On the first night of their recent mini-tour (stretching as far as Iowa), The Twin Cats were robbed off the streets of Chicago and lost approximately $15,000 worth of gear and clothing. Last Wednesday, NUVO caught up with three of the five members (Seth Catron, guitar & vocals; Adam Catron, drums; Nick Gerlach, saxophone) at the Mousetrap Family Jam. Below, they divulge the details.
Adam: The first two nights of the tour were in Chicago. The first night we played at The Elbo Room. And then the second night was at Alive One. The first night we played and got done early and went to see Kris Myers (drummer for Umphrey’s McGee) play with his side project, a jazz quartet. We were hanging outside [on the patio] the whole time. The patio was like, a hundred yards away from the van.
Nick: We could see the van.
Adam: We’re watching the van the whole time. And then the last half hour of the night, they told us they were kicking us inside. They kicked us in. So we went in for a half hour, watched the rest of the set, came back out, got in the van, and then realized…
Nick: It was Phil, actually. Phil and I were getting into the van. Phil was already in the very back seat and then I heard him say, “Oh my god. My keyboards got stolen.” (nods at Adam) His cymbals were lying in the street. They didn’t want to take the cymbals. They took all the electronic stuff.
NUVO: No broken glass?
Nick: They popped the lock or something.
Adam: They took three keyboards, a bass guitar…
Nick: (nods at Seth) His Les Paul. Two laptops.
Adam: Mixing board, microphones, cables…
Nick: All our clothing.
Adam: All our clothes for two weeks. GPS.
NUVO: So you find out what happened and then what? Did you run inside to tell your friends?
Nick: Well, we were heading out to leave anyways. It was the end of the night, so everyone was kind of on their way out to the van. There were about 10 of us. It’s just sort of a blur from then on.
Adam: We all kind of freaked out. Cameron instantly called the cops and filed a police report.
NUVO: That probably took all night for the cops to get there.
Nick: They didn’t show up. It was all done over the phone. (shrugs)
NUVO: Oh. Really?
Seth: I guess in Chicago it happens so often that they just do it over the phone.
Nick: They’re like, “yea. Cool. Really? It must be Tuesday.” You know what I mean?
Seth: It’s like, damn-near automated.
Nick: We have gotten two pieces of gear back, though, from pawn shops. Two weeks later.
NUVO: So, then you had a whole day before the next show and a lot of stuff to get done. What were the marching orders?
Nick: We got up around 8:30.
Adam: First thing was the pawn shops.
Nick: No, no. First thing was we went to Walgreens and got deodorant and toothpaste… since all our suitcases got stolen. And then we went to Salvation Army and bought like, three button-up shirts each so that we wouldn’t look completely homeless on stage.
Seth: That was one thing that really started to make it a little more entertaining. Cause we found some goofy, goofy shirts.
Nick: Somehow we made it funny for about 10 minutes. And then we realized the brevity of the situation and it wasn’t funny again. Cameron was off on his own, doing the pawn shop thing. We went to Guitar Center and got one synth and all the cables that we could find that we could use.
NUVO: Out of your own pockets?
Seth: Well, they hooked us up.
Adam: Guitar Center hooked. it. up.
NUVO: So what about getting around town to run all these errands. Did anybody have much knowledge of the city?
Seth: No. It took us forever to go 10 blocks.
Adam: Mark Dannels, helped us out. He’s from Chicago. He’s a radio DJ up there.
Nick: Also Barry Brown [from the band Jack Straw]. He runs U-Storm.
Seth: (points to his shirt) U-Storm. This is one of the shirts they gave us.
Nick: They’re a non-profit organization that raises money to buy instruments for public schools in Chicago. So, he gave us a bunch of t-shirts and he came to the show. He lent Phil an organ just for that night and then we went on with the rest of the tour. Phil played with the synth he bought at Guitar Center and his other keyboard that was too big to steal.
NUVO: So what about getting replacement guitars?
Seth: My dad and my girlfriend came up with a bass and a guitar.
Adam: The backups.
Nick: It’s like, the guitar he played before he got the Les Paul. Pretty decent guitar. But… not the Les Paul.
Seth: (laughing) It’s the backup for a reason.
Nick: Well, you know. It’s like driving someone else’s car. You know how you’re not quite used to it? Gears shift in a different place; window controls are in a different place. It’s like that.
NUVO: So despite everything, did you have a good show that night?
Adam: Yea. We had a great turnout. A lot of people from Chicago came out and a bunch of people came up from Indy. Kris Myers showed up. At the set break we talked to him a little bit and had him sit in on one of the songs. He tore it up. It was cool for me. That was the first time I ever got to sit down and watch our band play.
Nick: That’s an interesting thing to see. I was in a car accident a few years ago and I couldn’t play so Rob Dixon did a few gigs with us. It’s kind of weird to watch your own band play with someone else. Especially when they’re way better than you.
NUVO: So, after all that, has there been discussion of future collaboration?
Nick: I don’t know. That’s pretty much up to him. You know? (laughs)
- The Twin Cats play at Alive One on the 2nd day of their recent tour after losing $15,000 worth of gear in a burglary
NUVO: Where else did you play on the rest of the tour?
Nick: Well we were supposed to play the next night at an outdoor festival in Milwaukee but that got rained out, which was actually kind of a blessing in disguise. Phil was really worried about having an organ for that gig because it was a “jazz in the park” sort of thing. There was supposed to be like two or three-thousand people there, so he wanted it to really sound right. It’s a jazz audience, you know? They can tell. Then we played Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Iowa.
Adam: Iowa City was awesome.
Nick: It’s like the Bloomington of Iowa. And then we played Ames, which is where Iowa State University is located. And Sunday we were in Cedar Rapids.
NUVO: No issues with equipment playing any of those shows?
Nick: It was cool. They all worked.
Adam: Made it happen.
Seth: Just jammed.
Adam: There were a few songs we couldn’t do with some of the gear missing.
NUVO: So, looking back on the whole experience, what do you take away from it all?
Seth: It was awesome to see all the people from Indy help us out. Even from afar. We have a friend down in Texas who used to follow us around when he lived here. He was making phone calls from Texas trying to help us. It was extremely humbling and made us appreciate the fact there we’re here [in Indianapolis] with all these bands.
Nick: It’s weird how an event like that can, at the exact same time, make you see the worst and the best of people.
NUVO: In the thick of it, you made a post to your personal facebook page saying “for every bad person in the world there are at least 20 good ones”.
Nick: Right. But there are still the bad ones. I mean, if you want to be in a band… stuff like this happens all the time. If you quit after you get robbed, you probably shouldn’t be doing this anyways.
Seth: It was more mentally tough than anything.
Adam: Every musician we ran into that heard the story just felt for us. They felt bad, but at the same time they’re like, “It’s gonna happen, man.” But in the end, I realized not only can we get along for 12 days but, we got robbed… and we kept going.
Seth: This random sound guy from one of our Iowa gigs just brought some sound gear there and left. And when he came back he had two bags of clothes.
Nick: They were awesome clothes. He’s like, “I don’t even want these.” They were like 80’s golfing clothes. It was hilarious.
Adam: I think I wore some of the shorts, though.
Nick: Oh yea. They looked comfortable. They were all cotton. (lowers voice) I was too fat for those. But, still. They were cool-looking.
NUVO: Is everything back to normal?
All: (shaking heads) Ummmm. Ehhhh…
Seth: It’s gonna be a while before it gets back to normal.
Nick: It’s pretty close, though. It’s really good, still.
Seth: We got enough pieces where we can do the shows.
NUVO: You certainly put on a helluva show last Friday.
Seth: Playing-wise and doing shows, it’s actually almost back to normal. But the whole business side of things…
Nick: Right. Gotta get a new laptop.
Adam: I’ve got like eight months of accounting I’m gonna have to do.
Nick: Not to mention all the porn he lost.
After losing nearly all their gear, pulling it back together in less than 24 hours, and continuing their tour of Iowa, the Twin Cats made a triumphant return to Indianapolis July 30, a night on which The Mousetrap broke attendance and bar sales records.
Watch the video clip below for interview footage, clips from the Twin Cats’ epic homecoming show, and photos of their performance at Alive One in Chicago.
Video by Dan Sockrider.