System Of A Down’s Stolen Truck Found In Flames

Vehicle that had contained gear belonging to heavy-metal act and tourmates Fear Factory, Spineshank was empty and burning.

A stolen truck that had held gear for heavy-metal acts System of a Down, Fear
Factory and Spineshank was found ablaze Tuesday morning near the Walt
Whitman Bridge at the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Fear Factory assistant manager Brian Nicholas said the truck was discovered
by firemen responding to a report of a fire early that morning on the New Jersey
side of the bridge.

“It was empty and, except for 15 charred cymbals and half a melted amp,
completely burnt,” Nicholas said. “There was a fire reported in back of an empty
warehouse, and the firemen who put the fire out did an investigation and
realized it was the stolen truck.”

System of a Down, Fear Factory and Spineshank were forced to postpone 12
dates of their current tour after the truck containing the three bands’ instruments
and equipment was stolen Saturday in front of the rockers’ hotel in
Philadelphia.

Fear Factory frontman Burton Bell, 29, said that upon discovering the theft that
slammed their tour to a halt he had laughed at first, thinking it was a joke, but
that the laughter quickly subsided as he realized the truck, with what he
estimated as “several hundred thousand dollars’ ” worth of equipment, was
gone.

“There was broken glass right where the driver’s door was,” Bell said Monday.
“That’s how we live. That’s what we do, and someone took it all away from us.
It’s like taking a writer’s hands away or something. We’re all just in shock.”

Bell said that the truck was stolen between 9 and 11 Saturday morning while it
was parked in front of the Comfort Inn. He added that it contained gear, light
equipment, props and “everything that makes a show happen.”

Sgt. Susan Slawson of the Philadelphia police confirmed that the vehicle, worth
an estimated $50,000, and equipment valued at $250,000 were reported stolen
Saturday. She also confirmed that police are investigating, but have no leads at
this time.

The three L.A.-based bands were about halfway through a 24-date tour that
began in Palo Alto, Calif., and was set to make a complete sweep around the
U.S., with a closing date of Feb. 6 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood,
Calif.

Prior to the start of the tour, System of a Down singer Serj Tankian, 31, said he
was excited to be heading out in support of their self-titled debut album, which
contains such tracks as HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/System_Of_A_Down/War.ram">“War?”
(RealAudio excerpt) and HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/System_Of_A_Down/P.L.U.C.K..ram">
“P.L.U.C.K.”
(RealAudio excerpt).

Nicholas said the bands plan to reschedule the postponed tour dates in
mid-March, and that they will have new instruments and equipment in place in
time to play the Feb. 6 gig at the House of Blues.