Local bands raise money for musicians stuck on tour
'I never expected people to help us out so much'
October 11, 2016, 4:09 pm ASTLast Updated: October 11, 2016, 4:09 pm
After playing three shows in Newfoundland, the Halifax metal band Hitman ended up on the side of a road in Bay Roberts with smoke coming from their van’s engine.
“Something had to go wrong,” says drummer Sylvain Coderre.
“The heater was next to the tube (and) the coolant was going through, so it ended up burning through the tube which led to us having no coolant, which led to a domino effect of problems.”
After calling the Canadian Automobile Association’s roadside service and waiting four hours for a tow truck, the band was told by a mechanic that the engine of their 1988 Chevrolet Starcraft camper van had to be replaced. It would cost more than $2,700.
Last Thursday, more than a week since Hitman’s departure from Nova Scotia, Shawn Peck, a fellow Halifax musician, and Heather McNulty, a friend of the band, held a fundraiser at the Seahorse Tavern to help get them back home.
“There’s got to be something we can do on our end,” said Peck. “Immediately I started making calls to bands that I know … within 24 hours we had it ready to go.”
A $5 fee was charged upon entrance with all proceeds going to Hitman.
Six local bands took the stage: Karsia, Bad Partys, The Blackrats, Black Moor, Broken Ohms and The Cathartics.
Some bands were asked to play while others volunteered.
“I saw on Facebook that they were looking for bands,” says Jacob Hiltz, the guitar player for Bad Partys. “As soon as I got the confirmation from the rest of Bad Partys we were all over it.”
Including money raised online through a GoFundMe account created by Coderre, a total of $2,420 was raised.
Hiltz and Peck both agree that the “tightness” of the Halifax rock music scene played a large role in raising the money.
It’s “overwhelming,” says Peck. “The music community here is so tight knit. We all get along. From metal to rock to punk rock, everybody helps each other.”
Hitman spent the summer performing in different Canadian cities. The band also played in New York as part of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour.
On Saturday Hitman returned home in its newly repaired van. Its next performance will be on another island – Prince Edward Island.