Jean-Luc De Meyer, of Belgian EBM stalwarts, Front 242, is in the hospital with an undisclosed health issue. As a result, the band, currently on tour, has had to cancel several concerts as the singer convalesces. The group made the announcement in a short Facebook post that the frontman’s “health is worrying.”
Wax Trax! Records’ via their official Facebook page voiced their support with a statement from Julia Nash, daughter of the record store/label’s co-founder Jim Nash: “Jean-Luc, your Wax Trax! family is sending massive amounts of love and healing vibes your way for strength and a speedy return to health.”
The news of De Meyer’s illness comes at a terrible time for the band, who are continuing their 40th-anniversary celebration this year. Beginning as a synth-based post-punk outfit, Belgian Electronic music pioneers Front 242 codified the music genre coined by Kraftwerk and DAF called EBM, or “electronic body music,” profoundly influencing generations of electronic and industrial artists, as well as the “Rivethead” subculture: military gear (flak jackets, camouflage, and combat boots), hairstyles, sunglasses, accessories, tattoos, and piercings.
While they have already canceled their performance at the De Kreun concert hall, nothing else has been forthcoming about either De Meyer’s condition or the band’s plans. They were to kick off the North American leg of their tour at Skully’s in Columbus, Ohio, but as of now, no further cancelations have been made.
After the North American dates in April, the band have plans for concerts in Europe through July, as well as heading back to the states to co-headlining the 10th annual Cold Waves Industrial-Music festival in Chicago with Nitzer Ebb.
Here is the full announcement from the band:
We sincerely send healing thoughts and best wishes to Jean-Luc De Meyer and hope to see him back in full force soon.
These are the slated dates for the band’s planned tour:
Front 242 North American tour dates
April 13: Skullys, Columbus, OH
April 14: Mr. Smalls, Pittsburgh, PA
April 16: Espace SAT, Montreal, QC
April 17: Danforth Hall, Toronto, ON
April 20: Imperial Bell, Quebec City, QC
April 22: Starlite Theater, Edmonton, AB
April 23: Dickens, Calgary, AB
April 24: The Rickshaw, Vancouver, BC
Sept. 22-25: Cold Waves X, Chicago IL