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Image: GWAR guitarist
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GWAR lead guitarist Cory Smoot, also known as Flattus Maximus, was found dead on Thursday.
TODAY news services
updated 11/3/2011 7:33:21 PM ET 2011-11-03T23:33:21

The lead guitarist for the heavy metal band GWAR has been found dead on their tour bus.

Manager Jack Flanagan and record label Metal Blade say Cory Smoot was found early Thursday before crossing into Canada following a show in Minneapolis. According to Rolling Stone, it was Smoot's bandmates who found him.

It's unclear what caused Smoot's death or how old he was. A person who answered the phone at the Smoot family residence in Richmond declined to comment. Flanagan and Metal Blade's Kelli Malella, vice president of publicity, said they had no further information to release about Smoot.

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Smoot has performed since 2002 under the name "Flattus Maximus" with the Virginia-based band known for its comically grotesque costumes, stage antics and vulgar lyrics.

Flanagan says there's no word yet on funeral arrangements or the rest of the tour. The tour had been scheduled to stop in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, on Friday and Saturday.

Lead singer Dave Brockie, also known as "Oderus Urungus," said in a statement that "at this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother" and asked for privacy.

He called Smoot "one of the most talented guitar players in metal today."

The Associated Press and Rolling Stone contributed to this report.

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