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.
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.
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!
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!
But not that tall and sprightly drummer. Another one:
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!
Lovingly handcrafted right here in Colorado, ToneVille amps are this beautiful blend of art and science that practically made Angel weep with joy:
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 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.
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!
For anyone out there who thinks that money changes everything, we’ve got news for you: sometimes, it doesn’t. Don’t get us wrong, we’re thrilled to have successfully raised six months worth of rent money to put toward shared rehearsal space for local bands, but we’ve been feeling a little stuck. And then unstuck. And then stuck again. Progress, that saucy wench, is happening in fits and starts, but we still don’t have a confirmed home (even a temporary lab home) for Cohere Bandwidth. And since it’s been nearly two months since we wrapped up our crowdfunding campaign, we are – not gonna lie – starting to freak out just a little.
So what do you do when you feel an itch to get moving, to explore new ideas, to connect, to stretch and grow, to find inspiration outside your own backyard? If you’re a band, you go on tour. If you’re a merry band of stalled-out rehearsal space catalysts, you TAKE a tour. In this case, to our sister city to the south: Denver.
Angel, probably growing weary of the emotional roller coaster of YES!/NO!/MAYBE!/GAH, WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO HAARRRDD? (sometimes all in the same afternoon) wisely decided to ask for some help, or at least some insight. She reached out to some people who have been there/done that/are still doing it right now, in fact, and arranged for us to meet with Denver rehearsal space owners and managers from RocketSpace, Soundstructure Studios and Francisco Studios. Here’s what we found:
RocketSpace (2711 Larimer St.) is the result of a ton of hard work, past and present, by owner/operator/guitar-playing-badass Kate Innes (<<she’s the redhead on the left, in your face). RocketSpace rents hourly rehearsal rooms – you can’t store your gear there, but each room is equipped with drums, PA system, microphones, bass rig and guitar cabinets. This means as a musician, you get to show up, practice, and not load too much stuff in and out. Convenient. Yay! It also means, as Kate, that you are in the repair business and the constant scheduling business. Boo! Luckily, she is a real hands-on type and is very much invested in the space, having put her own sweat equity in over and over again (she showed us the closet where she first learned to drywall before building out all the soundproofed RocketSpace rooms). She is also invested in the community, being a currently performing musician herself. Unsurprisingly, Kate’s advice is to own all your own stuff vs. renting a building where you are dumping a bunch of money into improvements that you then have to leave behind with your lease. She was no-holds-barred about how much work it is, but she also seems to genuinely love the process and the people. And RocketSpace is very, very busy, so that doesn’t hurt a bit. Well, maybe it hurts a little, but it’s worth it. That’s what Kate would probably say.
Just adjacent to The Walnut Room, and having been around for 20 years, Soundstructure Studios is the established elder statesman to RocketSpace’s startup sensibilities. Encompassing two different buildings with 25 total studios, Soundstructure offers “lockout” spaces: meaning your band rents a room (which you might decide to share with another band or two), you bring all your gear right on in there, and you set up camp. And if you can manage it: you never, ever leave. Because spaces like this one are pretty much impossible to find. Built from the beginning with the magic of acoustical architecture in mind, these rooms are high-end, rock-solid and designed for silence — or at least to keep the sound contained to your space and out of everyone else’s. Double door systems, rooms with no right angles, some sort of cuts (?) in the floor to mitigate low-frequency noise … Angel and I basically lost track of the details, probably because we were both mentally adding up all the dollar signs that were required as an initial investment. That said: owner (and drummer, of course, like all good sages) John Burr, after a couple of decades of business, was hard-pressed to tell us what the “biggest nightmare” is in terms of managing the space currently. The rooms are constantly booked. No marketing required. An hour or two here and there, mostly in the processing of monthly rents, the occasional bit of wear and tear? John seemed so chill about the whole thing that we started to believe that we could be, too. Someday. But not without some serious upfront stressors (see “mind boggling initial investment”). Then again: maybe money does change everything.
Our final stop on our Denver day tour was at Francisco Studios, which apparently is a franchise of sorts, with locations in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tucson as well. Our intended tour guide kinda forgot he was supposed to meet us (to his credit, when he realized later, he was extremely gracious and utterly mortified), but undaunted, Angel and I asked a freshly arrived musician/space renter if he’d let us in to try and find someone to show us around. Turns out said musician became our tour guide, which was perfect, because we got some insight straight from the source. Francisco Studios is a HUGE building, with 50 rehearsal rooms arranged in an eerily familiar labyrinth that felt so much like a junior high school that we were convinced that’s what it used to be (when Angel finally talked to the space manager, Kreston, he explained that no, the building was built that way on purpose). The overall result — lockout room upon lockout room, stretching down long hallways, with no real sounds or movement. (Other than the sound of musicians practicing inside the rooms, unfortunately — yes, the rooms are soundproofed, but only … sort of. Our new musician friend just shrugged and said, “yeah, you can totally hear other bands practicing, but what’re you gonna do?” John and Kate would tell him in a heartbeat). As for the ambience in the building, Angel flatly declared it “creepy as f*ck” and the musician kid confessed to freaking himself out there sometimes, but then chalked it up to smoking too much weed. Check out our slasher flick, A short stroll through Francisco Studios. Really, though, once inside the rooms, it was way less spooky and pretty basic. And the bottom line: busy. Just like all the other rehearsal spaces.
What We Learned
Hard to say what impact our tour day had on us, other than it gave us hope for the future, and a whole lot of ideas for what to consider when it’s time for permanent space. We connected with perfectly lovely people who are making it work, we visited spaces that are at capacity, that are secure, (mostly) soundproofed, and yes, bathroom-rich. We got to feel like we’re on the right path even though the next step seems like it might require a divining rod. Not a bad day in Denver. Now: back home, to the task at hand.
P.S. Speaking of the task at hand, Ian got to perform his highly serious, patented “clap test” at RocketSpace. A+!