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A few months ago, the Helen Earth Band unloaded all its cash and maxed out a credit card to buy a tour van that singer-guitarist Marc Allen describes as “a total lemon. They sold us a van with a cracked [cylinder] head.”

Having already driven over the mileage covered by their warranty, the band sold the overheating van back to the dealer at a several-thousand-dollar loss. In order to recoup losses and get back on the road, the Carlsbad/Encinitas trio (with brother Adam Allen and bassist Trevor Vieweg) has registered at arts-funding platform Kickstarter (kickstarter.com), where fans can donate toward the target sum of $5000. Prizes include albums, unreleased demos, private shows, T-shirts, posters, album art, and lifetime tickets to Helen Earth shows.

The group released its debut album Our Own Ghost City last November and is writing material for a new album. Though between drummers, the trio will be recording “Killing a Camera” (by Chicago emo-math band Braid) for an upcoming tribute album from U.K. indie label Too School for Cool.

Braid was a common reference point for the Allen brothers, who have been working on Helen Earth Band material since 2004.

“[Braid was] great at building and stopping on a dime,” Marc says, “changing the feel, changing the mood, and smacking you in the face over and over again.”


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