Montreal

Montreal band can't wait to get on the road again after tour bus goes up in flames

When the Montreal band The Damn Truth watched their van go up in flames, they knew they were going to be missing their gig in Thunder Bay. But could they make their next show in Saskatoon?

The Damn Truth managed to raise $7,500 after fire left them stranded in Sault Ste. Marie

The band members had to pull over and escape the burning vehicle while driving through Ontario on a cross-country tour. 0:25

Montrealer Dave Traina and his bandmates were just outside Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on their way to their next tour stop, when someone in the van smelled smoke. 

Around the same time, a fellow motorist pulled up besides the van, waving frantically.

"They were flailing their arms," Traina said. "You could see in their eyes, we were in danger."

Moments later the members of Montreal rock-band The Damn Truth watched from the side of the road as their van — carrying guitars and laptops — went up in flames on Wednesday night. 

They knew then they were going to be missing their gig in Thunder Bay the following day.

"There were some pretty scary flames," Traina said. "It was a very scary moment."

Stuck in Sault Ste. Marie with no van and a two-year-old in tow, The Damn Truth turned to friends, family and fans for support.

They launched a crowdfunding campaign on Thursday, and managed to surpass their goal of $7,500 in just one day.

"It's absolutely unbelievable how people have rallied to support us," said Traina, the band's drummer. "It feels like people have opened their hearts to us."

The band has spent the past days renting cars and replacing some of their damaged equipment. 

The Damn Truth members Tom Shemer, Lee-La Baum and Dave Traina (left to right). (Neil Mota)

'Just can't wait to get on the road again'

Despite losing the van, and much of its contents, most of the group's gear was stored in a detachable trailer, which they managed to save.   

"We pushed the trailer out of sheer adrenaline," said Traina. "It must weigh 1,500 pounds. It's really heavy and we must have pushed it 20 feet."

Traina isn't sure exactly what caused the fire, but he says the van was inspected by a mechanic in the weeks leading up to the start of the tour.

The Damn Truth planned to travel across Canada in this van, before it went up in flames. (Photo from Facebook)

'The life I love is makin' music with my friends'

With the success of the crowdfunding campaign, Traina says the band is ready to hit the road again and focused on making up for the lost time. 

They have 24 hours of driving ahead of them in order to make their next show, which is Saturday in Saskatoon.  

"We want to get back to doing the work we set out to do," Traina said. "We have already done 3,000 kilometres on this tour and we have another 7,000 kilometres to go."