As a member of The Faint, Jacob Thiele helped put Omaha’s music on the map.
Thiele, who left the band in 2016, died Thursday, according to social media posts from friends and bandmates. He was 40.
“We are devastated to lose our dear friend Jacob Thiele,” The Faint announced on social media. "He was kind, adventurous, carefree and always fun to be around. He was a true synthesizer pioneer, and The Faint would not have sounded the same without him. We were incredibly lucky to have had the time we did with him. Love you forever Jacob.”
“We’re so incredibly sad to say goodbye to our friend Jacob Thiele,” Saddle Creek Records said. “A brilliant player and synth pioneer, his contributions to The Faint are deep and undeniable. His influence on Omaha and our greater music community will forever be felt. All of our love to those who loved him.”
“So many good times with Jacob. Overwhelming sadness now,” the band’s Todd Fink wrote on Instagram.
Thiele was found unresponsive by a friend at an Omaha residence, according to an Omaha police report. The report lists the cause of death as unknown.
Tributes poured in Thursday night on social media as fans, friends and fellow musicians learned about his death.
“Very sad to hear of the passing of Jacob Thiele,” wrote Dereck Higgins. “What he helped create with The Faint is remarkable. A sweet man.”
“A light went out in Omaha today,” said Scott Severin.
Thiele joined The Faint in 1998 after it released its debut album. Playing synthesizers, Thiele was a key part of the band’s new wave-meets-electronica sound and the success of its albums “Blank-Wave Arcade,” “Danse Macabre” and “Wet From Birth,” all of which were released on Omaha indie label Saddle Creek Records.
Alongside artists such as Bright Eyes and Cursive, The Faint helped establish Saddle Creek and Omaha as a national presence.
Thiele remained with the band through its 2014 album, “Doom Abuse.” After a hiatus, The Faint reformed in 2016 with Graham Ulciny replacing Thiele on keyboards.