People have been asking me how the guys in melodic hardcore band Protagonist are doing, and I wanted to post this update from guitarist Brian Forst. Luckily, the guys were able to record with Stephen Egerton, and have posted some video up on PunkNews. Unfortunately, the guys have not been able to recover their gear, and his update sheds some light on why:
For an update on the trailer situation, we’re just doing what we can to get back on our feet. Nothing turned up and everyone in Oklahoma was very clear in saying nothing will turn up. It’s stupid but in the state of Oklahoma trailers don’t need titles, license plates, or to be registered SO trailer stealing is one of their biggest crimes. The people that steal them are professionals, quick and no exactly what they’re doing. Apparently they don’t want anything to do with what is inside the trailer, just the trailer itself they sell and they toss the rest of it. The police and locals know all of this because they caught a few trailer thieves a few years ago, found a hidden lot with dozens of trailers, and got them to talk. The people are “smart” and know that selling a bunch of equipment with serial numbers all over them will get them caught. Our trailer was parked right outside our room, on a decline with 3-locks attaching it to the van…these people were definitely professionals. Cop suggested that if they couldn’t remove the trailer they may have stole the whole van too and we’re lucky no one was inside of it.
Lucky indeed that no one was hurt, good to know if you’re going to be traveling through Oklahoma with gear. There’s not much you can do if you’re in an area with determined thieves, especially in this economy. It can’t hurt sharing information like this with other bands, at least so you can be prepared or try to avoid trouble spots if you can. Try to figure out where is good to stay in an area
Here’s another issue that the guys learned from their experience that they were willing to share in regard to insurance:
The van was insured with full coverage and we were under the impression the trailer was covered but we overlooked the part that said the van and trailer both have to be in the same name. So the van being in Peters name, and the trailer being in mine, voided out the coverage. Expensive lesson learned.
Big bummer was we were financing that trailer and still owe money on it. Last summer our old trailer go totaled in the middle of nowhere and we had no money to buy a used one so we had no choice but to finance one with no money down. Fortunately through our paypal donations and a benefit show we put on, we almost made enough to pay for the trailer, but as for equipment we still got nothing. Vinnie from LTJ was awesome and gave our drummer one of his old drum sets to help us get back on our feet and the rest of us just have to start saving and borrow gear when we can. A few companies are offering us awesome deals but everything is still super expensive.
Sucks so much that this happened and we’re still insanely bummed, BUT it’s amazing the positive attention and messages we’ve been getting. A bunch of bands offered to loan us stuff, a band called The Snips offered to print a free run of shirts for us, Hurley sent us a giant box of free clothes, and other cool things like that. So we really want to complain but it could have been much worse. It definitely makes for a good story for when the EP we recorded in Tulsa is released. There is definitely a lot of rage behind those new songs.
Glad to hear the community is helping them out, I’m not surprised. I know I can’t wait to hear the new raging tracks, and wishing Protagonist great things for the future. Thanks for the update Brian, and if you want to donate to help them replace their gear, go to Paypal at PROTAGONISTSTOLENGEAR@GMAIL.COM. Also check out my original post for the list of gear that was stolen, just in case you might see it somewhere out there. I know it’s tough out there for touring bands, hang in there all of you and be safe, it’s a crazy world these days.