Stewart Lupton, lead vocalist of influential New York City indie band Jonathan Fire*Eater, has died at the age of 43, Pitchfork has confirmed. No cause of death has been announced. The band was active in the ’90s, formed by Lupton, Tom Frank, Paul Maroon, Matt Barrick, and Walter Martin, who became friends while attending Washington D.C.’s St. Albans prep school. The band released two albums in the mid-’90s, 1995’s Jonathan Fire*Eater and 1997’s Wolf Songs for Lambs, as well as a mini-album called Tremble Under Boom Lights in 1996. Wolf Songs for Lambs was released on Dreamworks, after the band’s snowballing success on the NYC scene resulted in them being courted by major labels. During the height of their success, they opened for Pulp and Blur.
Turmoil within the band resulted in JFE’s breakup in 1998, with Maroon, Barrick, and Martin going on to subsequently form The Walkmen. Lupton studied poetry at George Washington University in D.C. and, later on, performed in the projects Child Ballads and The Beatin’s. Jonathan Fire*Eater was recently featured prominently in last year’s book Meet Me in the Bathroom, Lizzy Goodman’s history of NYC indie rock in the early ’00s.