Have a Merch Table Your Band Can Be Proud Of

When it comes to making music in Fort Collins, making money is the hardest part. Having and selling great merch at a good margin can be the ticket to getting paid. T-shirts, buttons and cds are probably staples of your merch table and probably sell well. Take it to the next level and try out one of the following product and display ideas–just be sure the thing you pick is actually relevant for your type of fans!

Weed grinder

Who wouldn’t love a pocket sized herb grinder branded with your logo?!

weed grinder

Drop off Productions or Peculiar Press: Keep-worthy screen printed posters

Amy Bradley of Peculiar Press encouraged the bands at the FoCoMX Pro Dev panel to offer more than just a T-shirt. People LOVE to support their favorite bands but not everyone wants to wear the brand. Amy suggested a limited edition custom screen printed poster. I’d have to agree. It’s SO hard to throw away the posters we get from Drop Off Productions. They are little works of art.
drop off poster

Signed Washboard (or other instrument) 

When you hit a certain level of celebrity, you can sell off your old instruments to your fans. Check out Elephant Revival’s Washboard!

washboard

Toothbrush

Chemistry Club of Denver believes in three things: music, science and oral hygiene

chemistry club toothbrush

8 more ideas included hand-made mugs and cell phone cases.

Bonus Add-On: add a custom sticker from Leapin’ Lizard Labels with every purchase! We absolutely love our die cut stickers from this Fort Collins company and we have a legit addiction to the silver matte laminate paper. #sexy

IMG_5927After you have a nice assortment of relevant products, maximize your table with one of the following.

I found most of these on craigslist for about $20 each (except for the assistant but you never know).

  • A responsible and handsome merch assistant who is GREAT at selling
  • Vintage suitcases (an obvious choice as they are storage and display!)
  • Mannequin head or torso to display tshirts, hats or sunglasses
  • Old snare drum creates height, or cut a hole in the head to make a raffle box
  • Rope lighting to draw people over to you
  • Chalkboard to list prices

3 Ways to Enjoy FoCoMX 2016

FoCoMX is near! Here are THREE ways to enjoy it on April 22nd and 23rd: low stress/easy, medium difficulty, and early bird/can’t stay out late.

Low Stress/Easy. Julie is an 8 year veteran of FoCoMX. If she tells you to park your ass somewhere for the best lineup without the hustle, you listen!

Friday: Park yo’self at Hodi’s.

Saturday: Snag a bench at The Aggie. Easy peasy.

2016-03-10 20.27.28

Chieftain

Medium Difficulty/Genre Smorgasbord. Angel doesn’t get out much after dark so naturally, she’ll try to do ALL THE THINGS. Efficiency is queen in her world. Tag along on her schedule**:

Friday
4:30pm
Equinox Brewing | All Ages
Matt Mahern
Singer-Songwriter

5:30pm
Downtown Artery | All Ages
Emma Marie w/ Benji Smith
Singer-Songwriter

5:45pm
Illegal Pete’s | All Ages
The Little Black Bottles
Indie-Alternative

7:00pm
Illegal Pete’s | All Ages
Shaley Scott
Rock-Pop

8:30pm
Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages
Shatterproof
Rock-Pop

10:00pm
Lyric Cinema Cafe (Theatre) | All Ages
ComBATILLAC
Metal-Punk-Hardcore

12:00am
Aggie Theatre | All Ages
The Patti Fiasco
Country-Bluegrass-Americana

Saturday
2:00pm
Illegal Pete’s | All Ages
Paradox
Rock-Pop

5:30pm
Downtown Artery | All Ages
Senorita Sometimes
Rock-Pop

7:00pm
Blue Skies Winery | All Ages
Elyse Miller
Singer-Songwriter

8:00pm
The Whisk(e)y | 21+
Chieftain
Metal-Punk-Hardcore

8:30pm (literally couldn’t decide between these two)
Hodi’s Half Note | All Ages
Eldren
TBA

Surfside 7 | 21+
Serpentfoot
Rock-Pop

10:30pm
Tap N Handle | 21+
Cool Hand Juke
R&B-Soul-Funk

11:00pm
Lyric Cinema Cafe (Theatre) | All Ages
I Am the Owl
Metal-Punk-Hardcore

11:45pm
Downtown Artery | All Ages
Wire Faces
Rock-Pop

**build your own schedule by creating an account at http://focomx.focoma.org/.

cohere-bandwidth-band-pic

Wire Faces

Early Birds/Can’t Stay Out Late: Go to the Whisk(e)y on Saturday from 4:00-6:00p. You’re guaranteed to see LOTS of surprise musicians joining DJ Alf on stage. You’ll be wrapped up in time to grab an early dinner and head home.

What Fans and Bands Ought to Know About Having a Concert in Fort Collins

We learned a lot by having our own concert in Fort Collins last week. Please enjoy this picture of Steve from Pateros Creek and an infographic that shares all the details, numbers, financials and how much each of our member bands made.

The Secret to Finding a Rehearsal Space

Finding a solid place to rehearse with your band can be a long and often disappointing process. Lock-out rooms are few and far between in Fort Collins and the low vacancy rate in rentals means that your neighbors are always close by to hear what you’re up to and they’re never shy about calling the cops.

“The police came once to warn me. The second time I was issued an “unreasonable noise” violation. That ticket carries a $1000 fine. I went to court and had it reduced to $250 with the understanding that if the police were called again I would be fined the remaining $750. If I am contacted twice in the next 2 years I will be labeled a “public nuisance”.”  -Craig Powell, Drummer, Unreasonable Noise

Craig did a smart thing and joined Cohere Bandwidth before he could get that second violation. Hopefully, you never have to be in that situation so we’ve put together this handy checklist so that as you visit the many shared rehearsal spaces in Fort Collins, you can make an educated choice that will benefit your band.

Is this a legit practice space?
Aka, not a turkey coop or storage locker or abandoned warehouse? Is it branded as a rehearsal space? Are there any other business operations in the space that give you pause to wonder what the hell is up? Massage parlors, spare warehouse spaces or barns are always a risky proposition. If the space isn’t rehearsal space 90% of the time, this should give you pause. The owners probably aren’t properly insured, equipped or even helpful when you keep tripping the breaker every 15 minutes.
2015-09-03 18.39.41
Is the space in a neutral zone?
By neutral zone, we mean that it doesn’t belong to anyone in your band. Your buddy’s basement or your girlfriend’s garage do not count as neutral territory. Why does this matter? Because when rehearsal happens at a band member’s house, that band member is doing all the heavy lifting. They most likely store a lot of your stuff. Your stuff probably isn’t insured when it’s in your friend’s basement. They bear the burden and police record for any noise complaints that come in and rehearsal ALWAYS has to work with their schedule, their partner’s schedule and the neighborhood.

If your band likes to hang out before or after rehearsal, is the neighborhood conducive to grabbing a beer or slice?
One of the potential drawbacks of using a shared rehearsal space is that you are paying for the time so your band will feel less like having a beer for the first hour and you could miss out on that valuable bonding and creative time. Using a rehearsal space that is super close to your favorite haunt ensures that you band can still bond and you won’t lose any budgeted rehearsal time.

Does the space appear to be professionally sound proofed?
We’ve heard stories about rehearsal spaces being lined with used mattresses from a nursing home (cringe-worthy) to painted egg crates and blankets tacked up on walls. While there are certainly many online resources for DIY sound proofing, you’ve got better things to do with your time than combing message boards for whether MLV actually works.

When you tour the space, ASK about how it is sound proofed. Any rehearsal space owner or manager should be super knowledgable about how their space it built, why it matters and how you won’t have to worry about pissing off neighbors while you rock.

FullSizeRender (19)

Is the space and gear in good repair/clean?
You don’t need to be able to eat off the floor but a practice space with clean bathrooms, solid equipment and nice lighting will save you time. If you think you might have to spend time scraping mouse droppings off the snare drum before rehearsal, run.

“Hands down, most pleasant practice experience anywhere! The backline is tremendous (Fender Hot Rod Deville 410? Gimme that!), the rooms are clean but not fussy, booking time is easy, and the vibe clears all the brush to get back to what we love most about playing music. 10’s across the board.” -William Knudsen, Singer/Songwriter

What vibe do you get from the staff?
We encourage you to visit and try out all the different rehearsal options that are in Fort Collins. You’ll likely find that your band just “clicks” with a particular community. Don’t force it and don’t feel bad if you want to play the field so to speak before landing on your favorite. Staff should be helpful, friendly and bonus points if they are in a band! No one can help your band better than another musician who is really familiar with shared practice spaces.

Are the rules of use clearly outlined?
Do you know what’s expected/allowed in the space? There’s no worse feeling than accidentally breaking a piece of gear and worrying about what horrifying lawsuit will come down on you. Ask about any problems the community has had with gear, damage or people in the past. How was it handled? We’ll tell you all about how we handled a missing microphone a few months ago.

Are there any reviews of the space online?
Do they sound legit and not generated by robots? The Fort Collins music community is fairly well-known. Were any of the reviews written by your friends or bands you admire?

“Great place and space to rehearse! Sound quality is awesome. Setup is quick and easy. Reasonable prices! And a safe place to practice!” Stacy Sevelin, Senorita Sometimes

Does the space offer any value-adds? Is any gear included?
It’s important to think hard about your band’s goals. Is your band still getting established and needs a lot of services like photography, stickers, graphic design or a demo recording? If so, look for spaces that help you connect to resources that you need most. If your band is well-established or on tour, a space that just provides space without any fluff may be perfect for you.

Conclusion
Deciding to practice in a shared space is a big decision and can be a big change from what a band is used to especially if you’ve been in a lock-out space or at home. We really encourage you to give shared rehearsal space a try. You’ll probably find that your rehearsals CAN be super productive even when you’re not at home. Schedule a tour and check us out!

IMG_5518

Backstage Pass to Cohere Bandwidth: All the Stats and Financials

No matter your interest in shared rehearsal space in Fort Collins, we’re answering all your questions about Cohere Bandwidth. How much did it take to start Bandwidth? How many bands have rehearsed there? How many rehearsals happen each day? What’s the most popular time to practice? How much is your rent? It’s all in this handy dandy infographic. Please enjoy and more importantly, share.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Chieftain

Not exactly sure if they qualify as “neighbors” so much as “roommates” in our shared practice space — but we love them, even if they do use all the shampoo to maintain their sweet locks. 

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Chieftain

Chieftain band pic

Courtesy: Chieftain

 

How long have you been a band, and what made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space for band practice? What is your favorite part about rehearsing at Bandwidth?

We started this band in 2012 after a short break from our previous projects.  We practiced out at the turkey coops all the way until early summer of 2015 when we were asked to move.  That’s when Angel and my old/current Bill the Welder drummer Shane, offered us their space when it opened.  We spent a month in a warehouse that Mitch was able to provide until Cohere Bandwidth opened and we commenced the rocking at their sweet space.

CohereBandwidth_05

Courtesy: Craig Okraska

What do you do for work … and play?

Derek is an Environmental Compliance Technician for work and enjoys fishing, riffing and fun.  Kris sells guitars at Guitar Center Fort Collins and is a freelance illustrator/graphic designer.  He enjoys hanging out with his rad wife, drawing, painting, playing bass, watching live music, playing video games, camping and hanging out with these jerks.  Brian is a landscape foreman. His favorite thing to do is watch his favorite bands play with all his buddies.  Mitch brews beer at New Belgium.

What makes your band unique?

Chieftain is a culmination of all our influences and previous projects (Mashadar, Fear the Vacuum, Bill the Welder, Pterrordaktyl, BeastLeg).  We are unique because we blend 70s rock n roll, stoner metal and sludge that is so common these days with a heavier thrash metal, punk edge that brings a lot of fun dynamics and newer takes on some of the standard or classic type riffs.

Who are the members of your band?

Derek Hall – Guitars & Vocals

Kris Hodgell – Bass

Brian Leavitt – Drums

Mitch McGuire – Guitar

chieftain

Courtesy: Chieftain

 

How did you meet?

Kris met Derek at Guitar Center Ft Collins in 2007.  They started hanging out outside of work where Derek introduced Kris to Brian.  Brian was the drummer in Brian and Derek’s band Mashadar.  Kris was in Fear the Vacuum at that point and those two bands started playing shows together.  Both of those bands eventually ran their coarse and fell apart.  Shortly after Derek and Kris started a speed punk project called Pterrordaktyl, which lasted about two years.  After that project fell apart Brian, Derek and Kris started jamming and working toward what would become Chieftain.  Mitch says he replied to a flier that was in the mens restroom at Surfside that said “looking for long haired gentleman to get down with”.  When in fact, he has been a friend of ours for some time who we asked to join the ranks, thus Chieftain was born.

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring?

There are many bands past and present: Bronze, Men of Letters, Descendants, Wretch Like Me, Deadspeak, Fear the Vacuum, Bill the Welder, Wire Faces, Crow, The Echo Chamber, John Hodge, Native Daughters.  We’re forgetting lots of bands, no doubt.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life?

Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, Uncle Acid, Misfits, The Sword, Intronaut, Between the Buried and Me, Graveyard, Mastodon, Opeth, Joe Bonamassa, Witchcraft, Revocation, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi and Black Sabbath all day every day.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?

We are planning on recording a demo with about 3 tracks very soon.  After that, we would like to record a full length album but we need to save up a bit more for that one.  We want that full length to be the best sounding/feeling record any of us has ever made.  We are always writing new material and are working to finish up our newest song. Several more riffs await their time to shine!  We have new art and merch on the way too.

kris and mitch

Courtesy: Chieftain

 

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?

Ever since we started this band, before it even had a name, we made sure we would keep one thing in mind at all times: have fun and write badass tunes.  It sounds a little cheesy, I know, but we have all been in other serious bands that have had their shares of band issues or drama or whatever you want to call it.  Every practice is a great time.  We may dial in our sets for gigs one practice, where another practice focuses almost entirely on a new song.  We are always striving for progress towards writing new songs and playing around with different styles while capturing all of our individual sounds and techniques. Yes there are frustrations and things of that nature, but it’s always for the good of the song and the band. It’s always fun.

Where can people find you/your music?

We’ll post updates about our recordings on our Facebook page .  Our next show will be at the new Surfside 7 location on November 12th.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Wake Breakers

Not exactly sure if they qualify as “neighbors” so much as “roommates” — since they have become our first Cohere Bandwidth member band! We plan to see Wake Breakers quite a bit in our shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins. Possibly in their bathrobes, or in whatever they feel comfortable wearing around the house. Like pirate-punk eye patches.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Wake Breakers

Landlocked - Hey Neighbor!

Wake Breakers taking a moment to pose at our private opening party. Photo: Chromatic || Craig Okraska

How long have you been together as a band?
Since February 2015.

What made you decide to seek out shared rehearsal space?
Because the conditions were bad in our past space: no air conditioning, small, not enough equipment.

Editor's Note: Here's a "before" picture of Landlocked at practice. Hot. Cramped. Decidedly not five-star.

Here’s a “before” picture of Wake Breakers at practice. Hot. Cramped. Sad pirates. Photo credit: Mom

What do you do for work … and play?
Group hacky sack. Video games. Abe teaches uke. Trip and Parker have dreams. (<<Editor’s Note: this is what we *think* this read; the interview sheet was completed with a certain amount of youthful zest. We hope Trip and Parker have dreams. Everybody has a dream.)

Who are the members of your band?
Trip: Vocals and guitar
Parker: Lead guitar
Abe: Bass
Sam: Drums

Band Manager: Michael Goldstrom

How did you meet?
School.

What makes your band unique?
Pirate Punk
Young — and with talent and publicity
Editor: they’re not kidding about the publicity — see below for a photo of  Wake Breakers at band practice celebrating their front page Coloradoan feature story:

Landlocked - Coloradoan

And here’s a story via the Rocky Mountain Collegian complete with a video interview:

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?
More publicity
More gigs and $

Current soundtrack to a day in your life?
FIDLAR
Jack White
The Growlers

Are there any other local bands you find inspiring?
The Burroughs
Wire Faces

What’s the most important thing you accomplish at band practice?
Improving music and band coherence

Where can people find your music?

Upcoming Shows: playing Northern Colorado Pride
(Pride OUTside – August 1)

Connect Online:

Rehearsing: at Cohere Bandwidth!

Fort Collins: 7 Days of Rockin’ Christmas Videos

No matter if your holiday travels take you out of Fort Collins or shuffling to your couch in bunny slippers, we’ve put together some of our all-time favorite Christmas music videos to help you pass the time, avoid your family or bring you cheer. Come January, bring your band to Cohere Bandwidth, your rock solid rehearsal space!

The 12 Beers of Christmas

River Bottom Nightmare Band

Bing Crosby & David Bowie Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy 1977

Taylor Swift Last Christmas

SHEL Sleigh Ride

Holiday Road Cover by Shane Zweygardt & Alana Rolfe

Muppet Christmas Carol: Marley and Marley

Bonus Song: Carol of the Bells by Post Paradise

Bonus 8th Video: Josie Carey and Fred Rogers (on Organ and Piano) “I Know It’s Time for Christmas”

This Week in Music December 6th-12th

This Week in Music is out! Notable: Surfside 7 is finally open on Linden Street! Wahoooo!!!

This Week in Music Nov. 21st-28th: Fort Collins

This Week in Music Nov. 21-28: Fort Collins

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