This past Sunday night, Houston's Los Skarnales made it home from a brief weekend tour just in time to watch Game 5 of the World Series between the Astros and the Dodgers. The game was an epic five-hour-and-17-minute marathon that saw a total of 25 runs cross home plate. An Astros win assured that the guys celebrated in their usual, raucous manner before shutting it down for the night, ready for the long workweek ahead.
When the band's hype man, Nestor "El Tiburon" Aguilar, woke up early the next morning to check on their van and trailer, he was met with this sight:
Houston is no stranger to thieves stealing from bands, and Los Skarnales are the unfortunate latest victims of such despicable behavior. With a quick swipe with either bolt cutters or an angle grinder, the lock on the band's trailer was broken off, exposing the belongings inside to the criminals.
According to front man Felipe Galvan, the list of items has both monetary and sentimental value. It included all of the band merchandise (T-shirts, CDs, hats, stickers, etc.), a pair of beloved turntables, a mixer, and boxes of rare vintage vinyl records that Felipe spent decades collecting. There was also a substantial amount of money the band made from selling merch at their shows in Corpus Christi and New Braunfels.
We spoke to Galvan, who was trying to stay positive throughout the whole ordeal. "La verdad que si me agüite, carnal" he told us by phone. (I really did get bummed out). "Thankfully, our fans and our families have our backs and are always there to support!"
In fact, an announcement posted on Facebook by Galvan detailing the theft was met with several hundred angry emoji reactions, comments of support, and shares. Of course, a report was filed with the Houston Police Department, and the band is left looking for ways to better secure its van and trailer.
And then on Wednesday, there seemed to be a positive turn to the story. HPD called Serrano to relay information about three suspects they had in custody. They asked him to come down to discuss the case further. Once he arrived, he was met with another blow. The case involved another Houstonian also named Nestor Aguilar who was involved in a case totally unrelated to Skarnales' gear theft. Just like the baseball game, this case was filled with unexpected highs and lows. The suspects are still at large, and all of the gear is still missing.
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The bright side of this whole ordeal has been the offers of assistance by the loyal Skarnales fanbase. Other DJs offered to provide Galvan with new gear and records. A T-shirt company is helping the band print new merch just in time for tonight's Día De Los Muertos show at Warehouse Live. And there has even been talk of creating some sort of crowdfunding campaign to recoup some of the funds and equipment that was lost.
"We have some of the best fans ever!" beams Galvan, retelling the stories of his interactions with his supporters. "Está bien firme la raza" he says in his lovable pachuco slang. (Our fans are solid!) "This is just another setback," he adds. "But just like we are bouncing back from Hurricane Harvey, we can triumph over this too because we're #HoustonStrong!"
We asked what his fans, new and old, can expect at the next Skarnales show. "Puro good times!" Felipe replies with mischievous laughter. "These thieves took our stuff, but they can never break our spirit!"
Los Skarnales and special guests InDaSkies play tonight's Houston Press Día De Los Muertos event at Warehouse Live (813 St. Emanuel). Tickets are $10 at the door; doors open at 8 p.m.