Goodbye, Clay Burns

Metatron: Aaron (left), David (kneeling) and drummer Clay Burns (right). Burns passed away this week and will be buried Aug. 10. Goodbye, Clay.

I haven’t written anything for a while. Sorry about that.

Anyone familiar with the Owensboro, Ky. music scene will remember Metatron, the eclectic, psychedelic death metal band that was equal parts chaotic metal, free jazz and space-age fuzz. I’ve been a supporter of the O’boro scene for a long time and did what I could through the weak tool that was the Messenger-Inquirer’s entertainment page to promote local metal bands … but there’s no question that my favorite local band was Metatron.

So it’s with some sadness that I report Clay Burns, the band’s drummer, passed away this week at University of Kentucky Hospital. Burns was 30 years old.

I interviewed Clay several times over the years . Clay was extremely easy-going and relaxed, with a quiet unexpected sense of humor. Clay was always the least talkative member of the band — but Clay’s drumming was always unpredictable and interesting. Clay played metal, but he had the improvisational feel of a jazz musician. The man could play and his drumming drove the band. While some drummers are content to just provide a backbeat, Clay was an equal creative partner with vocalist/bassist Aaron King and keyboardist (later guitarist) David Daniel.

Goodbye, Clay. You’ll be missed … and thanks for the years of great music.



  1. Nice read. The world is worse off without Clay in it.

  2. Just wanted to drop by and thank you for the articles and interviews covering Metatron and Clay over the years. I still have copies of them all and so did he.

    Thank you for sharing a heartfelt and spot on description of his playing style, talent, and all around personal character.

    The man loved music, listening and playing, more than anything else in the world. As his brother, I was always still consistently amazed over the years at how unconditionally he poured himself into music, while simply only ever needing or wanting music in return.

    Thank you,


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