Gared O’Donnell, singer and guitarist for the influential post-hardcore band Planes Wrong with the Stars, died Nov. 24 after battling cancer. He is 44 years old. The band confirmed the news on Instagram, writes, “It is impossible to express the depth of sorrow with which we must announce that Gared O’Donnell, our brother, our leader, our captain, who has done more to cultivate love and light in this world than can nor any of us. understood, moved from his physical form here to us and crossed the rainbow bridge into the eternal ether. In his last days/hours, he was surrounded by the love of his family, his friends, his bandmates, and many others from afar.
In August 2020, O’Donnell announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer. In a statement and GoFundMe campaign launched with the announcement, band manager Emily Francis said cancer is not available.
In 1997, O’Donnell founded Planes Mistaken for Stars in Peoria, Illinois, with guitarist Mat Bellinger, drummer Mike Ricketts, and bassist Aaron Wise. After releasing a self-titled EP and a 7-inch, the band moved to Denver, Colorado. They released their debut album Fuck with Fire on No Idea Records in 2001, followed it up in 2004 with In Their Guts.
After the release of their third album mercy in 2006, the group disbanded until 2010, where they continued on occasional tours. O’Donnell’s last album with the group was their fourth record, prey, released in 2016.
In their statement, Planes Mistaken for Stars revealed that O’Donnell is working on the new music privately and they hope to share it in the future. “Gared spent the last year of his life doing exactly what he loved, writing and recording music,” the band’s statement continued. “Now we are working very hard to complete these many final projects. It was sad to do this without him, but we knew he wanted us to complete what we had started. We will do our best to honor his legacy and spread the word of the legend he composed.