Jason Mackenroth, who drummed for the Rollins Band from 1998 to 2004 and also spent eight years with Blue Man Group, died Sunday at his home in Henderson, Nev., after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was 46.
Mackenroth was born in Sacramento on May 9, 1969, and started playing drums at Rio Americano High School where he graduated in 1987. He eventually played the coveted center snare with the Sacramento Freelancers, a highly ranked DCI Drum and Bugle Corps, during the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
Mackenroth moved to Los Angeles in 1989, where he co-founded the power trio Mother Superior, which attracted the attention of Henry Rollins. Rollins who was the leader of punk icons Black Flag and also an acclaimed solo artist, produced two Mother Superior albums and had the group join him in the Rollins Band. Mackenroth played with the Rollins Band on seven albums and four world tours.
In a 2005 interview with The Sacramento Bee’s Chris Macias, Mackenroth talked about how his Drum Corps experience prepared him for life on the road with Rollins. “Drum Corps definitely trained me for that one,” says Mackenroth. “It also shaped my whole concept of rhythmic timing, and keeping beats on (point).”
In 2002 Mr. Mackenroth played on “Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three,” a benefit recording that featured a reunited Black Flag along with guest vocalists, including Iggy Pop, Ice T, Exene Cervenka and Motorhead’s Lemmy. Mackenroth also released two solo albums.
Mackenroth spent over eight years with Blue Man Group, as a band musician in the Las Vegas production. Blue Man Group Las Vegas paid tribute to the percussionist at the end of its Jan. 3 performance.
During his career, Mackenroth recorded with George Clinton, The Lovemakers and Robert Bradley, and toured with MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer and the acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois (U2, Neville Brothers, Bob Dylan).
Mackenroth is survived by his wife, Janet Mackenroth; sons, Javan and Joren; parents Dave and Gail Mackenroth; sisters Arlene Mackenroth of New Castle, and Anne Dunlap of Napa; and brother Scott Mackenroth of Carmichael. A GoFundMe campaign is underway at www.gofundme.com to help the family cover expenses. Services will be planned for later in the Las Vegas area.