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When Kurt Struebing died this week after his car fell through the open draw span of a bridge, it ended a life that friends said seemed to have been lived by two different people.
Nearly 20 years ago, he killed his mother and was sent to prison. Years later, he became a leading figure in heavy-metal music, a trusted friend and a doting father.
On Wednesday, Struebing, 39, drove his Volkswagen Jetta through two barriers on the Spokane Street Bridge as it opened to let a tug pass on the Duwamish Waterway. The Jetta plunged off the bridge and landed on the ground more than 50 feet below.
Police investigators and motorists who saw the crash were puzzled over why Struebing drove off the bridge.
Friends believe it was simply a horrible accident.
Struebing was involved in music for the past two decades, forming a band with some high school buddies in the mid-1980s. By 1986, their band, NME, had released three albums.
But in April of that year, Struebing, then 20, was accused of killing his adoptive mother, Darlee Struebing, with a hatchet and a pair of scissors. At the time, friends said, Struebing had been abusing drugs, and even prosecutors believed he was mentally unstable. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, although prosecutors sought a shorter sentence.
Released early from prison in 1994, it wasn't long before Struebing, a guitarist, began playing music again and the band, NME, reformed.
Critics call their music "black metal." Some music of that genre includes satanic imagery and mentions of the occult. Struebing's band, whose name is pronounced "enemy," had its own Web site at www.nme666.com.
But friends said the music was tongue-in-cheek. "It was just music," said Stephen Austin, who is producer for a heavy-metal program on a cable-access channel.
Bonner, who managed the band in recent years, said Struebing never liked to talk about his past. And for most of his friends, his past didn't matter.
Kriss Blazina, a bassist in the metal band End Theory, said whenever anyone who knew Struebing found out about his criminal record, they usually reacted in disbelief. The man most knew, Blazina said, was kind, generous and funny.
"At the drop of a hat, he'd help anyone out," he said.
Through his job at Reprographics, Struebing was always willing to produce fliers promoting other bands, particularly the ones just starting out.
"He was a very good graphic artist," Bonner said. "One of the best."
Though he practiced with his band every Monday, helped organize benefit concerts and played often himself, Struebing spent his spare time with his wife and son in their Federal Way home.
Read the full article at Seattle PI.
Seattle Metal Online will celebrate four years of helping local metal bands network and learn about the music business with its fourth annual Seattle Metal Online Anniversary Festival on Saturday, September 18 at Studio 7 in Seattle.
Seattle Metal Online (SMO) is an organization created by Carrie and Joe Jauregui in August of 2000, out of a love for metal music. They had a desire to help local metal bands network and learn the music business. The organization has been interviewed by Seattle Weekly, as well as many other local newspapers. As of August 2004, approximately 250 local metal bands are part of the Seattle Metal Online "Brotherhood."
When asked how the organization had changed over the last four years, Carrie replied, "In the beginning, there were less than 25 bands on SMO, and we had a much more of a 'family' type feeling. That is when the 'Brotherhood' started. Now the scene is SO huge, that in all these years, I still haven't met all of the 'family' yet! I love the fact that there are so many metal styles to choose from now. I was just looking at some old promo shots from a couple bands from years ago....those bands are no more, but I had to sit and look at the faces of those guys and remember those times and how far we have come since then.....it's amazing really...."
Event organizer Geri Nahrgang has spent many hours lining up the venue, lighting, sound, bands, and sponsors. When asked how to choose 14 bands out of 250 on SMO to play the festival, Geri responded, "Lisa Bonner of Syren Spawn and I listed all the bands, then we decided who had given the most help and support to SMO overall. We ended up with a list of 37 bands, to fit into 14 slots! After that we drew names out of a hat because all of these bands were so good."
The fourth annual Seattle Metal Online Anniversary Festival is being held Saturday, September 18, 2004 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Studio 7, 110 South Horton, Seattle, WA. (one block north of Spokane Street, between 1st Ave South and Occidental). The cost is $7 before 4 p.m. and $10 after 4 p.m. The show is all ages, but an upstairs bar for 21+ (must have ID) is stocked with beer to enjoy while watching the show.
Local metal bands scheduled to play the SMO Anniversary Fest include: The Almighty Needledick, NME, Enkrya, Just Karma, Immoral Intent, Ground Zero, Prozak Staple, Dissonance, Dorgan Onor, Weight of the World, The Braindead, M.T.F., Expiration Date and the Seatown Manglers.
BRUJERIA were forced to perform without founding member Dino Cazares (a.k.a. Asesino, ex-FEAR FACTORY) on Saturday (July 3) in McAllen, Texas after Cazares was bitten on his leg by a brown recluse spider, causing a massive infection several days prior to the gig. "I was hospitalized for two days with antibiotics being pumped through my veins and a fever of 103, I was having nightmares and hallucinating and my leg swelled up with blisters... I should be better in a few days", says Dino.
BRUJERIA will make a sixth attempt to play their first Los Angeles show ever on Wednesday, July 14 at The Key in Hollywood, Ca. The prior five attempts were shut down by everything from the local church groups to the chief of police, according to a statement from the band. Special guests at the show will be NME, DEMISE and ALL SHALL PERISH.
BRUJERIA bassist Hongo (a.k.a. Shane Embury, NAPALM DEATH) reportedly played guitar during the McAllen show, with Fantasma (additional vocals) taking over on bass.