Todd Youth, a renowned guitarist who played with bands such as Warzone, Agnostic Front, Danzig, D Generation and Fireburn, passed away on October 27, 2018, at the age of 47. His death shocked and saddened the hardcore punk community, who remembered him as a talented and passionate musician. The cause of death remains unknown at this time.
A Brief Biography of Todd Youth
Todd Youth was born as Todd Schofield on May 15, 1971, in Rockaway, New Jersey. He started playing in several New York hardcore bands at a young age, earning him the nickname Youth. He is mentioned as being the bass player in a very early Cro-Mags line-up, alongside Harley Flanagan on drums, Parris Mayhew on guitar, and Eric Casanova on vocals. He debuted with Agnostic Front in 1983 but did not play on any recordings. Youth also played for New York City act Warzone until around 1986. He joined Murphy’s Law (another New York City band) that year, recording on various works with them, including three full-length albums. Youth performed with Murphy’s Law until 1995.
After leaving Murphy’s Law, he recorded a single with a band named The Homewreckers in 1996. Around this time Youth evolved his style from hardcore to implementing some of his 1970s punk influences, such as New York Dolls, Dead Boys and The Heartbreakers. Thus he joined famous New York City glam punk band D Generation, replacing Richard Bacchus on guitar. He was with D Generation from 1996 to 1998 and recorded on their album Through The Darkness. Youth co-wrote the track “Sunday Secret Saints” with Jesse Malin.
Chrome Locust was formed by Youth, D Generation drummer Michael Wildwood, and Vásquez bassist Jim Heneghan in 1998. In May 1999, Chrome Locust released a self-titled album on Tee Pee Records. The cover art was reminiscent of The Age of Quarrel by Cro-Mags. In a late interview, Youth stated that The Age of Quarrel was one of the best hardcore records ever released.
Youth disbanded Chrome Locust in order to audition for Danzig, despite having a potential offer to tour with The Hellacopters. Youth was also contacted to audition for Foo Fighters during this period. He stated that his decision to audition for Danzig, instead of Foo Fighters, had to do with having more fun on tour and the chance to work with Joey Castillo, who was also from the hardcore punk rock scene, having played with Wasted Youth.
During the summer of 1999, he successfully auditioned for Danzig; he joined as the guitarist. Coincidentally, former D Generation bandmate, bassist Howie Pyro, joined Danzig soon after. The same year Glenn Danzig had reformed his horror punk band Samhain. Guitarist Damien decided not to join the band for their reunion tour, thus Todd was asked to replace him. Youth only had three months to practice and learn the Samhain and Danzig sets. Although not an original member of Samhain, fans welcomed him to the lineup, some even mistaking him for Damien.
Youth played with Danzig until 2002 and recorded on their albums Satan’s Child (1999), Live On The Black Hand Side (2001), and I Luciferi (2002). He also appeared on several Samhain releases such as Live ’85-’86 (2001), Samhain Box Set (2000), and Final Descent (2001).
Youth left Danzig in 2002 and joined Cheap Trick as their touring guitarist for a brief period. He also played with Glen Campbell in 2008 and recorded on his album Meet Glen Campbell.
In 2017, Youth formed Fireburn with former Bad Brains vocalist Israel Joseph I, former Terror bassist Todd Jones and drummer Nick Townsend. They released two EPs: Don’t Stop The Youth (2017) and Shine (2018). They also toured with GBH and Negative Approach.
On October 1, 2017, Youth held a tribute to his former Warzone bandmate Raymond Barbieri AKA Raybeez on the 20th anniversary of his death at Tompkins Square Park in NYC. Many hardcore contemporaries took part in this tribute alongside Youth.
A Legacy That Lives On
Youth died on October 27, 2018, at the age of 47. His Fireburn bandmate Israel Joseph I confirmed the news on his Facebook page with a heartfelt statement:
There are no words to express how sad I am at the passing of my brother Todd Youth. The music he made will forever be remembered, and I’m so thankful that I was able to work with him and that we created Fireburn together. Todd and I were living separate lives doing hardcore and reggae music. We met each other in 1992 and then never spoke again until 2017. We created Fireburn within two weeks of knowing each other and finished writing two of my favorite hardcore records that I ever worked on: “Don’t stop the youth”, and “Shine”. Closed casket records signed the band and we were on our way. We had great shows and lots of people showed up to them. We toured with GBH from England, hung out with the guys from Negative Approach, and got our blessings about our music and our records from the Bad Brains. I know that Todd is now resting in peace and I know that Krishna has taken his soul to a better place. He was a devout Hari Krishna and a devout human being. Todd wherever you are I hope that we will make music again one day. Life is a circle, and I know I’ll meet you again in that circle brother. We will meet again. Rest In Peace, Rest In Power, rest my brother. I am saddened that we cannot make music again together in this world, but I am happy that you are finally going home to be with Krishna that Haile Selassie has finally giving you peace and comfort my brother. One day, I too will lay down and die. This body that I ware is temporary. I will probably be alone. They’re probably be no one around me. However I know that I will join you and all of our other friends in that good place and we’ll all see each other again. I’m sorry you died Todd. I’m sorry I can’t see you again. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you. You are my friend and my brother and I love you. Rest in peace my brother. May your visit to our Heavenly Home be full of peace, and comfort, and closeness to Krishna. Haribo. Haile Selassie I. FIREBURN.
Many other musicians and fans also paid tribute to Youth on social media, expressing their condolences and gratitude for his music and influence.
Youth’s legacy lives on through his music, which spanned across genres and generations. He was a versatile and prolific guitarist who contributed to the hardcore punk scene with his raw and powerful style. He was also a devoted spiritual person who followed the Hare Krishna faith.
Todd Youth Cause of Death remains a mystery, but his life and music will not be forgotten.