Alejandro Morales, a drummer with the Chicago punk trio Working who additionally performed with different experimental noise teams, died Jan. 3 whereas visiting his household in Puerto Rico, the place he grew up.
He was 46. The reason for demise wasn’t disclosed.
Ben Billington, a musician and buddy of Mr. Morales, stated he remembers seeing him play with Working when the group was first making a reputation for itself, taking part in seven- to eight-minute units at DIY spots throughout town.
The group performed so onerous that, Billington stated, “Alejandro would simply fall off his drum stool on the finish of the set. It wasn’t in regards to the size. It was in regards to the energy, the facility, the vitality.
“He put each single ounce into all the things he believed in always, whether or not that was loving his mates or his companions or rock-and-rolling along with his mates and supporting others.”
Mr. Morales went to school in Indiana after leaving Puerto Rico and moved to Chicago quickly after. By the mid-2000s, he was a mainstay in Chicago’s underground scene with the band Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan, which described itself on Soundcloud as “an experimental noise duo that performs tribal-punk drums, bent s— and digital tools in creating works which can be by turns delicate and excessive.”
P. Michael, a bandmate of Mr. Morales within the noise group ONO, stated he was blown away when he noticed PPPMMM play in 2007 at Elastic Arts in Logan Sq.. Although Mr. Morales didn’t formally be a part of ONO till about 5 years later, the 2 instantly bonded over their ardour for social work.
Mr. Morales labored for the Resurrection Mission in Pilsen, serving to individuals with monetary and housing insecurity issues, and Michael a caseworker for individuals with HIV.
Mr. Morales later left the Resurrection Mission to work for the Bickerdike Redevelopment Company, a nonprofit group growth group in Humboldt Park. He had simply completed getting an accounting diploma and deliberate to proceed his nonprofit work as a licensed public accountant, in response to Billington.
“It was a ardour of his as a lot as music was — working with nonprofits that needed to do with group, honest housing and fairness, combating gentrification in a logical and secure method,” Billington stated.
At the same time as Mr. Morales labored for the 2 group businesses, Working was gaining acclaim, which took him on a number of nationwide excursions and acquired the band recording offers.
Matthew Hord, a bassist and singer with Working, stated he met him via mutual mates. Although Hord wasn’t actively taking part in music on the time, he stated Mr. Morales satisfied him and one other buddy, Jeff Tucholski, to start out “a punk band that may be within the noise, experimental realm,” and so they shaped the trio.
He was a fixture at Chicago music venues like The Hideout and the Empty Bottle, the place a memorial vigil was held in his honor and the place there have been calls to rename the inexperienced room the “Alex Morales Palace.”
Associates stated Mr. Morales had a method of creating the individuals round him really feel welcome.
They stated he additionally had some quirky traits — like being fascinated with clowns and Whats up Kitty.
Past his personal music, he was an enthusiastic supporter of others in Chicago’s musical group.
“He was at all times all the way down to attend a present and take a look at a brand new band,” Hord stated. “He was just like the antithesis of jaded, particularly at his age. He didn’t ever get to a degree the place he hated music. He was nonetheless thirsty to soak up new initiatives and be a part of the motion.”
Billington stated Mr. Morales’ demise has left an outsized gap within the underground music scene.
“His vitality was such an necessary a part of supporting one another and supporting the group,” he stated. “And it’s actually necessary to me and a bunch of our friends to that take that piece of Alex with us and preserve his spirit alive.”