It was revealed Fisher was battling cancer and passed away yesterday (February 12).
After rumors of his passing began to spread on social media this morning, London-based Loose Music confirmed the news, writing: “He had been suffering throughout 2016 but typically of the man he never made any fuss whatsoever. He was busy still holding down his day job and recording tracks for his 11th album.”
Now based in California, Fisher — he of the “booming baritone, capable of both immense power and heart-breaking subtlety,” writes Loose — formed Willard Grant Conspiracy in 1995 in Boston with Paul Austin, and over the decades the Americana garage folk collective swelled to as many as 30 other players and collaborators. “As Robert himself said ‘If someone says they play with us they probably do’,” Loose writes. “But it was Robert who was the beating heart of the band, in fact many people thought he was called Willard.”
Fisher himself described his band as “a loose confederation of sometimes like-minded musicians who participate in making records, playing shows and making pots of coffee.” In 1996, the band released their debut album 3 a.m. Sunday @ Fortune Otto’s and issued eight more records before 2013’s Ghost Republic. It is unclear whether or not Fisher’s final compositions, which Loose alluded to, will be released.
Lose concludes its statement with the following: “So now Robert has gone, it’s awful, it’s sad, it’s difficult to come to terms with. But we have his music, music that was often pre-occupied with death, but as Andrew Mueller commented ‘was also strangely life-affirming.’ So put on a WGC album, crank up the volume — and wish him well.”
Difficult to digest the sad passing of Robert Fisher | Willard Grant Conspiracy. A guest on our Sigmatropic releases – an absolute honor. pic.twitter.com/H4KkNiUVoH