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House of Freaks Singer Murdered

Bryan Harvey found dead with wife and children in Virginia home

January 4, 2006 12:00 AM ET

Bryan Harvey, singer/guitarist for the Eighties blues-based rock duo House of Freaks, was found dead with his wife and two young daughters in the basement of the family's Richmond, Virginia, home over the weekend.Harvey, 49, and his family were discovered after Johnny Hott, formerly the drummer for the defunct band, arrived to attend a New Year's Day party and discovered the house was on fire. Firefighters called to the scene discovered the bodies. Local news outlets reported that the victims' throats had been cut and their bodies bound.

The case is currently under investigation, with no suspects yet named. Harvey and Hott formed House of Freaks in 1984, with a minimalist sound and lineup that foreshadowed latter-era blues rock duos like the White Stripes and Black Keys. "We got shit all the time about not having a bass player," Harvey told Rolling Stone in 2004. "I mean, it was our fucking band. Did people hassle Flock of Seagulls for not having a guitar player? I was watching Freaky Friday with my daughter recently, and a character is talking about the White Stripes. She said, 'Get a bass player.' "

Beginning with 1987's Monkey on a Chain Gang, House of Freaks released five albums and scored a leftfield radio hit with 1992's "Rocking Chair" before disbanding in the mid-Nineties. Harvey also collaborated with Hott and former Dream Syndicate singer Steve Wynn in the early-Nineties band Gutterball. He performed with his most recent group, NrG Krysys, on New Year's Eve in Richmond.

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