The eldest of singer Ben Kweller’s two sons was killed on Monday evening, his parents announced in separate posts on social media. The boy, also a musician, was 16.
“I can’t possibly type this, but I’m…. Our son, Dorian Zev Kweller, was murdered last night. He was only 16 and he was a true legend. Kind, gentle soul, a friend to all. If you knew him, you know. We will never get over him as long as we are here on earth. Please keep his spirit alive with your memories and the music he made,” the “Wasted & Ready” singer-songwriter wrote on Tuesday Instagram.
The death was confirmed on Tuesday by a publicist for the 41-year-old musician from Austin, who has toured with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ben Folds and Death Cab for Cutie. Dorian Kweller recorded music under the name Zev and has a handful of songs available on Spotify.
“Oh my god Ben Lizzy I can’t believe this here for you any way you must love you so much I’m so sorry,” musician Ben Lee wrote in commentary. Kweller and Lee toured Australia years ago with Ben Folds and called themselves ‘The Bens’.
‘Omg Ben no words. Heart breaks. Can’t even comprehend this. My deepest condolences to you and your family,” musician Pete Yorn wrote.
‘I’m so sorry. This is incredibly heartbreaking. Sending you all the love and prayers,” model Lily Aldridge said in the comments.
“Dorian Zev wrote and recorded songs every day,” his father wrote. “A true poet from the day he began to speak. Only a few of his recordings were released, but he was on his way and excited about his journey. He had so many plans!!!”
Liz Kweller, Ben’s wife and Dorian’s mother, shared more details in a social media post, saying her son was driving home when he swerved to avoid a truck on his lane. The teen was killed on impact, she said, when a tree branch came through the windshield.
“I am in shock and don’t know what to do or say. These words don’t sound real, but we lost Dorian in the blink of an eye last night,” she wrote, later adding, “I’m losing my mind and don’t know when I’ll ever be okay again. Please send our family so much positive energy. We live in a nightmare and are now completely lost. I just want my son back.”
The whole family almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a cabin in New Mexico a decade ago.
After that, the artist told Nashville Noise in 2019, “I didn’t want to play music anymore. I didn’t want to leave my family’s side and for the first time in my life I was afraid. When you almost die, everything changes and all unimportant things disappear. Luckily I kept writing songs and they got me through some really dark places.
Ben Kweller said on Tuesday that Dorian Zev’s first appearance would be at SXSW in two weeks.
“My last text with him was about the merch he wanted to make,” the singer wrote. “My son was at the start with so much life ahead of him… I have no idea why things like this happen. We are in shock and don’t know what the future will bring. Lizzy, (son) Judah and I have no idea how to deal with this disaster.”