Blythe: Fan’s death reminds me how I lost my baby daughter
Moral code: Randy Blythe
Randy Blythe says his recent manslaughter charge has reminded him of how his baby daughter died – and that’s why he has nothing but sympathy for the family of the fan who lost his life in 2010.
The Lamb of God singer spent five weeks in jail, all but ignored by US authorities, in connection with the death of Daniel Nosek, who suffered a brain haemorrhage weeks after allegedly striking his head while Blythe’s band performed in Prague.
He’s already vowed he’ll return to the Czech Republic to stand trial after he was freed following weeks of legal wrangles.
But now he reveals the experience has left him thinking about Sarah Fisher Blythe, his daughter, who passed away soon after her birth in 2000.
The vocalist tells LA Weekly: “My first wife and I had a daughter who had a heart defect. We knew that when the baby was in utero, and the doctors told us, ‘It’s going to be no big deal – when she’s out, we’ll operate on her.’
“At about eight months or so the baby went into distress in utero. There was a cesarean section, she came out, she was alive.
“But due to the fact she was premature, she was too small for them to go ahead and operate on. She was alive for a while, then they were like, ‘This isn’t working out.’
“So I said, ‘Let her go.’”
That’s why Blythe wants to make sure Nosek’s family get all the answers they need over his death, even though he’s sure it wasn’t his fault.
“It’s something I really can’t describe in words,” he explains. “Nobody could understand unless they had to live through this. I know that family is going through the worst possible hell, and they have questions.
“I feel ethically and morally obliged to do my best to provide them with answers, to help them go down this road where their pain can lessen a little bit.”
And although he admits the prospect of spending up to ten years in a foreign prison is “frightening” he adds: “That has nothing to do with the fact that I need to do the right thing. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to face myself.”
The song Letter to the Unborn on Lamb of God’s 2000 album New American Gospel is about Blythe’s feelings about the experience. He refused to have the lyrics printed in the sleeve notes because he wanted people to hear the words rather than read them.
He believes his strong moral conviction comes from his father, a church minister – and he recalls one experience that cemented his sense of right and wrong.
“When I was in third grade he was having these guys from a boys’ club come to the church in this little town in North Carolina,” he says. “Everything was good – everybody was like, ‘This is great and Christian that you’re bringing these poor underprivileged boys here.’
“Until one day, they brought some of their black friends with them. I can’t believe this went on in my lifetime, but half the church was stuck in that old, racist thinking. It caused a huge divide and my father resigned.
“So when I was young, I was kind of like, ‘Okay, things aren’t exactly as they seem,’ and it’s just been weird since then.”