By Stephen CarlickChris Levoir, singer and guitarist for Toronto indie-rock outfit the Mark Inside and sound man for some of the city's most respected venues, passed away this weekend of causes unknown.
An official announcement came via the band's Twitter this morning (June 3), which read: "RIP Chris Levoir. 1981-2013. Way too soon. I had a laugh making this, as did he..." A video, which we've embedded at the bottom of the page, followed.
"We tried hard to personally give the news to as many people as possible," said another tweet, "rather than finding out on Facebook. So sorry to those we missed."
Levoir's passing came just before the Mark Inside had planned to unveil new album Dark Hearts Can Radiate White Light at a release party on July 4 at Toronto's BLK BOX. According to sources close to him, Levoir was in the midst of working out details on how to best promote the album, which he was extremely excited about.
Levoir's band, with whom he released both 2004's Static/Crash and 2011's Nothing to Admit, and his work behind the soundboard for Wrongbar and the Great Hall, made him a staple in the Canadian music scene. As evidenced by the outpouring of gratitude, condolences, and happy memories on Levoir's Facebook page, he will be greatly missed.
UPDATE: Nav Sangha, owner of Wrongbar and the Great Hall, gave a touching statement today about Levoir's work and personality. Read it in its (unedited) entirety below.
Chris Levoir worked with me at Wrongbar and more recently at The Great Hall. I clearly remember the first show we worked together four years ago. I can't remember who it was, but there was this really high maintenance band on the stage sound checking. They were the kind of band that would make your average sound engineer pull out his hair and run screaming from the room. Chris Levoir however, was not your average sound engineer. I watched as he listened patiently and worked his charm to disarm the four egos on stage. At the end of the night, I immediately asked him to come work with us. Chris was not the most technologically or gear savvy person I've ever worked with. For the first while we worked together, he actually did not even have a cell phone or internet connection which meant I would often find myself literally calling his girlfriends, band members and other venues trying to track him down to schedule him at the club. When I think back, as ridiculous and frustrating as this sometimes was, there was something special about Chris that compelled me to go that extra mile to work with him. I knew that he quite simply, truly and absolutely loved music. He loved music in that objective manner that all great engineers and producers do. He did not judge. He simply delivered. It would never take long for a band or artist that walked into our club to realize that they were in the hands of someone who was actually going to take the time to listen to them and make them sound great. There have been countless occasions upon which promoters and artists have either specially requested Chris, or taken the time to sing his praises to me after a successful show. He always made a great impression. Chris was also a great artist. So when you put a group of demanding fellow artists on the stage in front of him, it was never a challenge for him to understand them, to see the world through their eyes for a moment, and to take care of them. This is a real loss to our community. I know myself and all of us at The Great Hall and Wrongbar will miss him dearly. Rest in Peace Chris.