Recently, The Suffers launched a GoFundMe page, in an effort to replace the equipment and trailer that was stolen from them while on tour. The goal was $20,000 — and, in just two days, with help from 424 people, they reached their goal.
Drummer Nick Zamora still can't believe it. "It's funny," he says, on the phone from New Orleans. "Like, you don't think that stuff is gonna get out that quick. It was, like, immediate. You know, we just started seeing people jumping in to help. It was pretty awesome."
Even though the group reached their goal, their campaign (which is set to close today) has brought in more money than they expected. By April 28, they raked in an additional $3,500. And while the band has insurance, this money will help them continue to perform until things are settled. "We don't know what's gonna be covered, or whether it is or not," says Zamora. "But instead of having to wait and kind of deal with that uncertainty for the next few weeks or months, now we can go and replace what we need to get replaced and, you know, keep playing."
All this started when the seven-piece soul outfit performed at the Homegrown Festival in Dallas on Sunday, April 14th. When their van started breaking down en route to the gig, they took the van to Randall Reed's Park Cities Ford after the show for repairs.
The dealership was closed, but a security guard informed them they could keep their van there overnight, so it could be fixed the next morning. The bandmates took whatever gear they could, but the rest was left in their trailer, which was detached and moved to the dealership's parking lot.
At some point in the wee hours, the trailer was stolen, but later found empty and damaged. Around $30,000 worth of equipment was stolen, which included two Nord keyboards, a rack case containing a digital monitor mixing rig, band merchandise, a Roland drum pad, and a Yamaha snare drum.
A report was filed to the Dallas Police Department and local music stores and pawn shops were notified to be on the lookout for their belongings, but both the culprits and the items still haven't shown up. "We've spent a lot of money on, like, the right kind of locks and packing equipment," says Zamora. "We have LoJack on the van — all that stuff. But this situation in particular was not one we could've foreseen."
Life on the road
This isn't the first time the band has had to deal with their stuff being taken from then. Right here in their Houston home base, they've been jacked several times. "We've had the van with the trailer attached stolen from The Heights once a couple of years ago," says Zamora. "They broke into the trailer. Luckily, it was empty, except for a couple of dryer sheets or stuff like that."
In the summer of 2017, their van was stolen again from the Heights (it was still empty) and wasn't retrieved until three weeks later, badly damaged. "We had a tour that was about to start," remembers Zamora. "So, that time, we had to buy a new van and keep going." And there was also that time in Austin when someone broke into their trailer. Thankfully, as Zamora recalls, "They got, like, one guitar out of it and left everything else.
"It's definitely an added layer of, like, logistics in the business of touring we'd rather not deal with," he adds. "Anybody determined enough can get into a trailer. You know, they're made of wood or metal, and they can cut into it. We do as much as we can to deter people from messing with it, and we try to make smart decisions on where we park and where we stay. There are some cities that have a little bit of a reputation for having issues with trailer thefts or people following bands to a hotel after a show and stuff like that... You just always have to be thinking about that aspect, you know. Like, that's where I need to be and that's what I need to do. But am I gonna have my stuff to do that tomorrow?"
Can't keep 'em down
Thankfully, with the help of their fans both inside and outside Houston, The Suffers can persevere for another day. "We're gonna replace what we lost, and anything else that we end up with, we'll find a way to make use of it, to help out other people in similar situations or whatever," says Zamora.
"We're accepting all the love and help we're getting, with as much gratitude as we can, and we're gonna make the best use of all the money that we get."