RIP Melbourne musician Adrian Slattery of Major Major and Big Smoke

Tributes are flowing today for Melbourne musician Adrian Slattery, who passed away over the weekend.

Slattery – the frontman of alt-country outfit Big Smoke – lost his battle with cancer yesterday. In a joint statement provided to FL, Big Smoke and their label Barely Dressed Records said Slattery was working on music until the end. The band had only recently signed with Barely Dressed/Remote Control and had finished recording Time Is Golden, the full-length follow-up to their 2015 EP Lately.

In between memorable sets at the Out On The Weekend and Boogie festivals, Big Smoke spent much of the year writing and recording their album, which Barely Dressed will now release posthumously.

“Adrian was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year but faced it with grace and strength, working on his music throughout,” the statement reads. “Big Smoke completed recording their debut album during this time, and we will be releasing it later this year with the help of Adrian’s loved ones and members of the band. We love him and will miss him dearly.”

As the frontman of Major Major – the defunct Melbourne rock band, who released two EPs before splitting up in 2009 – Slattery was part of an interconnected scene that spawned the likes of The Smith Street Band and Yeo. He was a magnetic frontman and talented songwriter, who inspired many artists around him including Smith Street frontman Wil Wagner, who paid tribute on Facebook today. Slattery played on Wagner’s 2008 album Us Boys Run.

“Many years ago when I was 18 I made this record with some friends of mine,” Wagner wrote on Facebook. “One of those friends was Adrian Slattery. He played guitar and sang on this album and was a huge part of getting this band off the ground. But even more importantly than that he was one of the first people who really believed in me and gave me the confidence to write songs and play shows.

“He lives on through his music, Big Smoke and Major Major are two of Melbourne’s finest bands, and through the countless other people he inspired.”

Big Smoke’s most recent release was a limited-edition 7” for Record Story Day, featuring the upbeat rock single ‘Have You Heard’ and a beautiful cover of The Black Sorrows’ ‘Harley & Rose’, which takes on an extra poignancy today. Thoughts with Slattery’s family and friends. You can check out Big Smoke’s music here.

(Images via Facebook)


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