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July 3, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
A split-second decision destroyed much of Decadent Nation’s equipment, injured a few of its members and left the band to scrape together the pieces.
Colin LaVaute, lead singer and guitarist, was driving the band members to a military show in Gulfport, Miss., on March 29 when a truck pulled out in front of them. Colin swerved to miss the vehicle, but the attached trailer, which carried all the band’s equipment, whipped around and flipped the Chevrolet Suburban on its roof. Although the guys received only minor injuries, their equipment, strewn all over the highway, was not as fortunate. The band lost a guitar, a PA, a speaker and the entire drum set. The rest of the equipment was repairable, but it would cost more than $12,000 to replace the unusable instruments.
When: Sat., July 7, 9:30 p.m.
Despite all this damage, the first thing on the guys’ minds after they left the hospital was: Can we still make it to the show?
The Columbia band, which plays modern blues-based rock its members call “blues-based trip thrash,” will perform at Mojo’s on July 7, but the journey of rebuilding Decadent Nation has been far from easy. It was never an option after the accident to stop performing for good. Decadent Nation has been together since 2005, and although its members have changed since then, the band’s mission stayed the same. Along with LaVaute, lead guitarist Adam Rolfes, bass player Cody Sprock and drummer Zack Blomberg just want to make music. It was this passion that drove them to perform again only two weeks later in Laquey. Not having all the instruments didn’t stop them.
“Pretty much my entire drum set was destroyed,” Blomberg says. “The drummer of a band called Ten Down was cool enough to let me borrow his.” Other members of the group also borrowed equipment and instruments from the venues where they performed.
Decadent Nation played another show opening for Soulfly at The Blue Note in April before pausing to raise money and rebuild the band. With help from generous supporters, the four men have been able to do just that. “Some fans of ours have put out some serious bones, way more bones than I have in my pocket, to help keep us going,” LaVaute says. Although the guys have received multiple donations, they still need at least $5,000 to get back where they were before.
They’ve also spent this time working on their third album, which is scheduled for release in the fall. There is no set date yet, but Rolfes says they will make the announcement on their Facebook page when they know.
For their upcoming show at Mojo’s, Richard King, the owner, is allowing them to keep all the door money from that night. “This is really kind of our last fundraising effort,” LaVaute says. “It’s pretty much the first time he’s ever done that, and he’s doing his part to help us out.”
After all the setbacks, the members are more than ready to be back on stage and excited to be headlining again. “I think the accident has made us more focused than ever to take Decadent Nation where it should go,” LaVaute says. “It’s said that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s definitely the case here.”
Of the upcoming show, Rolfes says, “I can already feel the energy.”
For Decadent Nation, the next performance is sure to taste much sweeter after the past three months they’ve had. “I remember the first meal we had after the wreck and how good it tasted just knowing that you’d survived something traumatic,” LaVaute says. “I can only imagine how good playing our first headlining show after the wreck will feel.”