All About Music in Fort Collins: by Argento Studios

Tim and Angel were recently interviewed by Cynthia of Argento Studios for an epic look at the Fort Collins music scene. We think it highlights all the best parts of who we are as a town. The article includes in-depth interviews with local heroes like Greta Cornett, Julie Sutter, Erin Roberts and Tim Massa. If you are new to Fort Collins or just curious to learn more about how we work as a music city, this is a must read for musicians and non-musicians alike.

“The thing I have learned because I haven’t been in the music industry except through Cohere Bandwidth is that the people who are supporting the musicians in Fort Collins are musicians. They form the foundation of the fan base.” -Angel

Read the full article: Fort Collins is the Startup City Built on Rock-and-Roll.

Cohere Bandwidth: A Practice Space’s First Year in Review

We’ve compiled data on how many Fort Collins bands rehearse at Cohere Bandwidth, which bands practice the most and our goals for the next year.

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

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: Collin Ingram

Creating shared rehearsal space in downtown Fort Collins means that Cohere Bandwidth has some super-awesome neighbors. Like one of the directors of the Downtown Artery, Collin Ingram: dog owner, bass player, and occasional wearer of skintight latex costumes.

Hey Neighbor! Meet: Collin Ingram

CollinIngram

But first: a #selfie. Photo by William Knudsen.

How long have you been in the neighborhood, and what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Fort Collins for about three years now. I grew up in a little town near Yellowstone called Cody, Wyoming. I was lucky to be surrounded by some great musical mentors growing up and started making a living playing bass by the time I went to college. I went to music school in Minnesota for a bit, but after my first winter out there I was ready to head home and be warm again. A couple months later I drove down to Laramie to audition for the music program at the University of Wyoming. Since I was in the neighborhood, I paid some absurd amount of money for Radiohead tickets at the 1st Bank Center. On our way to Broomfield, my friend Dave and I stopped for lunch in Old Town. It took five minutes of me being in Fort Collins to know this was where I wanted to live. I moved down here a few months later.

What do you do for work … and play?
I’m one of the directors of the Downtown Artery, an arts and music organization here in Fort Collins. We have an art gallery, studio spaces, a coffee shop, a bar, a recording studio, a record label, and a live music venue. I mainly focus on our recording studio (State Line Studios) and our record label (Strange Light Records). I get to do fun stuff like produce and release albums, and slightly less fun stuff like working on record contracts.

I don’t play music as often as I used to, though I still perform occasionally with various groups, such as my hip-hop band Party Art and Libby Creek Original, when the opportunity arises.

I’ve recently grown fond of putting on a skintight latex bicycle costume, hopping on a ridiculously light bicycle I spent way too much money on, and riding until my skintight latex bicycle costume smells really bad. After that I’ll usually drink a beer and pretend that everyone in the bar isn’t secretly judging me on how ridiculous I look in my skintight latex bicycle costume and how bad said skintight latex bicycle costume smells.

If I’m not doing any of that stuff above I’m probably cuddling with my dog, Shia LaPup, or looking for someone to argue about TV shows with.

What makes your neighborhood unique?
First and foremost, I really dig how a healthy percentage of the people I care most about in this world live within a four block radius of my apartment. It really does the heart good to run into any number of your friends whenever you take your dog out for a walk or run to the grocery store.

It’s also important to me that I can count the number of chain restaurants, fast food joints, or big box stores in Old Town on one hand. I don’t think people quite realize how important small businesses are to fostering things like a healthy arts and music scene. So many Old Town businesses have local art hanging on the wall and host concerts (even if they realistically don’t have room for them.) That’s the kind of stuff that puts towns on the map. Chipotles and the like are cool but they have the tendency to suck the lifeblood out a neighborhood. When was the last time you saw a great band at Subway, or a local art show at T.G.I. Friday’s?

What makes YOU unique?
Once a year I read a book that I know I’m going to absolutely hate. I don’t really why I started doing this and I REALLY don’t know why I keep doing it. Anyway, past examples include:

  • The O’Reilly Factor For Kids: A Survival Guide for America’s Families by Bill O’Reilly
  • Amish Vampires In Space by Kerry Nietz
  • The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee
  • Left Behind: Nicolae — The Rise of Antichrist by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

I’m thinking about reading Go Set A Watchman this year. Does that count?

Oh! Also! Remember how I said I like arguing about TV shows earlier? Here’s some of my unpopular opinions. If anybody want’s to argue with me about these hit me up!

  • Season 9 of “The Office” was better than any of the Michael Scott seasons.
  • This season of “True Detective” is just as good, if not better, than last season.
  • “The Wire” is WAY better than “Breaking Bad” ever dreamt of being. That being said, Breaking Bad is the second-greatest TV show of all time.
  • Daenerys Targaryen is awful. Like seriously. She’s the worst.

The series finale of “How I Met Your Mother” was nearly perfect. That was the best possible way to end that show. Really. I mean that.

Favorite neighborhood haunts:
Avo’s is a really wonderful bar. Pour Brothers is also a really wonderful bar. Social, The Whiskey, The Forge, and The Mayor are all really wonderful bars. Choice City has really great food. So does The Mainline, Pickle Barrel, Cozzola’s, and The Kitchen. I really want Surfside to open up again. I miss their pizza (among other things). Sometimes I wonder how many gallons of Illegal Pete’s queso I’ve consumed this year. That stuff’s good for you, right? I think I should point out that Mountain Cafe DEFINITELY DOESN’T have breakfasts that are just as good as the ‘popular’ breakfast spots without ever having a wait. Harbinger Coffee is next level and Starry Night has the best Americanos in the world. I get my hair cut at His & Her Salon. They’re wonderful people. Lee’s Cyclery and Peleton Cycles and probably have the friendliest, most helpful staffs in the world.

In your opinion, what makes a good neighbor?
Good neighbors are constantly looking for excuses to help each other out. This is really, really, important. Good neighbors support small businesses in their neighborhood. Good neighbors go to as many of those city council and community meetings as they can possibly bear to go to. Good neighbors go to shows (and buy merch). Good neighbors tell local artists and musicians how much they appreciate their work. Good neighbors tell everyone how much they appreciate them. This is really, really, important.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life:

  • Tame Impala’s new album Currents is genius.
  • Jason Isbell’s new album Something More Than Free is also very good. Much better than I was expecting it to be.
  • Father John Misty’s album I Love You Honeybear finally clicked for me a couple weeks ago. Such a wonderful album.
  • I found this album Peter Gabriel released in 2011 called Scratch My Back. It’s just Peter and a chamber orchestra covering everybody from Neil Young and Paul Simon to Bon Iver and Arcade Fire. It’s stunning.
  • On the subject of Arcade Fire I finally realized last month they are actually an amazing band. The Suburbs is incredible.
  • I’m still completely floored by how good Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and Sufjan Steven’s Carrie & Lowell are. Two of the best albums of the decade released within a couple weeks of each other. What an amazing time to be alive.
  • Meek Mill’s Wanna Know is a bumping track.

Check-in & Check-It-Out: Open Friday for FoCoMX!

For a while there, it seemed like this moment might never come, but now the week has actually arrived. We are (kinda*) open!

Starting Friday at FoCoMX

*We’re not yet open for band rehearsals … however: beginning at noon on Friday, April 24, we ARE acting as the primary check-in point for the seventh annual Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX). FoCoMX, presented by the Fort Collins Musicians Association, is a two-day festival showcasing bands from Northern Colorado in venues throughout Old Town Fort Collins. It. Is. Awesome. ! Festival sponsors, bands and VIPs will have an opportunity to check out Cohere Bandwidth when they check in to pick up their wristbands for the weekend. Will-call and ticket sales for the festival will also be located just outside Cohere Bandwidth on Linden St.

FoCoMX

Visit www.focomx.org to buy your festival wristband!

What this means: we are welcoming literally hundreds of musicians and music lovers into our brand-new downtown rehearsal space to say hello. We are beside ourselves with excitement and joy. It’s kind of surreal — from idea to opening has been a long journey.

More Good News for Musicians

  • Every FoCoMX band will get a nice little gift from us at check-in. (If your band is playing the festival, you can pick up your wristbands from 12p – 10p on Fri. 4/24 or Sat. 4/25; our address is 317 Jefferson St. in downtown Fort Collins).
FoCoMX - Michael Kirkpatrick

Our gift might not be as nice as a mustache riding a bicycle, but … really, what is? You’ll still like it, we promise. P.S. this is Michael Kirkpatrick — he kicks off FoCoMX on Friday at 3:30P at Equinox.

  • Whether you’re playing FoCoMX or not, Cohere Bandwidth memberships are now available and ripe for the picking. A membership gets your band 8 hours of rehearsal time per month at a discount over our hourly rates, plus a ton of other fabulous perks you can read about here. Securing a membership for your band soon! means you’ll have a better chance of selecting the days/times you want on an ongoing basis. Non-member hourly rehearsal times are based on availability after the members choose their preferred times. Contact us ASAP if you’re interested in a membership — we only have 18 left!
  • In addition to the aforementioned fabulous perks we’ve already lined up with our friends at the Downtown Artery, we are also always on the lookout for other sweet deals for our Cohere Bandwidth musicians. Case (heh) in point: we just put together a partnership with our nearby pals at Pateros Creek Brewing Company that will give Cohere Bandwidth members a) free beer at their first rehearsal and b) after 6 consecutive months of rehearsals at Cohere Bandwidth, an opportunity to create a collaboration brew for their band with Pateros Creek. More on that later! FYI, Pateros Creek recently collaborated with Post Paradise on a Rye Pale Ale and they have developed a reputation for being awesome. And for loving local music. And they’re a block away. So yay.

Our Creative Community

We’ll be posting updates and photos throughout the week (feel free to follow along via Instagram for photos; we’re also posting some of our recommendations for must-see FoCoMX shows on our Facebook page this week). If you’re out exploring the festival — and we hope you are! — make sure to tag your social media shenanigans with #FoCoMX and #FoCoMusic so we can all stay connected.

Side note: the 2015 Creative Industries Summit takes place this week in Fort Collins also, on Thursday 4/23 and Friday 4/24. Creative entrepreneurs, emerging creatives, municipal and nonprofit cultural workers, and community leaders from throughout the state will be in town to attend and explore our city’s creative community. Say hi! (Pro tip: pop into Illegal Pete’s on Thursday night at 7:30P and catch a performance by the always-stellar Ian Cooke. After you’re utterly smitten … and you will be … you can see him again at FoCoMX on Friday night!)

Finally: THANK YOU. We’re here. Huzzah. It’s Opening Week!

Ian Cooke - photo courtesy Harper Point Photography/Articulate City

Ian Cooke – photo courtesy Harper Point Photography and Articulate City

Field Report: Road Trip to ToneVille

Those of you that follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook got a little sneak peek at the way we spent last Friday … going on an adventure to fetch a secret gift that will soon be part of our shared rehearsal space experience!

shhhhh

Update — in shocking news, we have procured not just ONE gift, but TWO for you, our beloved Fort Collins music community. Gift #1: we decided the Cohere Bandwidth team needed some more enthusiastic young musical expertise, so we got you a tall and sprightly drummer!

shanehatched

But not that tall and sprightly drummer. Another one:

shaneadrian

More Awesome Energy!
We are very excited to announce the addition of Adrian Wright to the Cohere Bandwidth team. Adrian is a tall and sprightly drummer who plays in a band called Yettie, and he is poised to step in with his bonafide brilliant musician mind should someone suddenly kidnap Shane and stuff him into the hatch of an SUV, never to be seen again. You can never have too many drummers, in our opinion. Someone’s always needing a spare. Please join us in welcoming Adrian aboard. And you should check out his band. You’ll likely see more and more of him as we move in and prepare for opening.

Speaking of preparing for opening …

More Excellent Equipment!
Gift #2 was purchased with a credit card, and required a bit of a road trip, so we shoved all our drummers in a car and drove off to Colorado Springs to get … an amplifier. It occurred to us at about the Longmont exit that maybe we should have grabbed a guitar player, too.

Julie: “do you think maybe we should have brought someone that could test this thing out?”
Angel: “Shane, can you play (surprises everyone by humming Black Sabbath’s Iron Man)?”

Then we remembered we were picking up said amp at a music store. Lucci Music, to be exact, where someone would surely know how to play some Black Sabbath if needed. Oh, and also Lucci Music is home to ToneVille Amplifiers. Ta-da!

toneville-in-case

We mean … ta-da!tonevillerevealed

Lovingly handcrafted right here in Colorado, ToneVille amps are this beautiful blend of art and science that practically made Angel weep with joy:

angelovestoneville

We purchased the Broadway model, which has insides made from “new old stock” tubes (a phrase, for the uninitiated, that sounds ridiculous but actually has meaning for those in the know; it refers to tubes that were manufactured in the past, but just never used. Good for built-to-last, authentic vintage sound, apparently). The Broadway’s outsides are made from black walnut and hard maple, with gorgeous dovetailed joints and a retro flair that is such a perfect fit with our branding that we nearly had to bring Julie some smelling salts.

Best of all, though, our ToneVille amp was made by Phil. We got to meet Phil and shake his hand, and talk to him about his business, and that doesn’t happen that often when you buy things these days. It was like a music farmer’s market. It was awesome.

phil

This is Phil. We did not make him play Black Sabbath.

Phil wrote down every individual tube included in our ToneVille for our reference. And he gave us ToneVille T-shirts. And he sat cross-legged on the floor and painstakingly took us through the features of the Broadway. If you want something akin to that experience, you can check out lots of demo videos on the Internet, like this one from Guitar World at the NAMM show earlier in January:

But what we would like most of all is for you to come experience your new gifts in person when we open, of course. When do we open? Well, we’re getting closer to exact dates, but for starters — we’ll be acting as the artist and sponsor check-in venue for FoCoMX April 24 – 25. So if yours is among the 266 bands playing at our favorite Fort Collins music festival, then we’ll see you very soon. We’ll open for rehearsal room bookings shortly thereafter and you can come try out all the amenities in our home in the Downtown Artery building, including the ToneVille amp. And the Colorado-made Mantic Effects pedals. And you can high-five our getting-increasingly-taller team.

teambandwidth

In the meantime, don’t forget to get your band on our wait list to stay up-to-speed on our official opening date. It’s all happening, faster than you think. We can hardly wait!

Mister Rogers is our Spirit Animal

Fred Rogers might seem an unlikely hero for a rock-n-roll venture like a shared rehearsal space for bands. But as we get ready for Cohere Bandwidth’s debut in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins, we’ve been thinking a lot about our place in the community, and about our soon-to-be neighbors. Mister Rogers has come up in conversation more than once. Turns out he had a lot of philosophies that we agree with and a super-cool outlook on what it means to be a good neighbor. Fred had street cred, and in terms of gurus, he’s pretty much the perfect fit for Cohere Bandwidth.

Come Together

“Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.” – Fred Rogers, in his 2002 commencement address at Dartmouth

One of the things we are most excited about at Cohere Bandwidth is becoming a part of the community that surrounds our new home on the corner of Linden and Jefferson — because fundamentally, we believe that music is about belonging, and art grows more beautiful when it’s shared and explored with other people. We look forward to being under the same roof as the creatives that already call the Downtown Artery home, because we know we’ve found kindred spirits in those artists, musicians, advocates and other crafty kids. We’re also pretty excited to become frequent diners at Illegal Pete’s new Fort Collins location on the other side of our block, to have new music-loving Linden neighbors in Surfside Seven, as they move just a few doors down from us in 2015, and to be able to walk down the alley and emerge at the Lyric Cinema — all businesses that support local music and art. We’ll be introducing you to some of these neighbors via the blog as we begin moving in, so stay tuned.

A Neighborhood of Make-Believe

“In art — the artist can make things any shape and any color they want.” — Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Season 22, Episode 5

Mister Rogers transported his viewers to places — both fanciful and real — that encouraged the exploration of new ideas. We can dig that. We want Cohere Bandwidth to be one of those places, and we know musicians are just the people to make it happen. Check out this clip from Mister Rogers’ 1968 visit with electronic music pioneer Bruce Haack:

Where Music Rules

“It takes a LOT of practice to play a musical instrument really well.” – Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Season 16, Episode 13

Another thing we have in common with Mister Rogers? An affinity for musicians, of course. A musician himself (a talented pianist who graduated magna cum laude with a BA in music composition), Fred Rogers wrote more than 200 original songs and several operas for children. He invited countless musicians to connect with his television neighbors. Here he pays a visit to a music store/rehearsal space to say hello to a young Wynton Marsalis in 1986. He brings the show’s house band, led by musical director (and crazy-good jazz pianist) Johnny Costa, along to jam:

A Place Where You Can Be YOU

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has–or ever will have–something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.” – Fred Rogers, “You Are Special: Neighborly Wit and Wisdom from Mister Rogers”

We believe that being a good neighbor is about being yourself, and giving other people space to be themselves, too. It’s good to be curious. Nobody shared that message better than Mister Rogers. We hope you’ll come by to visit us at Cohere Bandwidth when we open (sign up for our waiting list so we can keep you posted when we complete construction). We look forward to learning from you. Won’t you be our neighbor? We like you! Because you’re you.

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.

– “It’s You I Like” – music and lyrics by Fred M. Rogers, 1970

 

 

 

 

Cohere Bandwidth: Work Interrupted

 

Wire-Faces-pic

As independent professionals, we all hit a point where taking conference calls at our coffee table no longer makes sense for our brand or our sense of accomplishment. It’s the same for musicians. At some point aimless noodling doesn’t make sense for the band or great accompaniment.

Freelancers join coworking communities to add some routine to their day. It turns out that musicians need the EXACT SAME THING. A little structure in rehearsal makes all the difference.

So we wondered, what happens when a band goes from no plan to A Plan? I interviewed Shane since Wire Faces has a pretty great rehearsal system to get songs from draft to DONE.

What elements make your rehearsal so damn effective?

  • Shane-The most important thing is having a consistent schedule. Randomness does not breed harmony. We plan ahead what we’re going to work on: whether it’s to work on these specific songs or to work on an idea. I also prep the practice space in advance to record the rehearsal or we plan to rehearse acoustically depending on what type of venue we’re practicing for.
  • The next most important component is to set a goal: several rehearsals lead up to a finished product whether that’s a finished song, a finished album or prep for a show.
  • We email/text/call in advance what we’re going to be doing so everyone has the right equipment and can prepare. Depending on what we’re preparing for (a show or the album) we’ll practice the whole set from start to finish (and edit accordingly) or record and tweak a song over and over to get it right. There is tremendous value in listening as “3rd party” objective listeners and giving feedback to one another or myself to make revisions. It’s a very iterative process. Someone has to be the engineer to keep the process moving forward towards the goal.

What made you start taking yourself seriously?

Shane-I like to get things done and have finished products. I want to have something to show for all the work and time put in. It’s fun to capture the moments in your life as they go by. They reflect the different eras of my life.

Focus Groups

How will Cohere Bandwidth support musicians in this process?

Shane-The best thing about using hourly rehearsal space is taking all the members out of their comfort zones (living rooms) and into a more neutral space so everyone is more focused. There are fewer interruptions from neighbors, friends and family.

You’ve had some experience at an hourly space in Denver. How was that for you?

Shane-Paying for this great hourly space made us even more focused and we got more done than usual. We were able to stay  on task better because we knew how valuable the room was. You get too comfortable when you live with your jam space. Interruptions would happen all the time: neighbors dropping by, looky loos, they don’t realize that this practice isn’t just a hangout, we’re working.

Shane-The most valuable part of adding Cohere Bandwidth to Fort Collins will be having a sense of insulation from outside distraction in order to focus and create. It’s nice when people can’t drop in on you because they think there’s a secret venue that they’re missing out on.

If your band is ready to take it to the next level, sign up on our wait list. You’ll get first dibs at our schedule when we open. Meantime, enjoy this lovely from Sour Boy, Bitter Girl.

Field Report: Metal, Pedals and Mantic Effects

Now that shared rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins is totally, officially a thing it’s time to do some more shopping for gear for the Cohere Bandwidth backline while we wait for construction to begin. On the shopping list: effects pedals. Friday being the perfect day for a little field trip, we decided it was a good idea to detour to Denver. We paid a visit to some of our more intriguing and innovative friends, Luis Etscheid and Caleb Henning, the musicians-turned-mad-scientists behind Colorado’s Mantic Effects.

Mantic (aka Mantic Conceptual) was a business born from a desire to create new sounds, good old-fashioned experimental entrepreneurial drive, and Luis’ self-confessed pedal addiction (“I have a real problem,” he says). The result: a local boutique effects pedal company with national buzz and a rapidly expanding A-list clientele after only two years on the scene.

Yeah. They’re kind of a big deal. So where else would we shop?

Mantic - Luis

Luis, tinkering.

The fellas showed us around their workshop/lab, patiently answered our questions about knobs and thingies, and of course, let us listen in on some of the Mantic magic. It was basically like being backstage at Red Rocks before a Jack White show.

Production Heads: Caleb and the Mantic mascots

Production Heads: Caleb and the Mantic mascots

We’re super excited to combine forces with Mantic and introduce more local musicians to their genius gadgetry. These are two super-duper smart guys. Angel and I admittedly tuned out for a bit when a conversation about circuit bending started blowing our minds to the point where we kinda needed a helmet. Which they totally had. Because they rocked it at Moogfest 2014 (all the way to the finals).

Mantic Moogfest Helmet

Our hope at Cohere Bandwidth is to cater to more basic needs (like reverb and distortion pedals) via the permanent backline gear, then to also introduce a beta testing/prototyping program in conjunction with Mantic so musicians at the space can demo some of the more specialized stuff. And we can, in turn, provide Mantic with some … wait for it … feedback. Heh. Funny every time.

While they recently established their first retailer relationship with Eastside Music Supply in East Nashville, the bulk of Mantic’s sales come from direct-to-musician transactions. So while we all wait excitedly for Cohere Bandwidth to open, in the meantime we of course encourage those of you with a bit of a “pedal problem” to check out the Mantic product line. They make gorgeous-yet-rugged handcrafted pedals that some of our favorite musicians love.

Mantic Faces

Wire Faces “Mantic Monday”

Thanks to Luis and Caleb for letting us into the lab! Enjoy a little music by a Mantic fan — Denver’s Alex Anderson of ManCub and Rose Quartz:

 

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