Chris Hutka, the original clean vocalist for New York-based post-hardcore band The Bunny The Bear, has died. The band’s founder and unclean vocalist, Matthew Tybor, known as “The Bunny,” confirmed Hutka’s passing in a July 10 social media post. At this time, further details, including Hutka’s date and cause of death, have not been revealed.
In the social media post, shared to both Instagram and Facebook, Tybor wrote, “as some may have heard, our original singer Chris Hutka has passed away.” The musician included several images of Hutka, dubbed “The Bear” in the band, including a photo of Hutka with a microphone, one of him singing, and two of him hanging out with his bandmates. Tybor went on to reflect on his years-long friendship with his bandmate, sharing that he knew Hutka ever since he was 15, “and we spent the better part of a decade causing trouble together, making music, having ins…and having outs. All while creating thousands of memories I will never forget.”
“Chris had a massive heart, and an undeniable talent. The voice of an angel. Nothing will ever change the love I have for him, and I know many of you feel the same,” Tybor continued. “Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. Rest In Peace man.”
Hutka was an original member of The Bunny The Bear contributed to all of the band’s albums – including Stories, The Stomach for It, and If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say – until 2014’s Food Chain, according to LoudWire. During his tenure with the band, however, he frequently left the group for brief periods, including in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, he left the band for good. In his absence, subsequent The Bunny The Bear singers have taken on numbered identifiers, with the band’s current clean vocalist being Jake “The Bear 5.0” Reeves.
News of Hutka’s passing shocked fans, many of whom flocked to social media to pay tribute to the late musician. Reacting to his passing, one fan said they are “absolutely crushed. I’ve been a huge fan of the bunny the bear for so long and knowing that Chris is no longer with us is heartbreaking.” That fan remembered Hutka as “such a talented person with a unique voice.” Another fan said Hutka’s “contribution to The Bunny The Bear can’t go unnoticed. His voice was unique and one of a kind. He will be missed dearly. Rest In Peace Chris.”