RIP Carl Jeffrey “C. J” Snare

C.J. SNARE, FOUNDING singer of the long-running hair metal band FireHouse, has died at the age of 64. The group — which scored Hot 100 hits in the early Nineties with the singles “Love of a Lifetime” and “When I Look Into Your Eyes” — revealed Snare’s death Sunday on social media. “Today is a sad day for Rock N Roll,” the surviving members wrote. “It is with great sorrow we are letting the world know we have lost our brother: CJ Snare, the rock and roll warrior, lead vocalist, and a founding member of Firehouse. CJ snare passed unexpectedly at home Friday night, April 5, 2024. He was a young 64 years old.”

In September 2020, he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. In September 2023, he took a hiatus from FireHouse to undergo abdominal surgery in October. Although he intended to return to the band for their shows in summer 2024, he died on April 5, 2024 of cardiac arrest. Born in Washington D.C. as Carl Jeffrey Snare, he moved to in Richmond, Virginia, and then moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, with the band where they were signed to Epic Records in 1989. As the 1990s progressed, the band remained very popular in Asia, mainly in Southeast Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. They also maintained popularity in South America and Europe.

Formed nearly four decades ago, FIREHOUSE’s classic lineup consisted of Snare, guitarist Bill Leverty, drummer Michael Foster and bassist Perry Richardson. Richardson left in 2000 and was replaced by Allen McKenzie in 2003. Founded in the mid-Eighties, FireHouse stormed the charts in 1990 with their debut self-titled album, which boasted a pair of singles that became hair metal anthems, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “Love of a Lifetime,” both co-written by Snare; the former single enjoyed a resurgence in recent years when it was featured in the John Cena-starring superhero show Peacemaker, while the latter power ballad has accumulated over 88 million views on YouTube.

Although the band’s second album — 1992’s Hold Your Fire — arrived amid the outbreak of grunge and alternative rock, FireHouse remained relevant while many of their brethren washed out, placing a pair of singles onto the Hot 100 with the LP’s “Reach for the Sky” and “When I Look Into Your Eyes,” which peaked at Number 8 to become their biggest hit charts-wise. For the band’s third album, aptly titled 3, they changed producers. Ron Nevison, who had served as producer for Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne,  Europe, Heart, and many other groups, produced this album. 3’s follow-up, Good Acoustics, was a collection of acoustic arrangements of several of their greatest hits, as well as four new songs. Good Acoustics, produced by the band’s guitarist Bill Leverty, went gold in six countries around the world including Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

While FireHouse did not release an album of new music following 2003’s Prime Time, the band remained active up through Snare’s surgery. He sang on all seven albums the group released, including its double platinum, self-titled debut album, which sold more than two million copies. In December 2004, FireHouse became the first major international rock band to play concert dates in northeast India. The band’s first Indian concert date was in Shillong, followed by two more dates in Dimapur, and Aizawl. In 2011 the band released their eighth studio album titled Full Circle, which featured re-recorded versions of some of their older tracks.

Snare has 3 include three children for a previous marriage and has been in an 8 year relationship with a woman named Katherine Little.