Manitoba

Winnipeg band's rare drums, guitar stolen while touring in Alberta

More than $2,500 worth of gear was stolen from a Winnipeg band touring in Alberta this week.

Hearing Trees had bass guitar, expensive and rare drums stolen from locked trailer on Monday

More than $2,500 worth of gear was stolen from Winnipeg band Hearing Trees while they were on tour in Alberta this week. (Jell-Media.com)

More than $2,500 worth of gear was stolen from a Winnipeg band touring in Alberta this week.

Hearing Trees, a relatively new five-piece alt-rock group, stopped in Red Deer Monday night as part of their second tour but woke Tuesday morning to find someone had broken into their trailer.

"They took a couple of very valuable drums, and those are not really a replaceable thing," said the band's singer Graham Hnatiuk. "They're rare and there probably are not any of them in Red Deer."

The drums alone were worth about $2,500 and included a custom-made floor tom and an aluminum Udrum Cherrybomb snare. The thieves also got a bass guitar and a number of floor pedals.

"They just cut the lock off. It's a pretty decent lock … it was clearly, someone had bolt cutters," said Hnatiuk. "It was just heartbreaking … You hear about this happening to other bands, and you hope it doesn't happen to you."

Drummer Kyle Kunkel said he spent about six years hunting for the aluminum snare.

"That one was pretty special to me," said Kunkel. "They for sure didn't know what they were taking."

The band filed a police report, and has now had to rent about $400 of equipment in Calgary before they could continue on to their next tour stop in Revelstoke, B.C.

They have also put out calls on social media requesting the gear get returned – no questions asked.

"Best case scenario is the drums get returned to us," said Hnatiuk. "I really feel like we're lucky they went through the trouble to get into the trailer and only took a couple items."

In the meantime, the band has started a GoFundMe page to recoup some of their losses, which are now growing to more than $3,000.

They've raised more than $600 within 24 hours, which was completely unexpected, Hnatiuk said.

"It's really comforting and heartwarming to know we have that support back home," he said. "We're just shocked at how generous people are being – especially other musicians."

Hearing Trees aren't the only Winnipeg band to have gear stolen while on tour recently. Royal Canoe lost a ton of equipment, including laptops, in late 2013. An IndieGoGo campaign later ended up raising about $9,600 for the band to help replace what was stolen.

Hearing Trees will finish its first-ever Western Canada tour at the end of this month and will be back in town for a CD release shortly after.

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