June 14, 2024


Buzz The Music

Music community rallies around 2 bands after instruments, equipment stolen | News

RICHLAND, Wash.- Two local bands lost multiple pieces of equipment when they discovered the shed that stores their equipment was broken into.

“It was really tough, strange because I didn’t realize anything was missing at first,” says Carl Rivera, the drummer in Forest of Hate and bass player for House of B. “I was so focused on coming into practice and I didn’t realize the entire portion of the practice room was completely cleaned out.”

Multiple guitars, amplifiers, pedals and mixing boards were taken from the shed sometime in the three days before Rivera found out on Easter Sunday.

“It’s my property and my building so I felt responsible,” says Forest of Hate’s singer, James Gottula. “And then after that, it’s anger.”

The anger didn’t end with the two bands involved.

Soon, word spread to other local musicians who knew something had to be done.

“Throughout the day, I just got more and more upset,” says Mad Ruby’s singer, Rik Jones. “I ended up just calling up, say ‘Hey, we should do something for these guys. We all know how expensive it is to do this stuff and these guys are really, really good musicians. They don’t deserve this kind of stuff.”

After recruiting Dara Quinn, the owner of the Emerald Siam, and six local bands, a benefit concert was born.

The $10 cover charge and a portion of the venue’s bar sales were earmarked to support the two bands needing new equipment.

“As bad as it was losing the gear, this is almost better the way everybody’s coming together,” says Gottula. “People are hitting me up at work, walking down the street, wherever I’m at and going ‘Hey, I heard, you have my support.’ I can’t believe that all of these people that don’t have a dog in the fight are helping out.”

As surprised as Gottula is, the tightness of the Tri-City music community isn’t news to him. After 33 years of music in 10 bands, he’s built connections with other artists across the region.

“This is the first time something like this has happened to me individually,” says the lead singer. “To see this reaction is great and it’s a big thing in the Tri-Cities.

When Jones and Quinn were planning the benefit concert, they knew nothing would completely heal the wound.

“We can’t replace everything, but if we could do anything, replace a guitar or two, that’d be awesome,” says Jones.

The music community donated equipment and instruments that allowed Forest of Hate and House of B to play at the benefit concert.

The new gear will come with a learning curve, but what matters to the musicians is that they can keep performing.

“To be donated excellent gear that’s completely going to do the job tonight, it’s going to be wonderful,” says Rivera. “Yeah, we’re going to make it through.”

Both bands plan to continue with their new equipment as they look for more permanent gear. Forest of Hate has a show on April 19 at Ray’s Golden Lion.