Canada

Longtime collaborator remembers late Vancouver musician Phil Western

Tributes from fans and friends poured in this week following the death of Vancouver-based electronic musician and producer Phil Western.

Family believes he died of an accidental overdose over the weekend

Electronic musician Phil Western collaborated with numerous performers including Bryan Adams and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. (Submitted by R.D. Cane)

Tributes from fans and friends poured in this week following the death of Vancouver-based electronic musician and producer Phil Western.

Western's family posted a message on his Facebook page on Sunday announcing he died of a suspected accidental overdose. The family is waiting for the results of a coroner's investigation for confirmation.

"Phil was a very close friend, but he's also the type of soul that could light up a room at any time," Dave "Rave" Ogilvie told CBC Radio's On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.

"I'm really thinking about all the good times that we've had," said Ogilvie, a recording engineer and longtime collaborator of Western's.

A musical collaborator

A multi-instrumentalist, Western was well-known in the music community both for his solo work and for collaborations with other musicians.

"The collaborations that he's done with so many people touched so many people," said Ogilvie. "I think that's truly how he'll be missed."

Ogilvie said he brought Western to New Orleans and introduced him to Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and they hit it off.

"Trent fell in love with him in a minute," said Reznor. 

Western also worked on a number of albums with Bryan Adams, including 1998's On a Day Like Today. Adams posted tributes to Western on social media on Monday.

"The fact that he could just immediately charm individuals of that stature, it was just an amazing ability that he had," said Ogilvie.

Other projects Western worked on include collaborations with industrial music group Skinny Puppy's cEvin Key, on projects such as Download, Plateau and Often Gone. Their most recent collaboration, Unknown Room, will be released on March 8.

Ogilvie said it's not the first time he's lost a close friend to overdose.

"Unfortunately, in the music business, a lot of people have to fight those demons and some of them just don't come up from it," said Ogilvie.

Listen to the full interview here: 

Tributes from fans and friends poured in this week following the death of Vancouver-based electronic musician and producer Phil Western. Gloria Macarenko speaks to longtime collaborator Dave 'Rave' Ogilvie. 10:56

With files from CBC Radio's On The Coast