Pop Culture

House of Freaks singer and family slain

Bryan Harvey, singer-guitarist for the two-man ’80s rock band House of Freaks, was found dead with his wife and two children in the family’s Richmond, Va., home over the weekend.

Harvey, 49, his wife Kathryn, 39, and their children, Stella, 9, and Ruby, 4, were found Sunday in the basement of their burning home. A Richmond Police Department spokeswoman said the bodies were bound but added that no cause of death was being released. Local news reports said the victims’ throats were cut.

Former House of Freaks drummer Johnny Hott arrived at the Harvey home to attend an afternoon New Year’s Day party and discovered it ablaze; firefighters summoned to the scene discovered the bodies.

The police spokeswoman said there were no suspects in the case.

In the mid-’80s, Richmond natives Bryan Harvey and Hott moved to Los Angeles, where their group House of Freaks made an immediate mark on the club scene. Some credit the band’s dynamic, melodic attack with setting the template for such later two-piece units as the White Stripes.

The group recorded two albums and an EP for Rhino Records. Its lone major-label set, for Giant in 1991, featured an expanded lineup that included fellow Virginian Stephen McCarthy of the Long Ryders and Bob Rupe of the Silos.

Harvey, Hott, McCarthy, Rupe and ex-Dream Syndicate singer-guitarist Steve Wynn formed the side project Gutterball, which released three early-’90s albums. House of Freaks, which moved back to Virginia in the late ’80s, disbanded in 1995 after cutting a final indie-label set.

On New Year’s Eve, Harvey played a Richmond date with his band NrG Krysys.

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