Band raising money to replace stolen van

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A St. Louis music group on the rise has been sidetracked by the theft of their tour van.

Police found the van compacted in a scrap yard.

Now, the band called Kentucky Knife Fight, needs a new one.

There was a fundraiser at the Off-Broadway music club in South St. Louis over the weekend to help replace the van.

Even coupled with an insurance check, the money raised won’t come close to paying for a replacement van.

“We’re really picking up speed outside of St. Louis, which hurts even more,” said lead vocalist, Jason Holler.

“We all ride in (the van) including a gentleman who sells merchandise for us. There are usually 6 people in it and all of our gear.”

They’ve loaded up and driven the van, affectionately dubbed “The Rage Cage”,  to shows from New York to San Diego.

January 15th, someone stole the van right off the curb in the Benton Park neighborhood in South St. Louis.

Holler figured one of the band members borrowed it.  They all had keys.

The van, a ’97 Dodge Ram, resurfaced in the city scrap yard, smashed into a square.

Holler said it appeared the thief towed it straight to the scrap yard; since it was so old, the thief didn’t need the title to scrap it for cash.

“When I first saw the pictures of it, immediately I just started laughing like a crazy person, because that’s how horrible it looked.   Then I wanted to cry, then I wanted to laugh again.  Then I wanted to cry again,” Holler said.  “We still need to raise a lot more money to get ourselves a new van.  The way we make money in this band is by touring.  Now we’re out a tour vehicle.”

So, anyone who donates through the band’s website can download 2 new, unreleased songs:  My Brave Daughter and Dressed in Red.

The band's instruments were not in the van, when it was stolen.  Police have no suspects.


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  • Nate Jones

    The new songs will be delivered via Gmail, but don’t worry, you won’t have to have gmail to download them. As soon as we get your email address, we’ll send them your way!

  • Cristal

    What scrap yard did they find the van in. My van was stolen in November and has not been located. My vehicle was only 6 years old.


    Hey guys sorry to tell you, there’s no free lunch. Don’t depend on your friends and short lived collections to solve your problems.Kiss your old van goodbye, it was toast anyway. Work local save up regroup and start over. Think I would re-think band name.

    • lumjack

      Don’t know one run and help me replace my stolen stuff so why should helpyall replace your van? Do what everyone else do,get your hustle on harder.

  • derek metcalf

    checked the band out on youtube. great music! at least you guys got some free press and a few new fans.

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    Assuming they are like most younger bands today in America, why don’t they just go to the source: rich Daddy. It’s likely that’s who paid for the first van!

    Of course, I don’t know this band so they COULD be one of a small handful of bands who actually pay their own way without at least one wealthy parent. But based on what I know, it’s unlikely!

    At least their equipment wasn’t in the van! That’s happened to other bands, and that’s much worse.

  • Nate Jones

    Bybye to the Rite, we saved up our own cash to buy the van in question, much like every single one of our instruments. It took awhile though. The theft happened prior to a huge tour, and as soon as we got back, we were out every weekend, with no way to get there. 15 passenger vans are not cheap to rent, at all, and we’ve had to rent one for a few shows already, and we have a wide network of friends who have loaned their vehicles and helped us greatly, but there’s only so many times, within reason, that you can ask for that kind of help. Regrouping, in a financial sense, when you’re faced with still having to spend money on rentals every weekend is harder than you would think. We have to get back on the road, so having a fundraiser of sorts (in the form of the last show) and allowing people to donate for new songs made a lot of sense. Our fans and friends have been gracious, and we can’t stress that enough.

    And thank you Derek.

  • Cristal

    Nate Jones do you know what scrap yard it was found at. I have been trying to locate or find the scrap yard that is taking these vehicles. There has been a rise in vehicle thefts and my vehicle was one of them.

  • JB

    Just to clear everything up about us as a band: We are not financed by our parents, we have been at this a long time, are college graduates, we work with some PR people, but mostly are a DIY operation. In the past four years we have played 300 shows and we pay our bills. We have independently put out and sold three full length albums, two EP’s, and a 45 record, all of which are financed by us. We certainly don’t live in our parents basements without jobs, and all are fiscally responsible adults. I know some are skeptical of us excepting donations, but we have three choices: Buy an old vehicle and keep it in a garage so that we do not run the risk of it being stolen again, buy a newer more expensive vehicle, or hang up our dream. This is what we love to do, as well as, a business. Thanks to all that support us!

  • Nate Jones

    Last I checked, the detective involved with car theft crime would not disclose where the car was found. Those photos of the van and other compacted vehicles like it were taken at an impound lot owned by the police. I do know that the operation was pretty big, but if your car was older than 10 years, then all a scrap yard has to do is “determine” (not prove) that it’s not functional, and it can be scrapped, no title necessary. Thanks to Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, a clause in House Bill 1150 allows this, and it’s a law that needs to be changed, or at least revised to exempt cars in the city of St. Louis. As it stands for city residents, no old cars are safe.

  • Argus

    So….since your “tours” don’t pay enough to cover your transportation, you want the general public to give you money to get you to those places? If you’re not making money, maybe it’s more of a vacation or a hobby.

    Also, has anyone verified the details of this story? Without anything to corroborate the story, it looks pretty suspicious. A police report would help.

  • Nate Jones

    We filed a police report on Tuesday Jan 14th. I was not the one that filed it, so I don’t have a number, but I’m sure it can be found. If you’re not going to do the modicum of research (or a very low effort search on our Facebook wall which will bring you to our crisis point on the day in question), then I don’t know what to tell you.

  • rhodamorgenstern

    I saw them at SXSW a few years ago and they were fantastic. Not sure why all these commenters feel the need to kick them when they are down. They are hard working and very talented. That doesn’t always equate to financial success, especially in the music industry.

  • Argus

    My comment suggesting the story lacked a modicum of evidence was actually pointed at Andy Baker. This story only represents your account of what happened. I doubt your Facebook page offers a different perspective. If I were to propose that you scrapped the van to collect the insurance money, there’s nothing in this story that proves me wrong. (interview with a cop/scrap yard employee/police report)

    My real point is: What “fiscally responsible adult” would take their “business” out of town if it obviously doesn’t pay enough to cover the expenses?

    Your band is a hobby. Acting like the community owes you something is selfish. You should do a benefit for someone who’s car has been stolen and is now actually suffering because of it. Of course, that might require you to remove yourself from the self entitled world you live in. You’re suffering from delusions of grandeur.

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