Eddie Leeway has died

Leeway vocalist Eddie Sutton, aka Eddie Leeway, has passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2021. A post on his Instagram says that he “passed peacefully in his sleep” on Friday, April 19.

Eddie was already in hospice when Leeway were announced for this year’s This Is Hardcore festival. On the This Is Hardcore Podcast, Joe Hardcore explained that he booked it with optimism before Eddie went into hospice, and he said that if it turns out Eddie cannot play, he will discuss with Eddie’s family if and how they could move forward with the Leeway set being some sort of tribute. He also took the opportunity to memorialize Eddie while he was still alive. In 2021, Joe did a 3+ hour interview with Eddie and you can listen to that here.

In addition to fronting Leeway on their classic, influential records like 1988’s Born to Expire and 1991’s Desperate Measures, he also fronted Merauder on their 1998 demo. Leeway were revered by their peers and they’ve also been namedropped as an influence on countless newer bands, ranging from Turnstile to Power Trip. The late Power Trip vocalist Riley Gale once said to The Guardian, “I would say the first big record that was a huge influence on the band in the early days was the second Leeway record, Desperate Measures… It was kind of groovy, and Eddie [Sutton] had this really wild vocal style that I never even tried to capture.” Arthur Rizk, who produced both Power Trip records and has played in countless great hardcore bands (including Cold World, War Hungry, and more), has cited Leeway as a life-changing influence.

Multiple hardcore musicians recently included Leeway in their top four hardcore albums of all time lists on the HardLore Podcast, including Scott Vogel of Terror, Dan Seely of King Nine, Dim Roc of Crown of Thornz, and Mike Milewski of Bulldoze.

For years, the hardcore community has been raising money for Eddie via various GoFundMe campaigns, and through this he’s continued to perform–you can watch a full-set video of Leeway from 2022 below.

Rest in peace, Eddie. Your impact won’t be forgotten.

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