Takafumi Matsubara

Gridlink‘s much anticipated swansong Longhena completely followed through on the hype, with fellow writer Colin Kauffman going as far to say that it will be known as a classic in the grindcore genre, putting Gridlink’s name up there with the likes of Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer, and Nasum, among others. I’m inclined to agree, and I wouldn’t be surprise if it left a legacy of progressive and psychedelic grindcore in the future. It’s sad to see the band go, but at least they went out on a high note.

Now it seems as though the disbandment was inevitable, and not just a simple matter of the band not wanting to continue. Brooklyn Vegan reports that Gridlink guitarist Takafumi Matsubara was “forced into retirement” by an inflammatory infection in his brain, which caused significant loss of movement in his left hand, including paralysis of his middle finger.

The band updated their Facebook with the news yesterday, which evidently got lost in a sea of April Fools merriment:

It is with terrible sadness, that I must announce that Takafumi Matsubara is putting down his guitar and stepping away from music, likely forever. Approximately one month ago, Takafumi was hospitalized and doctors discovered he had a serious infection/inflammation in his brain. While the immediate danger has passed and Takafumi is out of the hospital, he has lost significant dexterity and control of his left hand, including the complete paralysis of his middle finger.

As of today, Takafumi has permanently stepped down as lead guitar from Corrupted and Mortalized. There is a small chance of recovery through physical rehabilitation and extended medical treatment, but Doctor’s were not positive about his ability to play guitar again.

The Gridlink album “Longhena” will likely be his last work. He would like to extend his warmest regards to the artists that he was able to work with over the years and people he met through the band.

Jon Chang

This is terrible news. I had a drummer friend who fought his way back from partial paralysis after a Staph infection spread to his brain. After surgery, therapy, and extensive treatment, he’s now happily in three different local bands with his full range of motion back. Hopefully Takafumi has a similar recovery and we can hear more from him in the future.

Our thoughts are with Takafumi, as I’m sure having your means of art and creativity taken from you must be difficult to cope with, not to mention the physical pain and struggle he must be going through. Here’s to a speedy recovery.

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– JR

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