Thursday, May 31, 2018

Death by Escalator: Grindcore's Josh Martin

Josh Martin, 45, the guitarist of a grindcore band, died after falling from an escalator at a Rhode Island shopping mall on Monday, May 28, 2018. Grindcore is described as a blend of thrash metal and hardcore punk.

It is worthy of noting that a little over a year ago, Chris Cornell died by suicide. On May 18, 2017, Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand in Detroit, Michigan, after performing at a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre. The cause of death was determined to be suicide by hanging. Cornell was 52 years old.

On the one year anniversary of Cornell's death on May 18, 2018, Alice in Chains paid tribute to him covering two Soundgarden songs, "Hunted Down" and "Boot Camp", respectively, closing their headlining set at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio. Towards the end of "Boot Camp," the lights on stage spelled out "CC" for Chris Cornell and "SG" for Soundgarden as feedback rang out. Soundgarden was scheduled to headline the festival in 2017 prior Cornell's death. On May 20, 2018, Tool dedicated their entire set at Rock on the Range to the friends and family of Cornell.

Josh Martin of Newton, Massachusetts' grindcore band Axxx Cxxx was reportedly “clowning around and riding the rail of the escalator” at the Providence Place Mall on Monday night.

One eyewitness said he saw Martin as he “reached the downward slope of the handrail, fell backward off the rail and hit his head on a table in the food court below.”

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says the victim fell one floor, from the escalator at the movie theater level to the food court, at the Providence Place Mall just before 11 p.m. Monday.

"It's quite a big drop," Providence Police Major David Lapatin said. "Anybody who has been to the Providence Place Mall in the food court, you see the two escalators going up to the movie theater and Dave & Buster's, you know how high that is."

Police said they were investigating the incident and there appeared to be no indication he jumped or was pushed from the escalator.

Surfing the railing of escalators appears to be a form of parasuicidal behavior (a form of suicidal behavior that appears covert and hidden to others - such as driving fast, ingesting drugs at high volumes, taking risking chances in downhill skiing, working in near death jobs, playing with firearms). Was Josh Martin engaged in parasuicidal behavior within days of the hanging suicides of Ian Curtis of Joy Division (May 18, 1980) and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden (May 18, 2017).

There have been a handful of deaths at the Providence Place Mall since it opened in 1999, including other people falling from escalators. A man died in 2006 after he jumped between escalators and fell.

(A man from Charlotte, North Carolina, died inside the Harrah's Casino in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 7, 2016 after attempting to slide down the handrail of an escalator. The man, James Edward Darst, was in town for a conference. No word on whether Darst was intoxicated at the time he attempted to slide down the rail. A few escalator deaths have been chronicled. See here.)

Martin joined the band in 1996 and jammed with them until 2001. He reunited with the band in 2006 until Seth Putnam (born May 15, 1968), the group’s frontman, died on June 11, 2011 at the age of 43, of a heart attack. He’s also played with other musical acts, including Impaled Northern Moonforest, Failure Clinic, Adolf Satan, and Fxxx.

Born in 1973, he grew up in Connecticut before enrolling at New York University in the 1990s.

He found success with the politically incorrect group after befriending frontman Seth Putnam.

They officially disbanded after Putnam's death.

In November 2017, a video of Josh Martin heckling Gene Simmons (of KISS) during a performance and award ceremony in Providence went viral. Martin was thrown out of the venue. Some have pointed at this incident of evidence of Martin's erratic behavior of late. Others have said it was typical of Martin's personality.

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