Mats Olausson, Former Yngwie Malmsteen Keyboardist, Found Dead at 54
Mats Olausson, a former keyboardist for guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen, has died at the age of 54. Olausson was found dead in his hotel room in Rayong, Thailand, on Thursday, Feb. 19, by a hotel employee.
According to the Bangkok Post, the Swedish musician was found wearing only shorts and was surrounded by seven empty bottles of whisky and several empty beer cans. Police reported that there was no sign of a struggle at the scene and that Olausson appeared to have been dead for at least 24 hours when he was discovered.
The newspaper also reports that investigators for the Rayong police first speculated that alcohol consumption might be the cause of his death, but have released no official statement to that effect, as they are waiting for the official post mortem examination to be done.
Olausson played with Malmsteen throughout the 1990s, and also performed with the acts Kamelot, Talisman and Ark. Jeff Scott Soto, a vocalist on Malmsteen’s records, said of his passing, “I am very sad to learn this news, my friend, keyboardist Mats Olausson was found dead in a hotel room in Thailand ... I'd known Mats since 1990 when he played keys on the first Talisman album. We carried on our friendship through his tenure with Yngwie, an amazing soul and good friend, RIP brother!”
Kamelot guitarist Thomas Youngblood, also commented on Olausson’s death. He posted this on Facebook, “Very sad news, Mats toured with us in Europe and Japan on the EPICA album and was a phenomenal talent.”
Meanwhile, the webmaster for Olausson's website posted more insight as to why the musician was in Thailand, "Mats had emailed me back in January 3rd of this year, wishing me all the best in 2015, filled me in that he was back in Thailand, and had some upcoming projects that he would be making mention [of] on [the website]. Fast forward to this morning, February 20th when Mats' friends...messaged me on Facebook informing me that Mats had passed."
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mats Olausson during this difficult time.
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