Steve Sostak profile picture from Facebook

Tributes have been paid to Sweep The Leg Johnny frontman Steve Sostak, who has died at the age of 49.

As Stereogum reports, the news was confirmed on social media by the saxophonist and singer’s former bandmates. Sostak passed away last Saturday (February 4) following a brief illness, according to SNBC13. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Sostak met guitarist Chris Daly while attending the University Of Notre Dame in Indiana. The pair performed together in Check Engine between 1993 and 1994, before relocating to Chicago, Illinois.

Later, they enlisted drummer Scott Anna and bassist Matt AlicHalley Kretschmer to form experimental band Sweep The Leg Johnny. The group released five albums overall, beginning with ‘’ (1997) and ending with ‘Going Down Swingin” (2002).

Following Sweep The Leg Johnny’s split, Sostak and Swing Kids’ John Brady formed ZZZZ with Greg Sharp, the drummer of Tekulvi, and electric pianist Ellen Bunch. Their debut full-length record came in the form of 2005’s ‘Palm Reader’, which boasted production from John Congleton. ZZZZ played their final live show in Chicago in 2005.

Paying tribute to Sostak on Facebook, Brady wrote: “Wherever you are my friend, I hope you’re rocking it as hard as we did that night in London two decades ago.” He also attached a clip of the late musician playing sax onstage.

Elsewhere, Steve Albini hailed Sostak as once being “an integral part of the Chicago band scene”. He added: “Good bands, good guy. He played pickup baseball and on the CMBA Red Sox with a bunch of other music guys, always a good hang there as well. Requiescat.”

Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis tweeted: “RIP Steve Sostak of Sweep the Leg Johnny. Incredible band some of you may not have heard of. They inspired me & so many of our friends.

“Even though we never got to see them live & could only appreciate from afar, the enjoyment is undiminished.”

See those posts below.

Post-ZZZZ, Sostak spent 14 years teaching in Chicago, Lima, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. It is said that he had been living in Beijing prior to his death and recently co-founded Inspire Citizens, an organisation “empowering diverse teachers and students toward impactful action”.

Serving as the co-director of the teacher-created collective, Sostak “coach[ed] diverse learners through designing media and global impact projects, helping spark educator and student passions to build community and problem solve in a challenging world”.

The post Foals and Steve Albini lead tributes to Sweep The Leg Johnny’s Steve Sostak, who has died aged 49 appeared first on NME.


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