Over the weekend, local band Math & Physics Club announced the passing of guitarist James Werle. Werle had been battling cancer, a fact not shared with the public, per his wishes.
Werle co-founded the band in 2004 in his hometown of Olympia, WA with his longtime friend vocalist/guitarist Charles Bert. The two had previously been in the band Drive Car Girl (named after a Beat Happening song, natch), and shared a love of bands like R.E.M. and The Smiths. KEXP began playing the band before they had officially released any music, with DJ John Richards spinning their demo on the air, and they quickly became familiar faces to the station. You may have seen the band playing the 2005 edition of our "John in the Morning at Night" concert at Neumos, or caught them in a jam-packed Cupcake Royale in Ballard performing live on the air during one of our old Hood-to-Hood broadcasts back in 2006. KEXP engineer Kevin Suggs engineered and co-produced their self-titled debut album, as well as their follow-up EP Baby I'm Yours, released in 2007. In 2008, they played a special private show for KEXP donors at the Sunset Tavern, and most recently, they were on the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre stage for the 2011 Concerts at the Mural.
Math & Physics Club had just released a new album earlier this year, Lived Here Before, via their longtime label Matinée Recordings.
As the band stated in their official statement, "It’s almost impossible to fathom no longer having James in our lives, but we are so grateful for all the recordings, photos, videos, and memories we get to keep." Enjoy some of those memories below, and read the official statement in full.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we must share that our friend and bandmate James passed away this week after his battle with cancer.
We realize this will be a surprise to most of you since we had not previously shared news of his illness, as was his wish.
It’s almost impossible to fathom no longer having James in our lives, but we are so grateful for all the recordings, photos, videos, and memories we get to keep.
Thank you all so much for your support and friendship over these many years. James never lost his sense of awe about the fact that people wanted to listen to our music. So many lovely messages and interactions with people all over the world. It was an amazing gift that meant so much to him, and to all of us.
With deep sadness and gratitude,
Charles, Ethan, Kevin