Tragedy struck the Canadian synth-punk outfit You Say Party! We Say Die! when drummer Devon Clifford passed away Sunday morning, April 18, of a massive brain hemorrhage resulting from congenital defects. He was 30.
Clifford collapsed onstage during the band’s gig at the Rickshaw Theater in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, April 16. It quickly became clear to everyone in attendance that his situation was serious when singer Becky Ninkovic asked audience members to call 911. Paramedics arrived shortly after midnight and rushed the drummer to a hospital where he underwent emergency neurosurgery ay 3:00 a.m.
Clifford’s family released the following statement: “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 underprivileged at the Portland Hotel Society. The Clifford family would like to take this opportunity to remind young people to have the courage to follow their dreams like Devon did. The family would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody around the world for their kind words and stories about how Devon impacted their lives.”
Clifford’s unexpected death has shocked the Vancouver music community, and the band’s record label, Paper Bag, released the following statement Sunday morning: “It is with absolute sadness to report that our dear friend Devon Clifford passed away just hours ago in a Vancouver hospital surrounded by his family and friends. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. I request that we respect the family's privacy during this incredibly difficult time.”