Fontana, Terrible Twos Play PJ's Lager House in Detroit Thursday.

Fontana at The Vault, Milwaukee, WI, photo by <a href=
Fontana at The Vault, Milwaukee, WI, photo by Andy Junk.
posted Tuesday Feb 24th, 2009

"So I guess I should tell you about our stupidity," Fontana guitarist/vocalist Paul DeRochie relents with a deep sigh. "Oh man, people aren't going to feel bad for us at all."

The pains of touring can be immense. Where will you sleep at night? Is the weather going to warrant the roads undrivable? Will you get paid? Is your shit safe? A momentary lapse in these paranoiac states of frenzied thinking and you could be looking at a situation similar to that of Detroit punks, Fontana.

"We were standing in 7/11 and Colin (Simon, Fontana's Drummer) and Geoff (Ives, Fontana's bassist) come up behind us and say, 'Did you guys load the stuff out of the car?'" Derochie recalls of the group's January trip to Philadelphia. "My heart just sank. I already knew what happened."

After loading their gear out into their touring vehicle, the band delayed leaving the City of Brotherly Love for a few hours. In that time, their car was broken into and everything from hand-built guitars, amps, drums, records and birth certificates were stolen. "It was a professional job. They had the tools to break the lock. They staked it out and knew what to get," DeRochie says. "They didn't waste time on shit like drum seats."

It's been a hard road for Fontana in the past few months, aside from the group's gear getting stolen in Philly, they were also involved in a car crash that left DeRochie's prized Mercury Tracer for dead. "We just played this show in Ohio, it was a Friday night and it was only a five hour ride back to Detroit," DeRochie says. "We figured we would make it home that night, and then just rest up on Saturday."

As the boys pressed across another county line, snow began to fill up the road, which had not been prepared prior to the onset of the powdery white stuff. Cars were spinning out left and right, the group tried to navigate themselves, but ultimately they hit another car. "I just looked over at Geoff and his face was all bloody. An ambulance had to come," DeRochie says. "Geoff's parents were nice enough to come pick us up. It was my mom's birthday and I had to call her and tell her we just got in the really bad accident. 'Happy Birthday Mom.'"

Fontana, who plays a brand of punk that mixes free jazz with '80s American hardcore, will be playing a show February 26 at PJ's Lager House with X! Records label mates, Terrible Twos. While Derochie, Ives and Simon have insisted it not be, the bands friends have suggested that all proceeds go to the band in order to get new gear. "It would be bullshit for me to put one together for myself," DeRochie says. "I don't really feel right about it now even though we aren't putting it on, but I feel a little better at the same time knowing people want to support us." Check out Fontana and the rest of the new Detroit legions of modern punk on the new compilation, Shiftless Decay, out now on X! Records as well.