Who was Hank Von Hell? Tributes pour in as former Turbonegro frontman dies at 49

Hank Von Hell (Image via hankvonh/ Instagram, and HankVonHellOfficial/ Facebook)
Hank Von Hell (Image via hankvonh/ Instagram, and HankVonHellOfficial/ Facebook)

On Friday, November 19, former frontman of Norwegian "deathpunk" band Turbonegro, Hank Von Hell, passed away at the age of 49. News of his passing was informed to Norwegian newspaper Tvedestrandsposten.

Turbonegro's official Facebook page also shared a condolence post for their former bandmate Hank Von Hell. The post read:

"...As a charismatic frontman who equally channeled humor and vulnerability, Hans-Erik was crucial for the band's appeal. He was a warm and big-hearted human, a spiritually and intellectually seeking person who loved having a conversation with anyone."

It further mentioned,

"We are proud of what we created together as rock brothers in Turbonegro - the music, the characters, our whole universe."

Details surrounding his death's cause have not yet been made public.

What was Hank Von Hell known for?

Hank von Helvete (or Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby), popularly known as Hank Von Hell, was associated with Turbonegro as the band's lead singer from 1993-2009. The late singer helped the band find its voice in the glam rock, punk rock, and hard rock genres, defined by Turbonegro as "deathpunk."

Von Hell joined the band in 1993, replacing former lead singer Harald "Harry" Fossberg. He played with Turbonegro for the next five years until they had to disband, following Hank's mental breakdown owed primarily to his addiction at the time.

In 1998, after exiting the band, he reportedly went to his childhood town on Moskenes Island in Lofoten, Norway, to seek help for his heroin addiction and struggles with depression. As per 4 Lyden Av Norge, Hank Von Hell enlisted himself in a rehab program of Scientology organization, Narconon. During this time, the artist reportedly worked at the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum and as a radio host in Γ…, Moskenes in Lofoten.

Return to Turbonegro in 2002

The band regrouped in 2002 when Hank Von Hell recovered from his addiction and rejoined Turbonegro. He toured and worked on new albums with the band till July 2010. Several publications at the time suggested it was due to his new sober lifestyle.

Just months later, in December 2010, Hank Von Hell formed a new band called Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult. The singer also had a brief solo career until his demise, which spanned three albums and a few singles. These include 2009's Rom for alle featuring Maria Solheim, 2018's Egomania, 2020's Dead. His solo singles featured Fake It in 2019.

Hank Von Ham was also associated with the Norwegian musical talent show Idol as a judge. The rockstar was married to model Gro Skaustein from 2009 to 2014 and had a daughter with her. He is survived by his 12-year-old daughter.

Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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