Former CFMU radio host Laura Wiebe passed away last week. I met Laura around 1995 when she was in the Kitchener-based gothic metal band Embrace and they played a disastrous show in Guelph that I helped put together for my friends in the Toronto band Tchort. I was given their CD to play on my radio show at CKLN in Toronto and got in touch with them right away after hearing it.
Laura was smart, funny, had a brilliant mind and did things I wish I could do. She wrote a thesis about Voivod! She got a Ph.D. from McMaster University! She presented university papers about heavy metal and popular culture! She could write circles around me and most other aspiring writers about metal, sci-fi, cats – and she often did.
Laura and her partner Adam Wills are excellent people. We all collaborated one summer on a Saturday night metal radio show on CFMU and soon got their own show, Kill Eat Exploit The Weak, that aired on Wednesday nights.
I loved running into them randomly around town, at a show, or going to visit them over at their house, but on Tuesday of last week Laura passed away early in the morning.
Her loss is a big one for the many people that knew her and loved her. it’s a loss to all metal and music fans, local and international, and especially those that are doing post-secondary research and writing about it. Laura was an academic and did a lot of academic writing about sci-fi and Metal and her writing helped validate both with a lot of people that look down upon these genres of music and literature.
Adam Wills has created a playlist to celebrate Laura's life and some of the music that she held dear to her heart. Please give it a listen and, even if you didn't know her, help celebrate what an amazing person she was.