Newly recorded collaborations with Peter Gabriel and Sarah McLachlan were among the items stolen from BT's home studio in late December, the electronic music guru revealed Tuesday.
Thieves broke into the DJ/producer's Los Angeles studio over Christmas while he was recording in London and made off with more than $75,000 worth of equipment, including computers storing 11 tracks for his upcoming album and hundreds of other recordings, he said.
"One of the FireWire hard drives that was stolen included my sound library since I was 15 years old," a shaken BT said. "It's a really heavy thing, a really hard thing to have happen when you are gone. The guys that work for me were crying over the phone grown men crying. It was a really difficult blow to take, but it's made me more determined."
Since he returned from Europe, BT has recovered parts of half of the stolen songs, he said. He also learned from Gabriel on Tuesday that the British singer had saved a copy of most of their collaboration.
Re-recording the missing parts won't be easy, however. "It's going to be like remembering the lines in someone's forehead if you were painting them from memory," BT said.
One of the mixers stolen from BT's studio was once a part of a set. BT had the other half stolen shortly after moving to Los Angeles a few years ago.
"I've had such strange experiences here," he said. "Being in Los Angeles has been so positive on a career level for me, and at the same time I've been robbed and put in the trunk of a car, and now I've had my studio broken into."
BT said fortunately his most expensive and rare equipment was not in the studio that was burglarized. He also did not lose his collaboration with the Roots (see "BT Working With Roots, Sarah McLachlan On New LP"), and he said the material he was recording in England is some of the best stuff he has done for the album, which had been due in the spring but will likely be pushed back.
BT's McLachlan collaboration may not ever be heard, depending on the availability of the Canadian songstress or his luck in retrieving the stolen goods.
"I'll give a huge f---ing reward for my hard drives back," BT said. "That's all I care about. Anybody that can get them, they can keep everything else."
BT called his still-untitled track with Gabriel, which includes excerpts from their favorite poets, Pablo Neruda and Sylvia Plath, a "really beautiful piece of music." "It just gutted me thinking it was lost," he said.
BT, who gained notoriety outside the club scene last year by producing 'NSYNC's "Pop" (see "BT Earns 'King Of Dirty Pop' Title With 'NSYNC, Britney Tracks"), has been recording the follow-up to 2000's Movement in Still Life since last fall.
Despite the break-in, BT still performed at a giant street party in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve with Paul Oakenfold and Deep Dish (see "Paul Oakenfold, BT Throwing New Year's Block Party In L.A.").
"I considered not playing, but you know, that's something that makes me very happy, connecting with a bunch of people, and it was good for the spirit to do it," he said.