Malignancy, Fit For a King and The Browing ALL Separately Robbed in the Same Weekend
Few things could happen to a band worse than getting their gear robbed, which unfortunately happens way too often in our scene (to link but a few recent incidents). Now you can add three more well-known metal bands to the list of those who’ve been vandalized — Malignancy, Fit For a King and The Browning — all of whom were robbed within two days of each other.
To start: Malignancy had just kicked off their tour in Zandaam, Netherlands on Friday night, February 17th, when the band’s bus (which they are sharing with four other bands), was broken into and robbed. Two unspecified people on the bus lost personal belongings such as laptops and a GoPro, but Malignancy drummer Mike Heller seems to have been hit the worst: he lost a brand new iPad, a brand new Kindle, two backup hard drives, all of his medication, his iPod, contact lenses, two sets of headphones and his MacBook Pro with years’ worth of Pro Tools audio files and video files on it. FUCK. Says Mike, who indicated police informed him there was little chance of recovering anything:
“I have my entire life on that laptop. It is my recording studio… All of the albums I have recorded in the last five years, all of the demos I made, all of the drum videos that I haven’t released yet, and all of the session work I was in the process of sending out to clients. Stuff that I could never ever possibly replace.”
Heller launched a GoFundMe campaign to help recoup the costs of what he lost, and within just one day 156 people have helped him reach his goal of $5,000. The metal community comes together once again! While no amount of money could help him replace all of his invaluable audio and video work, at least having an infusion of cash will help him recover some of the physical goods he lost, making this whole ordeal much easier to get through. The Malignancy tour will go on; dates here.
Meanwhile The Browning were robbed in Milan, Italy the day before Heller’s incident in the Netherlands. All of their musical equipment, laptops, luggage and clothing were swiped. Similar to Heller’s situation, the band lost years and years of musical files, some of which were integral to running their live show and will now have to be completely rebuilt from scratch (once they’re able to replace their computers), and as such the remaining dates of the tour (which was scheduled to run into March) have been entirely canceled. The Browning’s story has a particularly bizarre twist involving known perpetrators caught on security camera, police confronting known associates of the robbers (allegedly a nearby “gypsy camp”), and coming back empty-handed anyway. You can read more of that story at the GoFundMe campaign the band has set up, which has currently eclipsed its $5,000 goal and is quickly approaching $9,000 (through 310 backers).
Fit For a King round out this weekend’s trifecta of robberies with a trailer break-in that occurred right in front of one of the members’ houses two nights before they were set to leave for tour with After the Burial, Emmure and others. All the band’s guitars and basses were stolen, as was one amplifier, totaling an estimated $10,000. The band vows to forge ahead with the tour (dates here) using gear scraped together from friends at home in the day before the tour kicks off. Three of the stolen guitars are one-of-a-kind custom models, so the band is hopeful they can be tracked down and recovered. They haven’t launched a fundraiser campaign, but they ask that anyone interested in helping out buy merch.
Fuck, guys. Needless to say, this sucks. If anyone folks in bands are reading this: NEVER LEAVE YOUR GEAR OR IMPORTANT PERSONAL BELONGINGS UNATTENDED IN YOUR VAN, BUS OR TRAILER! We won’t ever stop all of those pieces of shit who rob bands, but by doing due diligence we can limit the damage.