It has been a little over a week since the fateful Christmas Eve break-in at the Alarmists' frontman Eric Lovold's apartment and home recording studio, and Lovold is slowly piecing his life back together. The loss of over $25k worth of equipment--and the total defilement that accompanies a contemptible act like a forced-entry robbery--has been hard to swallow, not just for Lovold, but for the general populace of the local music community. As I asked Lovold about the recovery process, he was quick to comment on the flow of encouragement.
[jump] "It's amazing to have the support of friends and family," said Lovold, the gratitude thick in his voice. "It's unbelievable. Everyday it gets a little easier to stomach."
The same can be said for the other artists most heavily impacted by the break-in: Randy Tomes (of Kicks and Spurs) and Brian DeRemer. Both men lost completed albums that were stored on the hard drives that were taken from Lovold's studio.
I caught up with Tomes and DeRemer about how they were dealing with the loss of so much work.
"I still have a little bit of shock left," Tomes said. "It's surreal more than devastating... Kind of amazing how life can turn so quick, and you just have to make the next plan."
Kicks and Spurs had first started recording their new album in July of 2009--and it had been a labor of love as the band kept going back and perfecting tracks. Before the break-in, the album was a week of studio time away from sending it off to be mastered. I asked Tomes about the "next plan."
"The next thing will be a mishmash of old tunes, tunes we kind of wish we would have done different in the first place... granted we were very proud and we wanted to share what we had, we're not going to remake that. We're different now," said Tomes with a slight groan of exhaustion. "It was a record that I was very proud of... I can't imagine going back and working the same creative processes. It just feels soul-sucking."
Brian DeRemer had similar sentiments. He lost what would have been his debut solo record.
"A lot of those performances are unique, so to have all that work lost is quite a shame," DeRemer said, explaining that he had flown musicians in from around the country to contribute to his record. "And all that time Eric and I spent together, all that time I spent away from my family... that's one of the biggest losses for me. Plus, the moments that Eric and I had together--sometimes it took us a whole day to get that sound and we would just stand back and listen to a track and smile at each other because we got it. More than making music, we're building a relationship, and I think we're both very sorry to have lost all of that."
DeRemer was equally as close to the completion of his album as the Kicks and Spurs, saying that he had a release scheduled for April. I asked DeRemer about his plans moving forward.
"We're going to redo the record," stated DeRemer resolutely. "Eric and I will sit down together next week and formulate a plan.... There was no question in my mind that we would work together again, and for both of us to heal by redoing the record. I need to redo it to finish what I started... I did it once, and I can do it again. That's the mindset I have to be in. I have to start thinking about how to make a record even better."
For Kicks and Spurs and Brian DeRemer, the upcoming benefit show on January 28th, now being held at the Varsity Theater, will be both parts fundraiser and artistic release. DeRemer is flying up the musicians that recorded on his album for the show, and Lovold had put together a solid bill of other bands to carry the evening, including White Light Riot, Chris Koza, the Alarmists, with a DJ set by DJ Solid Gold. Proceeds from the show will go to Kicks and Spurs and DeRemer to help them pay to record their albums again.
Lovold has also been working with local artist Danika Leitheiser to put together a collection of prints and original artwork to auction at the benefit show in order to raise more funds. Despite all the chaos surrounding the last couple weeks, the Lovold and the affected parties seem, for the most part, ready to turn their bad luck into a happy ending.
"Right now," intoned DeRemer optimistically, "the plan is to just put on a great show and have a good time."
HEROES: A BENEFIT FOR LOCAL RECORDING ARTISTS with White Light Riot, Chris Koza, The Alarmists, Kicks and Spurs, and Brian DeRemer with a DJ set by DJ Solid Gold will be held on FRIDAY, JANUARY 28 at the VARSITY THEATER. Doors at 8pm.