KIX Guitarist BRIAN FORSYTHE: I Suffered A 'Ministroke As A Result Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning'

September 29, 2023

In a new interview with Waste Some Time With Jason Green, KIX guitarist Brian Forsythe opened up about a recent health scare which nearly derailed his ability to take part in some of the band's last-ever performances. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "At the end of May, I had — I guess it was considered a ministroke as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. And that was weird, because my girlfriend was out of town at the time for a few days. And I woke up one morning and I just thought I couldn't shake — I thought I was just groggy, and I was disoriented and a little dizzy and I just thought I couldn't wake up. And I went about my day. And I even did a podcast that night and I could barely get a sentence out. So there was definitely something wrong, but I didn't suspect a stroke. And the guy that I did the podcast with, he goes — he texted me later and he said, 'You didn't sound right.' He said, 'Something's up with you.' He goes, 'You might wanna check into carbon monoxide.' And all that stuff didn't even dawn on me."

He continued: "I had taken my detector down — my carbon monoxide detector — down in the garage because it kept beeping. That's what it's supposed to do. But I had gotten a new water heater, and then it started beeping. So I thought, 'Well, it's a new water heater. I don't know what's wrong with this thing.' So I took it off the wall and put it in a drawer. I took the batteries out of it. And as soon as the guy told me that I might wanna check into carbon monoxide, I went downstairs and put the batteries back in and put it back up. And in the meantime, another day passed. And I was just running around, I was going to the post office, all this stuff. And my girlfriend came back, and she insisted that I go to the emergency room, 'cause definitely something was wrong with me. First, I went to the urgent care and they didn't do anything; they thought I had vertigo or something, and they gave me [something] for that. So the day, it was a Friday. I was supposed to fly back for a KIX show, and I was all packed and I got my guitar out — it was probably two hours before I had to leave for the airport — to go over the songs. 'Cause I had gone over the songs the night before, and I noticed I just was struggling. And I thought, 'Well, maybe today it'll be better.' And I pulled the guitar out, and there was no way that I could get through — I couldn't play the songs. So I ended up calling Bob [Paré, KIX's other guitarist], Ronnie's [Younkins] replacement, and I said, 'There's something going on with me, and I can't play my guitar.' And so he had to fill in for me. And I canceled on that show. And I went to the emergency room and that's when they checked me in. And at that point, I didn't know… I was thinking carbon monoxide. I had had a tick bite, like, a month before; I thought maybe it was something to do with tick bite. I didn't even suspect a stroke. And they did an MRI on me and found out there was this little spot that that's what had happened. So from there, I've been slowly getting better, working on playing. And I still haven't come back 100%."

KIX played its final concert on September 17 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. The show, which was announced four months ago, featured a special setlist along with appearances from KIX's former guitarists Ronnie Younkins and Brad Divens.

Last month, KIX vocalist Steve Whiteman told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about the band's announcement that it would retire after more than 45 years: "I'm sick of all the travel and all the B.S. and the only thing I really enjoy is getting on stage. And to be honest, I'm not as good as I used to be, and I know that, and I don't wanna go out sucking."

Whiteman also admitted that he is no longer able to deliver KIX's material the way that he was able to earlier in the band's career. "There are nights, out of the past couple of years, where I've come off stage just humiliated because I can't sing 'Don't Close Your Eyes' like I used to, or I can't sing 'Cold Blood', and these are the songs that the fans are out there waiting for," he said. "And that's when I started to think I don't wanna do this if I can't do it well anymore."

On November 18, 2022, KIX drummer Jimmy Chalfant suffered a cardiac arrest during the band's concert at the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia. Chalfant was unconscious and carried offstage before performing the last song of the show.

KIX was founded in 1977 and released its first, self-titled album on Atlantic Records more than 40 years ago. Their breakthrough came with 1988's "Blow My Fuse", which sold nearly a million copies, thanks to "Don't Close Your Eyes". The band continued to ride the hard-rock wave until 1995, when KIX took a hiatus. Nearly 10 years later, KIX reunited and started touring regionally. A 2008 performance at the Rocklahoma festival led to more gigs and the release of a live DVD/CD called "Live In Baltimore" in 2012. In 2014, KIX released its seventh full-length album, "Rock Your Face Off", the band's first studio effort since 1995's "Show Business". The album debuted at No. 1 on Amazon's Hard Rock and Metal chart, in the Top 50 on the Billboard 200 chart, No. 5 on the Independent Albums chart, No. 11 on the Top Internet chart, No. 17 on the Top Rock Albums chart, No. 27 on the Indie/Small Chain Core Stores chart and No. 33 on the Physical chart.

KIX released "Can't Stop The Show: The Return Of KIX" in October 2016, a two-disc DVD/CD set that entered the Billboard Top Music Video Sales chart at No. 3 and rose to the No. 1 position, the band's highest-charting debut and first No. 1 ever in their 35-year history. The 71-minute film offered an in-depth look into KIX's decision to record their first new album, in almost 20 years.

In 2018, KIX celebrated the 30th anniversary of their biggest album, "Blow My Fuse", with "Blow My Fuse Re-Blown", a two-disc set with a remixed/remastered version of the album, along with the original demo recordings for all 10 songs. The reunion with longtime collaborator Beau Hill for this remix sparked the initiative to revisit "Midnite Dynamite" and take a similar approach to updating KIX's legacy.

On the 35th anniversary of the release of "Midnite Dynamite", KIX released "Midnite Dynamite Re-Lit" in November 2020. For "Midnite Dynamite Re-Lit", KIX partnered with Hill for a blistering update of the fan-favorite album.

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