HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s quiet in the basement-turned-practice room for Holland-based metal band Don the Pariah.
“Yeah, there’s nothing here. A couple of empty beer bottles from whenever,” band member Michael Garcia said.
When he and his brothers formed the band a few years back, most of their gigs were local. Recently, they’ve expanded to shows in the Detroit area. They were playing one of those shows last weekend at a suburban Detroit bar. When they wrapped up, they packed up Garcia’s SUV and the trailer with all of their gear and went back to the hotel.
On Sunday morning, it was gone: the SUV and trailer, guitars, drums, amps, mics and cords.
“Everything. Everything we had. Plus all of our merch. We had T-shirts, sweaters, CDs,” he listed. “I went to the front desk. I said, ‘Hey, did you tow my vehicle?’ They said if there was any tows in their parking lot, we would have known about it.”
The SUV was parked out of range of the hotel’s surveillance camera, but the camera did pick up a vehicle entering the parking lot and the same vehicle following the SUV and trailer out minutes later.
The band didn’t have insurance on the equipment. Garcia says they lost about $15,000 in gear, not including the truck and trailer.
The band has started a GoFundMe me page to try to recoup its losses.
The Garcia brothers, along with a friend who’s the lead singer, spent their teenage years playing guitars. About two years ago, they decided to make a go of it professionally. They kept their day jobs and played weekend nights.
“It’s fun. It’s really fun, actually,” Garcia said.
The music is a family thing. Unfortunately, so were the instruments. One of the guitars belonged to a late uncle who played. Their dad also contributed.
“That drum set that actually got stolen, that was his drums. He was in a Tejano band,” Garcia said.
Police in the Detroit area are looking for the truck trailer and gear. While the band doesn’t hold out a lot of hope, they’re not going to let the music die.
“It’s fun to play,” Garcia said. “It’s fun to see the crowd’s reaction, knowing that they’re listening to stuff we created.”