Music » Interviews

Chris Forsythe, 1973-2015

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The singer commands the mic at the Indy Music Awards festival. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The singer commands the mic at the Indy Music Awards festival.

My favorite memory of Chris Forsythe, the beloved local musician who passed away from a heart condition last Wednesday morning, was at the Black Sheep, where he could be found manning the soundboard at nearly every show.

Chris (known to his friends as Sizzle) was showing off a new tattoo he'd gotten on his arm that day, and told me that he'd had some of his father's ashes mixed into the ink.

It was such a poignant thing to do, yet he talked about it with the kind of good-natured exuberance that made people feel genuinely happy to be in his presence.

Feeling that way in his absence will be more challenging.

His bandmates in Malakai and Tree of Woe, and their fans, will miss his onstage intensity and talent. Musicians who play the Black Sheep will miss his supportive attitude and his ability to make them sound great.

The marquee outside the Black Sheep, where Chris Forsythe ran the soundboard for the last decade, expresses the sentiment of a whole community. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The marquee outside the Black Sheep, where Chris Forsythe ran the soundboard for the last decade, expresses the sentiment of a whole community.

A Chris Forsythe Memorial Fund has been set up to raise money for funeral and other family expenses. You can donate at gofundme.com/5f6e3qxw.

Meanwhile, thousands of Facebook testimonials have flooded Chris' Facebook page. Here are just a few.

Eva Seifert-Aragon, friend: Shortly after losing my little sister, Chris came and sat at the table with my middle sister and I at a Last Supper show two years ago. My sister was teary still and Chris asked why. I told him and he said nothing. Instead he sat with us and held our hands. Even though I didn't know Chris for very long, he still made an impression as a caring soul and touched my life with this kind gesture. RIP, Chris.

JJ Grueter, Triple Nickel owner: R.I.P. Chris Forsythe. I am totally heartbroken over his passing. I don't think I've ever seen him without a smile on his face. He was one of a kind who I will sorely miss. I have spent all afternoon reading people's stories about him and going through countless numbers of tissues. Although I didn't spend as much time with him as a lot of you reading this, I am proud and honored to have known him and consider him my friend.

Mike Nipp, musician: When I was 17, I took a demo tape down to [the now-defunct venue] Pure Energy and gave it to Chris. He called me and gave us a show. I had my VHS recording the show near the soundboard. In that recording, you can hear Chris telling a guy how great it was that young dudes were playing music and getting out there. I used to watch it all the time to hear him say all that great shit. I remember it gave me such a boost of confidence to keep it going. Thank you for all you are, Chris, you remain alive in so many hearts.

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