Bones Hillman, bassist for Midnight Oil, dies aged 62

Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman has died aged 62 after years of battling cancer, with the band paying tribute to“our brilliant musical comrade.”

The Midnight Oil rocker, Bones Hillman, remembered as “the bassist with the beautiful voice,” died at his Milwaukee home in the early hours of Sunday (November 8) morning.

The death was confirmed via the band’s social media accounts yesterday and tributes have been pouring in from devastated fans online.

In a statement posted on Twitter, his bandmates said: “We’re grieving the loss of our brother. He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade.”

Midnight Oil went onto say that, “Bones joined Midnight Oil way back in 1987 after stints in various Kiwi bands, most notably, The Swingers.”

Bones Hillman has sung on every Midnight Oil record since the band’s 1990 release of Blue Sky Mining, playing thousands of the Oil’s live shows.

“We will deeply miss our dear friend and companion and we send our sincerest sympathies to Denise, who has been a tower of strength for him. Haere rā Bonesy from Jim, Martin, Peter & Rob,” they continued.

Since the announcement, fans have been posting their tributes on Twitter.

Beyond his bass career with Midnight Oil, Bones worked as a session artist and collaborated with numerous other musicians, such as NZ singer-songwriter Dave Dobbyn. Bones can be heard on his 2005 album Available light.

In August this year, Midnight Oil returned after an 18-year hiatus with Gadigal Land. The Makarrata Project, the album it featured on, arrived late October, featuring collaborations with the likes of Indigenous Australian voices Alice SkyeDan SultanTasman Keith, Jessica Mauboy, Kev Carmody, and more.

Stream The Makarrata Project here.