Anton Maiden, Dead

Anton Maiden represented the ultimate in geek DIY culture. Using MIDI files of Iron Maiden songs cribbed off the Internet and a microphone plugged into his PC, 19-year-old Anton Gustafsson created energetic and excitable versions of his favorite band from his home in Sweden. His unusual recordings became a cult hit in the United States, mostly with college radio DJs and fans of “outsider music.”

Anton is dead at the age of 23, after being reported missing for over a week. His homepage remains unchanged, though this article has more information. If you can confirm these reports, e-mail or IM me. His death is confirmed (thanks Tomas), and it appears to be suicide.

High-quality MP3s of the Anton album (Allmusic.com review) are available, thanks to Dan H. Warning: negative comments about Anton’s music will be deleted.

59 thoughts on “Anton Maiden, Dead

  1. Although Swedish media never specifically mentions it, it’s pretty easy to see that this was suicide. This is a perfect example of how Swedish media handle suicide deaths; they write that the person died and absolutely not a single word more than that about the circumstances, the family or anything else, out of respect for friends and family of the deceased.

    Sources who vaguely knew Anton indicates that Anton did probably _not_ kill himself due to reactions or attention from his Iron Maiden tributes, simply because there were, overall, no such negative attention. Plus, it was now several years ago.

    The same sources told me that Anton had been traveling for an extensive period of time prior to his return home, shortly followed by his death.

  2. Uhm, I might add that I can read the reports, they only say that he’s missing and that the police wants the public’s help in finding Anton.

    Later reports have confirmed that he’s dead. And not one single word more than that regarding how, where, why or anything else.

  3. I did the review of Anton’s album, and I can safely say this is one of the most geniune albums that a person could ever make. How much he worshiped Maiden was evident from the first listen of that album. I contacted him a few times after hearing the record, but with no reply. This is a very sad day for music and should be for Maiden fans as well.

  4. so anton maiden get a nice little post and sweet comments, but elliott smith gets just a mention in waxylinks? ok….

  5. Elliott Smith is a legend whose death was mourned the world over. News of his suicide hit the front page of Yahoo, CNN, MTV, and MSNBC. Elliott was very well represented in both the mainstream and alternative press, and on countless weblogs and online journals.

    As far as I can tell, I’m the only weblogger who has mentioned Anton’s death online. I tend to be more interested in the stories and people that get overlooked by everyone else, so there you go.

  6. I really enjoyed listening to Anton, but I never really could understand him. I hope that he is in a better place and that he can still sing his Midi Iron Maiden songs forever. Rest in Peace.

  7. Me and my friends here in Dallas give a shout out for Anton. We ran across him online around 1999 and have loved him ever since – and yes – we are big Iron Maiden fans… Imitation is the highest form of flattery, etc. It’s a sad day if in fact he is dead.

  8. It is safe to say that no one has inspired my personal music more than Anton Maiden. He paved the way for Midi metal. Anton showed me that my PC could be used as a tool to reveal to the world my inner angst through computer generated music. The human voice and the Midi are truly didactic. I corresponded with Anton about doing a duet, but he was too busy to lend his talent. I hope to do a tribute album for this great person, including a post-mortem duet which I think I can digitally concoct. Run To The Hills Anton! R.I.P.

  9. Anton will certainly be missed. Though his days as an Iron Maiden “cover artist” were over a few years ago every day he gains more fans.

    The Anton Maiden CD released by Nihilism Records is still available at http://coolbeans.com

    Free mp3 versions of the songs are available elsewhere on the net.

  10. Listening to Anton could bring me out of a funk, so it’s heartbreaking that he apparently got seriously stuck in one. Not fair at all.

  11. i played alll anton maiden cd as a tribute to him last friday night in my dj set as warmup for another band…people were either dancing or laughing or askin me “is this art?” or “what the f is this?” or just “this is great!!!”…i really agree with someones posting sorry i forget yr name on here who said its just so full of enthusiasm and fun and genuine happines!!!

    so sad about him…wtf happenned do you people reckon?? some story with a girl??? i wanna know!anyway, yep, Anton RIP and yep, keeep rockin!

  12. RIP ANTON.

    HALLOWED BE THY NAME

    You will always live in our playlists.

    As ANTON said “HELLRE ÄN BRA” I cant really translate it but everyone should live there life after it.

    Hope you are in a better place

  13. Reply to Jimmy:

    I can translate it…

    “Hellre än bra” means

    something like “rather than good”,

    as in “rather be singing than singing good”.

    In other words, that good ol’ DIY-mentality.

    BTW, does anyone know WHY he commited sucide?

    Amyway…

    R.I.P

    Vila i frid Anton

  14. not real familiar with anton but i am real feamiliar with the works of iron maiden.. anyone who slagged anton a big fuck you to you you assholes so what he was not great he was a fellow metalhead and you should have supported him assholes he was paying tribute to his favorite band and you slag him? fuck you!! up the irons

  15. Yes it really struck me when I heard about Anton’s death. I have been appreciating his songs for over 1 1/2 years so it’s sad there won’t be any new ones. RIP Anton. The Irons should be proud of you.

    Does anyone know why a guy like Anton could commit suicide?

    The Irons rule!

  16. A crazy day it was when I listened to Anton Maiden for the very first time. First I wanted to laugh but then I realized this guy is not joking at all. FULL respect and RIP, Anton.

    There shall be much more people in the world loving music like you did.

  17. I´ll never forget the first time I listened to Anton Maiden, some friends from finland showed me the wonderful world of Anton, haha. the music of iron maiden always meant a lot to me, even if i was into punkrock/hardcore most of my life. anton´s music is a great hommage to a great band!

    too bad i never had the chance to meet him or see him live.

    die with your boots on! anton r.i.p.!

  18. RIP Anton!! Here in Brazil almost everyone IRON

    MAIDEN fan loved you man… You’ll really be missed. Your songs were really fun, but we all know that u used to sing with your heart and love to Iron Maiden…

    Hallowed be thy Name… That’s all…

  19. RIP Anton!! Here in Brazil almost every IRON

    MAIDEN fan (and in brazil we have some millions of them) loved you man… You’ll really be missed. Your songs were really fun, but we all know that u used to sing with your heart and love to Iron Maiden…

    Hallowed be thy Name… That’s all…

  20. I love antons music so Vila i frid anton! hoppas du har de bättre där du är nu… (R.I.P)

  21. Anton, R.I.P. I was so sorry to hear this. How could I have missed this sad, sad news?

    Though I’m not a Maiden fan, I really enjoy what Anton did.

    Anton, vila i frid.

  22. RIP Vila i frid Anton! Hope i’ll meet you in heaven some day! but not now… heaven can wait 😉

    if someone has any anton maiden mp3 then please tell me!! [email protected]! i have some too..

  23. Soon after I met the woman I recently married, she asked me, “Have you heard ‘Anton Maiden’? No? You *have* to hear this…”

    Anton, I was never a huge fan of Iron Maiden, but your tributes made me think about my favorite bands in a new light.

    Some day I will give respect to my favorite bands, I just hope I can do it with the honesty and sincerity you gave to Maiden.

    hoping you have finally found peace,

    –jet

  24. RIP. I just today discovered his work by looking at the appearance on the Swedish TV show.

    Searched for his website just to find out that the fine young man is dead.

  25. I am a huge Maiden fan, and have battled depression and anxiety for many years. When I hear about someone committing suicide, I worry about giving in to my suicidal thoughts and wonder what my breaking-point would be. It doesn’t matter why they did it, what matters is why they felt like they had to. Fact is, nobody should feel that way.

    “I was a young man, full of hopes and dreams

    But now it seems that all is lost and nothing gained”

  26. I was just thinking about the great man, so did a search for him and came upon this page. Man it’s sad that he did himself in. Poor guy. 🙁

  27. WTF… here I am looking up some of my favorite old Metal bands (ie Iron Maiden) and come across a site that mentions Anton Maiden. Me hehe rock on! “how is this guy doing” I think to myself. His stuff was a bit out of key but he could still jam them out better than me. Then I see the final sentence. Anton Maiden commited suicide in 2003.

    Damn dude you made me smile and laugh. I still have a couple of your tracks in my music folder. Today you bummed me out.

    Hope your doing better now. So has anyone found out why he did it? I know it doesn’t really matter if strangers who never met him find out… but in some way he touched most of us so… just curious.

  28. My God! I have just downloaded anton’s song by acident… It was just like a return to the past, where the internet was simple, but do the job of make shorter the distance between cultures… I still can’t belive that I have forggoten about anton maiden…….. Mist you, Man

  29. Used to be a member of the Maiden BBs around 2000..I remember the antiAnton slaggings, but I think Anton was freakin hillarious… he never should have been ripped on like that. He was just an enthusiastic kid … rip Anton

Comments are closed.