Saliva’s Wayne Swinny dies after brain hemorrhage

Saliva guitarist Wayne Swinny died March 22, 2023, following a brain hemorrhage while on tour. The band was promoting its latest single, “High on Me.” Swinny was 59 years old.

“I’m not even sure what to think or how to feel right now,” Saliva vocalist Bobby Amaru said. “My heart aches for Wayne’s family, his friends and anyone who had the joy of being around him. My heart aches for his daughter Nikki. He loved that little girl so much. He was a guitar hero onstage with all the rock ‘n’ roll swag that most guitar players dream of. Offstage he was a proud father, an ancient aliens expert and an incredible human who had zero enemies! He would go out of his way to make sure you had a good time.

“I’m grateful that I got to share almost 12 years of my life with Wayne on the stage and most importantly off the stage. He was the older brother I never had. I learned so much from him, and we had a fucking blast together! I will cherish it all for the rest of my life! God bless you Wayne. I know we’ll meet again!”

Saliva formed in 1996 in Memphis, Tennessee, and Swinny was the only founding member in the current lineup. The band’s second album, “Every Six Seconds,” released in 2001, went double platinum and featured the hits “Click Click Boom” and “Your Disease,” which earned a Grammy nomination. The follow-up album, “Back Into Your System” (2002), went gold and included the hits “Always,” “Raise Up” and “Rest in Pieces,” co-written with Nikki Sixx.

Amaru came onboard following the departure of original vocalist Josey Scott in 2011. Saliva’s current lineup also includes former Shinedown and Fuel bassist Brad Stewart and drummer Sammi Jo Bishop. They reunited and performed three songs with Scott in September 2022 at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival but have continued with Amaru on vocals since then.

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