In 2008 and 2009, Coatesville, Pa., was victim of bizarre, cruel trauma. Within that period, the small town with a population of about 10,000 was subject to some 44 arsons within its city limits. The damage was in the millions of dollars, several families were displaced because of destroyed homes and one woman died. The arson problem got to be so bad that the police force was increased; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives became part of the investigation to find the perpetrators and a state of emergency was declared in January of last year.
Fred Mascherino, a guitarist and vocalist who has done stints in Taking Back Sunday, Breaking Pangaea and The Color Fred, was captivated by the drama unfolding in his hometown.
“I was in a Mexican restaurant in my town and they had a TV on,” Mascherino says. “It was CNN and they were talking about how they had just caught these two boys who confessed to a few of the fires. It really sickened me that this little depressed field town I had never expected to get any national notoriety (gained some) for something as awful as the approximately 40 fires. That night, he penned his first song about the arsons. Soon, he'd write more and became “pretty much obsessed” with the saga. The resulting work would be collected on Terrible Things, last August's debut from Mascherino's new band of the same.
Terrible Things plays Mad Hatter Wednesday with Bayside and The Sleeping. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full interview and get show details.