Russian CirclesWilliam Lacalmontie

Russian Circles Reunited With Several Instruments Stolen In 2021 Trailer Break-In


October of 2021 was certainly a challenging period for instrumental post-metal collective Russian Circles. First the group unfortunately found themselves the victims of theft while on tour in California. Their U-Haul was broken into in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn they were staying at in Chowchilla, CA, with an extensive list of instruments, gear and personal items stolen. Adding insult to injury, their planned shows with System Of A Down, Korn and more at the time — which they were traveling to when the theft occurred — were postponed by several months after Serj Tankian came down with COVID-19.

Thanks to the generosity of others, the trio were able to recover fairly quickly, with a subsequent crowdfunding campaign raising nearly $63,000 USD for them.

Several years removed from that incident, Russian Circles have now been reunited with several instruments and some gear previously lost in that theft. Their return came about not only through police work, but also from vigilant pawn shop and music store owners. The band issued a statement on the matter today, January 29th:

“As some of you may remember, Russian Circles were robbed back in October 2021 while we were on tour in California. In addition to the band and crew losing the majority of our equipment, we lost a bunch of personal items and a costly amount of rented and borrowed gear. We were hit with another potentially devastating loss when the tour was canceled after the next show due to the headlining band having a COVID case in their ranks.

It was a difficult and unfortunate moment for the band, but the overwhelming kindness of the public helped restore our faith in humanity. Through the generosity of friends, fans, and gear companies, we were able to recover from the material and financial loss of losing everything in the immediate aftermath of the already difficult stretch of 2020 and 2021. Just in case it hasn’t said enough already, thank you so much to everyone that helped us get back on our feet.

An enormous thank you is due to the everyone that shared the news and stolen gear list on social media. The news traveled quickly and broadly. Whether we were buying replacement cables at Guitar Center or ordering a pedal from a shop in the Midwest, if we mentioned the robbery, folks had heard about the incident and shared their condolences. It meant the world to us to know that people felt our pain and were on the lookout.

The most devastating losses were the guitars. These were vintage guitars and custom shop builds that had been our primary instruments for years. They were both deeply per- sonal tools and extremely difficult (if not impossible) items to replace.

We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have been reunited with several of these instruments in recent months. The Electric Guitar Company bass would never have come back into our possession if not for folks spreading the news about the theft. A huge shoutout is due to Jon Abelton and his coworkers at Gottschalk Music Center for recognizing the bass when someone was trying to sell it to their store.

Mike‘s Gibson Les Paul and Brian‘s First Act “bearitone” were recovered in a drug bust somewhere in California. All three instruments had to be held as evidence. And even after they were cleared by the police, it took time to coordinate getting these guitars back into our hands. It’s been a long process, but we’re simply thrilled to be reunited with these guitars.

It can be said enough: thank you to everyone for their help in this recovery. Whether you re-posted the gear list, sent a donation our way, picked up a shirt at the merch table, kept an eye out on craigslist, or even just shared your sympathies, it all meant a lot to us and helped us get back to business. Aside from some microphones recovered in a car chase and some pedals spotted in a pawn shop (which, by CA law, had to be purchased back), nothing else has turned up. But these guitars were easily the most cherished and/or irreplaceable items, and we can’t understate the joy felt in having them back. Thank you so much.”


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