Published Aug 04, 2020Tony Costanza — an American drummer known best for manning the kit for Machine Head, Crisis, Crowbar and more — has died. Costanza's passing was confirmed by former Crisis bandmate Afzaal Nasiruddeen on social media today. He was 52.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I have to accept and inform everyone concerned that I lost my brother, band mate, home boy and family today," Nasiruddeen wrote on Facebook [via Blabbermouth]. "Tony Costanza was one of a kind. A man with a huge heart, love and loyalty for the ones close to him. I cannot relate to this reality of loss yet. I know he had a lot of admirers, and I was one of his biggest. He would have literally taken a bullet for me. Thats the kind of gangster brother he was."
Costanza joined Machine Head not long after the group's formation in 1991, with issues arising from initial drummer Chris Kontos's prior commitments to two other bands.
"Tony was from Vegas and he had heard of us and was like, 'Dude, I'll come out right now,'" co-founder and ex-bassist Adam Duce told Loudwire in 2015, recalling how Costanza had been recruited from fronting Las Vegas outfit Papsmear to begin working with Machine Head on material for what would become their 1994 debut Burn My Eyes.
"We wrote eight songs with him. But then he left because he lacked experience and there were also some personal problems between him and some of the other guys. At the same time, Chris started to gain interest again, and he was the one we wanted in the first place. Tony quit because he felt like he was going to be fired. So, then Chris came back and worked on the record with us."
Costanza would go on to play drums for sludge metal outfit Crowbar from 2001 through 2004, appearing on 2001's Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form. The early oughts also saw him man the drums for the self-titled debut album from Debris Inc., a Chicago outfit formed by ex-Trouble bassist Ron Holzner and St. Vitus guitarist Dave Chandler.