinite hiatus since he developed the neurological disorder dystonia after a heart attack in 2008 Tim Smith, frontman and co-founder of Cardiacs, has died, aged 59. Smith had taken a step back from making and playing music since developing the rare neurological disorder dystonia in 2008, as a result of hypoxic brain damage from a heart attack. The condition impaired his dexterity and ability to speak, and also caused painful muscle spasms, as a lengthy statement shared via Cardiacs' website in 2018 outlined. No further information surrounding the passing of Smith is yet available. Born in Surrey in July 1961, Smith formed the band that would become Cardiacs in 1977, with his brother, Jim Smith, on bass guitar and backing vocals, Michael Pugh on lead vocals, and Peter Tagg on drums.
He originally took on guitar and backing vocal duties in the group, later becoming the frontman after Pugh and Tagg left the project. The group went through a number of name changes, including Cardiac Arrest, before settling on Cardiacs around 1980. As part of Cardiacs, Smith released eight studio albums, as well as a number of live albums, compilation albums and singles between 1980 and 2007. The band went through a number of line-up changes over the course of their first three decades, with Tim and Jim remaining the sole constant members. Their work was cited as a key influence by acts such as Radiohead, Blur, Napalm Death, JG Thirlwell, and Faith No More. Cardiacs had been on indefinite hiatus since Smith's 2008 hospitalisation. Smith spoke to tQ in late 2017 about the frustrations caused by his severe illness. The Quietus would like to offer our sincere condolences to Tim's family and friends.