Upon reading the news of his death, I hoped that there was some sort of error. The news was unbelievable. Tony Sly was so young and the band performed at Yucca Tap Room less than a year ago.
From what I've read online, there wasn't anything indicating that he was ill, though some information suggests that his death may have had something to do with his herniated disc. Our sister paper, O.C. Weekly, spoke to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office and was informed that it appears to be a natural death.
NUFAN's bassist, Matt Riddle posted a statement on the band's Facebook page:
this is matt from no use for a name.
i've learned over the years there's really no right way to talk about this stuff. i was kind of hoping it wouldn't get out so fast for his family's sake but it's a little late for that now. i see that this news has gotten around pretty fast. so i wanted to tell you all personally that this morning i found out that yesterday tony passed away. i'm not sure of all the details yet, and i don't think that's really important. what's important is i lost a great friend and you lost a great songwriter. i've been playing with him for 15 years? 16? i haven't processed it yet. i've been on the phone all day with friends and family. i'm not looking forward to it sinking in. i'm worried sick for his wife and kids. i knew tony very well and he would definitely want to thank you for all the love and support for both no use and his solo career. if this doesn't sound like a professional statement, it's because it's not. it's just me venting and i wanted to let you guys know personally.
My favorite No Use for a Name memory was the first time I saw the band in 2002 at Warped Tour. Hard Rock Bottom was recently released and I had it in heavy rotation along with Leche Con Carne, More Betterness, Making Friends, and so on. I was so excited to finally see NUFAN; I remember screaming along to most of the set and jumping into the pit during some of my favorite songs.
After their set, the band had a meet and greet, where I nervously asked members to sign a poster and take a picture with me. I gushed about how much I loved No Use and everyone seemed flattered. The band took the time to talk to me and thank me, and didn't rush me away. I was so happy to meet my favorite band (at the time) and learn that they were all down to earth.
The following year, I saw the band at Celebrity Theatre. I was reluctant to buy a pricy ticket to see No Use play an opening slot, but hey, it was two days after my birthday and they were my favorite band, so I was stoked. I'm pretty sure my enthusiasm freaked out some bored and unsuspecting fans of The Starting Line, but I didn't care. I made the most out of the band's 30-minute set.