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.

Hey Neighbor: Meet I Am The Owl

When it comes to being a band in Fort Collins, look to I Am The Owl. They have set an example as supportive, professional and hard working musicians. We are proud to call them members of our shared practice space, Cohere Bandwidth!

I Am The Owl

Place in the Neighborhood: Cohere Bandwidth Member Band

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I Am The Owl from left Josh R. Kyle K., Corey H., Josh H. -photo by Jess L. Paul

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? 

I am the Owl started in September of 2014. We had been practicing in Josh H.’s basement, and when he moved to a new place, we were out of a space. We love practicing at Cohere because of the bass/drum/PA backline, and the ability to practice late into the night if need be!

Who are the members of your band (and what instruments do they each play)? 

Josh Rivera: Vocals & Guitar

Josh Harrelson: Guitar

Kyle Krueckeberg: Bass & Vocals

Corey Hatch: Drums & Backing Vocals

How did you meet?Josh R and Josh H met in 6th grade (1998!). We met Kyle around 2008 when he was playing in The Metal Band Crow, and he later played with us in Nutricula. When Nutricula broke up, we decided to stick together and start something new. After going through a bunch of drummers that weren’t really a great fit, we found Corey when he responded to a Facebook ad!

What do you do for work … and play?

Corey: I am the sound designer/ board operator at Midtown Arts Center here in Fort Collins. In my free time when I’m not playing music, I like to be doing something outside.

Kyle: Music falls under both. Video games and frisbee golf for fun. Store manager at 7-11 for work.

Josh H: I work as a scientist…when I’m not working I enjoy doing outdoorsy stuff with my family and riding my mountain bike.

Josh R: I work at Madwire Media in their Social Media Management department. For fun I like skateboarding, playing with my dogs, drinking whisky and beer, riding bikes, and playing table tennis

What makes your band unique?

Kyle: No one knows what genre we are… even us

Corey: We are mostly categorized as “punk”, but the guitar parts are much more intricate and heavier, plus having multiple vocalists in the band gives us a more unique sound.

Josh H: We strike a solid balance of an incredibly raw sound while showing technical proficiency on all of the instruments. The energy is hard to contain within a recording and makes for an explosive live performance.

Josh R: I agree with what everyone else has said, but on top of that, we have a lot of fun. I’ve been in a lot of bands where fun eventually falls to the wayside, but we manage to keep that at the forefront, which makes being in the band a blast.

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I Am The Owl -photo by Jess L. Paul

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring? 

Corey: Attack on Venus, Amy and the Peace Pipes, American Blackout, Little Vicious (if that still counts), ARRAS, Slow Caves, Wiredogs.

Kyle: Cheiftain because you can see/feel how much fun they are having when they’re playing together. In The Whale for their success and reach outside of Colorado.

Josh H: I’ve got huge appreciation for the musicianship of Chieftain and American Blackout.  The Bomb Threat dudes seriously bring it live too.

Josh R: I love all the bands my friends are in, like Chieftain, American Blackout, Bomb Threat, Men of Letters, Slow Caves…too many to list really! The Fort Collins scene kicks ass, and there are lots of great Denver bands too, like Allout Helter and The Windermeres. Colorado music in general is in a great place right now!

Current soundtrack to a day in your life — (what band(s)/song(s) you’re listening to, local or otherwise?)

Corey: All of the above (local bands), Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Them Crooked Vultures, Blink 182, Iron Maiden, Every Time I Die, Slash, Nirvana, Rise Against, lots of classic rock, Clutch, Primus, Rage Against the Machine, many others.

Josh H: Gallows, Meat Wave, and Every Time I Die have been in heavy rotation lately.

Kyle: The Dear Hunter, Norma Jean, Lamb of God, The Offspring, Circa Survive, System of a Down, The Receiving End of Sirens

Josh R: Let’s see, looking at my recently played on iTunes…. I listened to Every Time I Die, Propagandhi, Mastodon, Periphery, Revocation, the Stranger Things soundtrack, Kanye, Katy Perry, Third Eye Blind, Hootie (and the Blowfish), Slipknot, The Dear Hunter, Steven Wilson, and Guthrie Govan today.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band? 

Mostly, we are working on writing our second EP right now. Besides that, strengthening the local scene here in Ft. Collins, and expanding our regional following by playing more shows down in Denver.

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

Our most productive practices are when we can fine tune the small details that make for cohesion. Most of our rough drafting happens at home and practice allows us to get a sense of how the song will play live and what we can do to create the best flow. As long as there is some forward progress, and we are having fun, we’ve accomplished what we set out to do

Where can people find you/your music?

Our next show will be on 10/27 at the Artery.

We are on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon, Google Play, and Tidal, and you can find us online anytime at www.iamtheowl.com. Stay up to date by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Hey Neighbor: Meet Combatillac

When it comes to practicing at home, being loud is hard. Fort Collins band Combatillac got first hand experience with that and slapped with a $1,000 fine before they found a better place to practice called Cohere Bandwidth. Members Eric and Craig gave us some insight on their band in prep for our Collaboration Brew Concert next month where they will play a set and reveal their Pils ‘Em All double pilsner from Pateros Creek Brewing.

Band Name: Combatillac

Place in the Neighborhood: Cohere Bandwidth Member Band

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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 have been a band for a little over a  year. We sought out Bandwidth because our neighbors are the worst. Our favorite part about band practice at Bandwidth is not paying noise violation fines and knowing the cops won’t come.

What do you do for work … and play?

Craig is Graphic Designer and likes to play music, snowboard and drink. Eric sits at a desk by day and rides his bike or sits at a bar by night.

What makes your band unique?

We open a lot of shows for other bands and our name and band members are unique.

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Who are the members of your band (and what instruments do they each play)?

Craig, plays drums in the band, but also a good guitar and bass player. Seth plays bass in the band, and apparently guitar, but I’ve never heard him. I’m Eric and I play guitar in the band, but can kinda play anything like a guitar, and the drums.

How did you meet?

Eric met Craig through his old band, he would always tell me he wanted to play drums for us, because our drummer didn’t hit hard enough. That drummer moved away and Craig got to drum for the Denim. We met Seth at a memorial for a friend.

Are there any other local bands that you find inspiring?

Eric: Nick Halm that plays in Electric Shoes, and Bomb Threat is my guitar hero. Craig: Muscle Beach in Denver.

Current soundtrack to a day in your life — (what band(s)/song(s) you’re listening to, local or otherwise?)

Craig: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, The Weeknd, Sports Talk radio. Eric: It sounds stupid, but I don’t really listen to music.

Any goals you’re working toward as a band?

We look forward to turning out the sweet tunes, learning new songs and perfecting old ones.

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

Getting there on time and not leaving anything behind.

Where can people find you/your music?

We play a lot in Fort Collins. Our next show is 10/27 at the Artery. Check out our Facebook page. We would like to work toward recording an EP soon so people can find our music online.

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.

The Real Preferences of Musicians in Northern Colorado

Thank you for taking our recent survey about your preferences. We’ve compiled the results from 89 northern Colorado musicians and it’s fascinating!

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.

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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/.

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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.
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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.

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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!

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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.

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