Eric Lovold talks about stolen gear, upcoming benefit show
For Eric Lovold, frontman of the local and celebrated rock group The Alarmists, what was supposed to be a relaxing and joy-filled holiday turned out to be the antithesis of what Christmas is all about.
By now, you've heard about the disturbing Christmas Eve break-in of Lovold's St. Paul apartment, which resulted in the loss of approximately $25k worth of equipment. (See the full list of items below.)
Sometime between 6:30 p.m. on December 24 and 12:30 a.m. on December 25, one or more intruders forcibly entered Lovold's apartment and raided it--leaving behind Christmas presents and going instead for the expensive recording gear of Lovold's Instrument Control Studio, based out of his home.
I caught up with Lovold over the phone to go over some of the progress in the case. When asked how he was feeling in the aftermath of all of this, Lovold replied, "I really do feel very violated and ultimately devastated... my life has been ripped apart, but the positive side of that coin has been that I have had amazing support from everyone here and it really is overwhelming to have so many people care. With the support of very close friends, things have been manageable."
For friends and colleagues, this sort of tragedy couldn't have happened to a more undeserving victim. "His only goal was the betterment of the Twin Cities music community," said Ryan McNally, who also lost a 7-song EP that he and his band had recorded with Lovold. "He does things out of the goodness of his own heart. It's not like he does it just for the money... I mean this is a home studio that functions partially as a commercial studio, but also just because he loves doing it... he would spend all day working on something just because he wanted to, not just because he had to--sometimes not even because he was paid to."
The aid that the Twin Cities media channels have shown in the aftermath of this disconcerting burglary has been plentiful, and a few local recording studios have offered free studio time to re-record the lost work.
Further support for Lovold has come in from First Ave, which has offered to host a benefit for Lovold's Instrument Control Studio in the Mainroom. The as-yet-unreleased date will be held "sometime in January", said Lovold, and will include sets from Kicks and Spurs, Brian DeRemer, White Light Riot, and the Alarmists, as well as a DJ set from Solid Gold.
The Instrument Control Studio Benefit will be to support the bands that had their work stolen from the studio: completed albums from the Kicks and Spurs and Brian DeRemer (both of whom would have had their materials sent off to be mastered within a few weeks at most), as well as material from other artists that was all stored on the stolen hard drives.
"I would like to be able to pay for those bands to remake their albums," said Lovold, explaining that his biggest concern and the greatest grievance in all of this has been the loss of irreplaceable material.
For such a prolific and dedicated member of the local music community, there are a lot of friends, supporters, and fans that want to know how they can help. I asked Lovold if there was anything that could be done by those who were concerned. "I think the number one thing that people can do to help," started Lovold, "is... well, it's obnoxious, but keep your eyes on Craigsist, Ebay, if you have a pawn shop at your corner... just keep your eyes open.
The Nord 3 Lead keyboard -- Lovold's has a black and white Alarmists sticker
"The key item is that Nord Lead," Lovold explained, referring to the rare keyboard that was also stolen, and adding that if anything were to be a tip, it would be that item. "There's not a lot of them for sale, listed on Craigslist or Ebay or whatever. It's not going to be easy to slap them on [a website] to sell."
"I would like to buy back my computer and hard drives. Any member of the band will buy that back with no questions asked," said Lovold, a steely and desperate plea in his voice. "The MacBook Pro is huge. If we can find that thing... you would be saving six months--more--of someone's life."
"We're estimating roughly right now, based on what everything is worth today," said Lovold of the total value of stolen goods. "But the hard drives are what matters. They have my life on them," he explained further, referring to the multiple years' worth of personal recordings and Alarmists' songs.
"When you own a recording studio, all that stuff--regardless of a dollar amount--is irreplaceable, invaluable," explained McNally of the lost equipment. "Those were things he sought out. He had so much vintage stuff... I mean, even if you find the same brand of the same instrument--I could record the songs again and they might even sound better, but it's not possible to recreate what was done already."
I offered my heartfelt condolences to Lovold, and though he was wearied by the entire ordeal, his perspective on the situation was refreshingly uplifting. "All my family was okay and my roommates were okay," Lovold said, adding that no one had been home when the break-in occurred. "I think the worst possible thing that could have happened was for someone to get hurt, but we're all okay."
An extended, but still not complete, list of the missing items, compiled from 808 Management and Eric Lovold:
Mac Pro tower (serial number H00290G620H; circa late 2009; 12 GB RAM, 1 TB HD)
20″ Apple Cinema Display, serial number 2A6292A0UFZ
Nord Lead 3 Keyboard (look out for a white and black Alarmists sticker on the back)
Two Western Digital Hard Drives: one 500 GB, one 1 TB
Event PS6 Studio Monitors
Pairs of Sony 7506 headphones
40″ Vizio LCD TV
40" flatscreen laptop
Ipod Nano 16 GB
Ipod Classic 30 GB
Ipod Classic 160 GB
Ipod Touch 16 GB
MacBook hard drive 20 GB
If you have any information or tips regarding this incident, please contact Eric Lovold at email@example.com or the St. Paul Police at (651) 291-1111.
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