Last Thursday I checked my Twitter feed, same as I do every morning, to see the shocking, unbelievable news that David Gold of Woods of Ypres had been killed in a highway accident in Ontario the previous afternoon. He was 31.
It’s a cruel world. Achieving good things requires struggle and sacrifice. The bad stuff seemingly happens at random, arriving out of nowhere, immune to human intention. It’s sobering to realize that even someone like David couldn’t hold those dark forces back.
David achieved a hell of a lot with Woods of Ypres. Four self-released albums and several self-booked North American tours culminated in a contract with Earache Records. Their new album, Woods V: Grey Skies and Electric Light, was scheduled for a 2012 release. Now, his chance to promote his work and take the band to Europe (where they would have gone down a storm, I’m sure) is all gone, thanks to cruel fate.
I prefer to keep a degree of separation from the people whose work I write about, but that was difficult with David. We met through Unrestrained! magazine. Adrian Bromley was a big fan—I’ll always remember “The Energizer” playing me excerpts from Woods II over the phone, he was so excited about it. We put Woods of Ypres on the cover when Woods III: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues came out. The issue featured an exceptional email interview with David (who was living in Korea at the time) by Tate Bengtson. Here at Difficult Music, writing about WoY albums was always a pleasure. David’s lyrics, loaded with soul-baring stanzas, Canadian references, and black humour, gave me plenty to ponder.
I introduced myself to David at Adrian’s memorial event in Toronto, which WoY headlined. When Woods tours started extending to the West Coast, we’d always say hi. Even though I’m not the most in-your-face person, he always remembered my name and would eagerly give me the lowdown on current and future Woods activities. He was a super nice guy and a superb spokesman for not just his band, but, as I witnessed at the 2009 Noctis Conference in Calgary, the Canadian music scene in general.
So, on the day of David’s memorial service, I wanted to send my condolences to David’s family and express my sorrow for the loss of such a fine, talented person.