Transcending Into the Nether World: Remembering Dr. Zero Delorean
A new apparition will be filling the halls of Positively Fourth Street, Downtown Music, Vagrant Motorcycles and the spot that once was home to Burt’s Tiki Lounge. On March 29, 2022, Salt Lake City’s very own Dr. Zero Delorean of DieMonsterDie transcended into the Nether realm.
To understand Zero, you must understand the man behind the mask. Hugh G. Vann grew up in Layton, Utah, and moved to Salt Lake City sometime after high school. It was here that Vann became a founder of many local music projects in the Salt Lake City underground, among them DieMonsterDie. It was this project that, with the help of his gory bandmates and their scary antics, became internationally known in the horror punk and horror rock genres.
“The smartest guy in the room.” – Brian Crowder
Vann had a wide palate that covered many genres, with some of his musical influences including Three Dog Night, Kiss, The Misfits, G.G. Allin, Alice Cooper, Prince and Adam Ant, as well as George Michael, Mercyful Fate and Iron Maiden. His musical taste was so vast that he could identify and appreciate music of any genre. Put simply, he was a music fan.
Vann was also a gamer and played on many platforms. His love of horror showed in his video game choices. He always had an attraction for story-based games such as Parasite Eve and Resident Evil. He liked the hack and slash, but it had to be done with mind-stimulating gameplay and an interesting plot. He also loved to play D&D and would take many of his friends on journeys that he would create. It’s no surprise that many of the songs he wrote tell the stories about the characters he created or the demise and torment of the classic movie monsters like the Werewolf, The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula and the Undead. He was an avid collector of figurines and had many from franchises like Spawn, Kiss, Transformers and more. He cherished obscure and dark things.
When it came to friends, he had many; he was always true and a friend for life. Often many friends would gather at Downtown Music to listen to the DieMonsterDie play. Throughout the years, that band went through many stages. More than that, you could have listened to Surjj, In Effect, Casa Diablo or any other side project the guys were working on. It was a fun place; a safe place. It was inclusive and you knew you were among friends.
It was no different for the DieMonsterDie fans. Whether he was in character or just being Hugh, Vann was caring and tried to make a difference in the world. He was also the first person to put someone in their place if they were condescending or being judgmental. Those unfortunate souls usually left the interaction whimpering and eating their words. He also tended to speak his mind unfiltered.
“He was not just some cool dude, he was a force, a character and a hero.” – Shane Diablo
Vann was a creative force that broke boundaries. The messages are coming in from all around the globe. He touched many lives and although he may be gone from us now, he will always be a music legend in the underground communities. DieMonsterDie will not be the same without Zero, and he can never be replaced, but we hope the band will go on and continue his legacy. As Zero Delorean would say, “The World Needs More Monsters.”