Helix drummer Greg ‘Fritz’ Hinz has died at the age of 68, vocalist Brian Vollmer confirmed.

Hinz joined the Canadian hard rock band in 1982 and remained until 1996, then returned in 2009. He’d been diagnosed with cancer in 2023 but didn’t want the news made public, his bandmate revealed.

“We’ve known about this since last April, but were unable to tell anyone at Fritz’s request,” Vollmer said in a statement. “He wanted his privacy through this.”

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Citing the drummer’s “tough” nature, he referred to an accident in 2018 that left Hinz in an induced coma after fracturing his skull. “When he fell off the ladder… and nearly died, I thought that was the end there. Fritz surprised everyone by coming back less than eight months later.

“Many months later he told me that at the end of [one show] he nearly stood up and fell forward through his drums at the end of the show ‘cos he had vertigo so bad. Like I said, One tough guy.”

Vollmer added that Hinz was “the funniest guy you’d ever want to meet,” able to use humor to dilute the most serious situation, and his personality and popularity made him “Helix’s David Lee Roth.”

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He continued: “Fritz was the consummate rock drummer. It was his craft. He prided himself in his playing, and well he should have … The world has lost one of its great rock drummers… [t]he public has no idea the sacrifices that musicians make for their craft.

“You think of the music business as a fairly low-impact kind of job. In reality you give up your personal life, your financial life, any type of regularity in your life… not to mention the physical scars.

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“Fritz… loved his drums and he loved drumming and performing. He took great pride in everything he did. I’m going to miss him so much.”

Vollmer reported that a suitable memorial event would be arranged in due course, and asked fans to give Hinz’ wife privacy in the meantime. “Traci hasn’t slept in six months,” he said. “She’s been an angel throughout this whole ordeal. I don’t know what Fritz would have done without her… When she wants to talk to everyone she will.”

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Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff

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