Enlarge There's been some backlash over the band "befriending" their robbers.

The Word Alive Vocalist Defends Band’s Recent Handling of On-Tour Theft

  • Axl Rosenberg

One of the biggest stories to come out of the metal world this week is that of The Word Alive recently recovering some stolen goods on tour using the Apple AirTag, whiskey, weed, twenty bucks in bribe money, and, presumably, some good ol’ fashioned charm.

For those who don’t know, the short version is: the band’s shit got stolen, they tracked it down with the AirTag(s), made nice with the thieves, got their shit back, and went on their merry way. It’s a great story because i) who ever heard of such a thing before??? and ii) it has a happy ending.

Despite this, the band has faced some backlash online as a result of the incident. Their critics argue that they should have involved the authorities rather than handle the situation themselves, and that by “befriending” the thieves and giving them money, however small an amount, as a “peace offering,” they’re only encouraging the crooks to rob more shit.

The first argument makes sense to me, if for no other reason than to ensure that no one gets hurt; the second argument kinda makes sense to me but mostly strikes me as being bullshit. For one thing, I’d imagine the outcome was less profitable for the robbers than getting away with the stolen goods would have been. For another thing, I don’t buy that they need encouragement to do what they do. And unless they’re total morons, they must realize that The Word Alive’s reaction was the best possible outcome. A lot of bands would have rolled in much hotter, y’know?

Now the band’s vocalist, Tyler “Telle” Smith, has responded to these criticisms, asserting a) they actually did call the cops and got no help there (easy enough to believe), and b) what I just said about the robbers not needing encouragement.

Says Smith in a series of tweets:

“To anybody confused:

“Yes we called cops, no they didn’t care nor did they come.

“We had to leave out of state to continue tour.

“We knew approaching them non-aggressively was smarter, we tried to make the most of a bad situation in hopes of getting our belongings and staying safe.

“They aren’t our friends, they thought we were by the end and wanted a photo. Knew this would be one of the most ridiculous stories ever but shit.

“Glad we handled our own shit and everyone got out safely, that’s all I care about.”

Smith later elaborated on the whole issue of calling the cops:

“[The police] Literally didn’t give a shit and never even sent a patrol car even though we told them the exact address and that we were headed there.”

Then Smith got into the whole thing about this resolution giving the thieves ideas for future crimes:

“I’m pretty sure thieves are always thinking of robbing if given the chance but yes certainly us choosing peaceful resolution in the face of a bad situation is better than escalating it.

“Fighting fire with fire rarely solves anything.”

That all seems fair to me!

The Word Alive’s tour with Starset continues tonight. Remaining dates:

12/01 McKees Rock, PA – Roxian [tickets]
12/03 Buffalo, NY – Rapids Theater [tickets]
12/04 New York, NY – Irving Plaza [tickets]
12/05 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring [tickets]
12/07 Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte [tickets]
12/08 Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl [tickets]
12/10 St Louis, MO – Delmar Hall [tickets]
12/11 Madison, WI – The Sylvee [tickets]
12/12 Minneapolis, MN – The Fillmore Minneapolis [tickets]
12/14 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s [tickets]
12/15 Chicago, IL – House of Blues [tickets]
12/17 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre [tickets]

[via The PRP]

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