A musician who hailed from the Northwest — and called Olympia home for nearly a decade — was among 36 people who died in a fire Dec. 2 at an underground music venue in Oakland, California.
Joseph Matlock, 36, of Oakland, was on a list of victims released Thursday by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau. He was better known as Joey Casio and also performed under the name Obsidian Blade.
Earlier in the week, authorities confirmed that another man with local ties, Edmond Lapine, 34, also died in the blaze. Lapine was a 2008 graduate of The Evergreen State College and a former intern at K Records in Olympia.
“I resigned myself to knowing that he died doing what he loved: listening to music,” his father, Bob Lapine of Ogden, Utah, told The San Francisco Chronicle.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
He described his son as a gentle soul.
“Edmond was the type of person — when you met him, he was genuine, he was honest, and he just loved people,” Bob Lapine told the Deseret News newspaper in Salt Lake City. “He was very, very accommodating.”
Casio recorded several singles with K Records. He grew up in Vancouver, moved to Olympia in the late 1990s or around 2000, said Calvin Johnson, founder and owner of the label. Casio moved from Olympia to Portland about 2011, according to Johnson.
Casio and Lapine were good friends, Johnson said.
Casio returned to Olympia for a while, but then headed to Oakland. Johnson described Casio as “a real institution for Olympia” who once lived in a well-known punk house known as The Red House.
“He’s such a sweet, mild-mannered person,” Johnson told The Olympian this week. “When he gets on stage, this other thing comes out, and it’s just wild and fun.”
John Matlock, Casio’s father, attended a gathering in Oakland at which he quoted a few lines from one of his son’s songs that said “Share the cup, spare the sword,” and urged people to put others first.
Matlock told the crowd he and his wife were hurting, and noted that they were one part of their son’s family and the music community was another part of it.
“We loved Joey,” he said, “and we love all of you.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the source of the fire, which is the country’s most lethal building fire in more than a decade.
“ATF is looking at every possible source of ignition,” Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder said Thursday in a news release from the city of Oakland. “There is no timeline for the conclusion of the investigation. ATF experts will be on scene for possibly several more days examining physical evidence. The analysis of data and interviews may take several weeks.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report