Houston-based soul and R&B outfit The Suffers had some abysmal luck following a set at this year’s Homegrown Fest. As we reported back in April, the eight-piece band lost about $33,000 worth of equipment when thieves took off with the band’s detached trailer, which stood in the parking lot at Randall Reed’s Park Cities Ford.
Almost five months ago to this day, we spoke with drummer Nick Zamora over the phone while the wounds were still fresh. Passions were understandably high, but at the same time, there was a sliver of optimism and gratitude at the engulfing support The Suffers received in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
The trauma appears to have simmered in months since, but its subliminal presence still lingers, especially in the wake of the band’s upcoming Dallas show at Trees on Saturday, which marks their first Dallas appearance since the incident. On Sept. 9, the band said on its official Twitter page, “For a second, we thought about skipping, but you can’t heal a wound if you don’t confront the pain.”
When we spoke with trumpeter Jon Durbin over the phone earlier this week, he discussed this pain rather candidly. While some may infer an insult from the band’s reluctance to return to Dallas, the impulse was completely understandable, and that they decided to return clearly indicates respect on their part. Moreover, Durbin has even expressed a desire to play Homegrown again.
“It hurt that [the robbery] was from a sister city,” said Durbin. “But we don’t hold any grudges. It could happen anywhere, and there [are] bad apples in every city.”
As devastating as the incident was, members of The Suffers are noticeably attuned to misfortune and have taken each setback in stride. Besides the robbery that occurred in Dallas earlier this year, the band members were also in Houston as Hurricane Harvey made landfall.
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“Nothing’s going to stop us from playing music and staying on our passion and our dream,” Durbin asserted.
As of late, it doesn’t seem like this steadfastness is even necessary, as things have been on the up-and-up. Last week, the band finally reached the conclusion of the painstaking process behind completely replenishing and replacing the stolen gear. They recently toured with Thievery Corporation as a backing band (and yes, we’re fully aware of the irony). The octet even managed to pull off a few headline shows and festival appearances sans equipment as a result of promoters arranging decent backlines and other bands being gracious enough to lend their equipment.
Today, the band is in the middle of a tour with acclaimed NPR Tiny Desk alumni Tank and the Bangas. For what is guaranteed to be a rather eventful return for The Suffers, Durbin says the band has a few surprises up its sleeve for the Dallas audience.
“There is a new song that we’ve been playing a few times, and that we’ll be playing [at Trees] that does kind of talk about the incident.”