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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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’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.
While we (kind of) patiently wait out Cohere Bandwidth construction this winter, we keep looking for ways to support and connect with our community. Because that’s our favorite part anyway, and it requires zero hard hats. Fortunately, our friends at SpokesBUZZ have just the ticket for keeping our minds off our winter woes. And better yet: it’s a movie ticket! Our favorite nonprofit is bringing back Cinemusico — their music-meets-movies event series that brings songs and cinema together onscreen. The event includes the usual music community camaraderie, with local bands screening their music videos prior to a feature-length music-centric film. Cohere Bandwidth is proud to sponsor the first Cinemusico of 2015 on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m., at the Lyric Cinema Cafe.
While the last week in February might seem like a distant point on the horizon, let us explain why you should buy a ticket NOW:
- SpokesBUZZ hasn’t hosted a Cinemusico event since 2012 … and the community tends to turn up in force, bands AND fans
- This particular Cinemusico will feature music videos by known rockers and current SpokesBUZZ bands Wiredogs and Shatterproof …
- …AND a brand-new video from SpokesBUZZ alumni band Wire Faces. They haven’t release a music video in 9 months, not since Space Age Trees. It’s like we’ve all been pregnant with anticipation.
- The new Wire Faces video includes a star-studded cast of young local actors, including members of Slow Caves and Yettie
- …PLUS it is the product of the geniuses over at NoCoast Artists, including director Tomas Herrera
And that’s just the stuff that happens before the featured movie starts. Cinemusico’s featured movie this time around?
That’s right, the Rob Reiner rock-mockumentary that Time Out London named The Best Comedy Film. EVER. The only movie that IMDB rates on a scale of one to ELEVEN. The movie that celebrated its 30th birthday last year but still remains ridiculously relevant to rock and roll. We’re so excited to see it with you that it’s as if there’s a cucumber in our pants. And if that doesn’t ring any bells for you, well then you’d really better be there to brush up on your legendary rock films.
Our favorite part of the whole event is the part where we get to hang out with some of our beloved local musicians and laugh and clap and watch music movies together. We’re not gonna lie. However, it’s also pretty neat that a portion of the evening’s proceeds will support SpokesBUZZ, which is why we’re so happy to kick down for the cause. We hope you’ll get a ticket and join us for Cinemusico on Feb. 26!
As the year comes to a close I wanted to take some time to thank you, reflect, and give you a preview of what’s coming in 2015.
I never say it often enough but you make Cohere possible. You choose us. You work with us. You laugh with us. You grow with us. Maybe you’ve been a member for 5 years or for 5 days. You matter. You are important.
Without you, Cohere is just an empty shell, a real estate transaction and a line item on someone’s budget. WITH you, we become a community, a pivot point for new friendships, and a platform for personal growth and change.
In December of 2009 we started out coworking in a donated reception area once/week. On the 5th week we ran out of chairs (14 of them) and broke the internet. In March 2010, we opened our first location in Old Town with 4 members.
In January 2012 we moved to the Howes location. Last December we had 39 members and 1 location. This December we have 75 members and 2 locations. That’s double. That’s huge. And we’re set to double again in 2015. Whether you told a friend about Cohere or posted an update on Facebook, many of our new members come from word of mouth and it makes a difference.
2015 will bring Cohere to its final space frontier: Cohere Bandwidth, shared rehearsal space for musicians inside the amazing artist ecosystem that is the Downtown Artery. We’re looking forward to creative new connections between the artists of the Artery, the musicians of Bandwidth and the nerds of Cohere.
While Bandwidth may be located at the intersection of Linden and Jefferson we’re really at the crossroads of combining art, music and brains in brand new ways.
Here’s to 2015, may it bring you meaningful connections, amazing independence, kindness and love.
Ps. Hat tip to Julie who’s been with us every step of the way from our first pre-community meeting to today.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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:
For some reason, this feels like the Snuffleupagus of blog posts (at least the old-school version, back when Snuffy was imaginary to everyone but Big Bird). But we swear, it’s REAL. It’s news that is so huge, and it’s been such a long time coming that it actually seems somehow anticlimactic now … but still. We’re writing because It’s Official. Cohere Bandwidth has a home! Truly. As evidenced by a SIGNED LEASE for the place where we will construct shared rehearsal space in Old Town Fort Collins. Holy. Cannoli. Amphiboly.
We have shouted this from the social media rooftops already, and have emailed the musicians who have reached out to be on the waiting list, and have told all our initial supporters from our Community Funded campaign. But we figured we’d make it Blog Official, too, just in case this is all news to you, our devoted readers.
Here’s the nitty gritty:
- Cohere Bandwidth will be located in what was the warehouse portion of the recently closed Colorado Drum & Percussion store at 256 Linden St. (the corner of Linden and Jefferson)
- our contractor is working on permitting, which is right now taking 4 – 6 weeks
- we’re aiming for a demolition start date of 10/2
- construction should begin 2 – 3 weeks later
- we signed a 10-year lease — we are committed to being in the community for a very long time
- we’re sharing a building with the Downtown Artery which makes us feel like this … in 2015 you can look forward to a building that houses artists, gallery space, musicians, rehearsal space, a crash pad/hostel for visiting artists and a new venue/cafe for ~100. We also plan to host events and classes to encourage musicians to meet up and talk shop. Squeeee!!
- the plan is to have two hourly shared rooms with backlined equipment: PA + microphones, drum kit and throne (includes hi-hat and 1 crash), bass amp and guitar amp
- we’re shopping for some other neat things while we wait for construction to get underway; you can email Angel or Shane if you have equipment advice, requests or curiosities. We want your feedback. And your input. << we can’t stop with the music and sound lingo, now that we’re “in the biz”
- The moment we open, we anticipate we will be able to serve at least 42 bands. We need your help to help us spread the word to the musicians in our community!
So. Nearly two years later, away we go. And by “away”, we mean HOME. We are so very grateful to you for hanging in there with us. Our goal is to get this thing built and regularly occupied before anyone gets frostbitten during band practice.
In the meantime, please join us in enjoying the song we’ve been wanting to post every since we started this project. It’s finally, finally time!
Oh, hai there — we’re back with a dispatch from Cohere Bandwidth land, where the news is good but our space is still in the initial planning phases. A glimmer in our collective eye (ow!). With dates that are more fermata than firm.
Still: good stuff is happening! Like:
- Our pals at the Downtown Artery just celebrated their one-year anniversary by flinging wide their doors once again for First Friday. Also: Angel remembered that the Artery folks were the VERY FIRST to reach out to us about collaboration and space, right after we posted our VERY FIRST blog post about the idea. Isn’t it funny how things all come together eventually?
- Speaking of eventually — while we work on our plans for Cohere Bandwidth, we promised to keep our ears to the ground about other spaces, temporary or otherwise, where bands might be able to practice. The folks at Scene Magazine clued us into this little tidbit:
Yum Yum’s/Ma’s Juice Bar is available to you either as a practice space or venue on Sundays 4pm-8pm. They’re located at 1300 West Elizabeth, next to McDonald’s west of campus, on the corner of Elizabeth and City Park – a great time to set out for more live music as the weather warms up.
Contact Scene for more deets!
- We sat down with Jahna, one of the very nice founders of the Fort’s forthcoming Higher Ground Rehearsal Studios, and got the scoop from her on their progress. They’re working on three fully-equipped rehearsal rooms that will be available for rental at hourly rates. Rates correspond to room sizes; they’re planning a 19′ x 20′, a 22′ x 25′ and a 50′ x something-gah-I-can’t-read-my-own-writing.(But you know, small/medium/large). While their construction is underway, they have their 20′ x 12′ front room for rent NOW should you simply want to see about temporary practice space. Get in touch and she’ll give you the scoop.
- We’re still building our waiting list so we can keep interested parties apprised of our Cohere Bandwidth breakthroughs and let you know when we’re ready to rock and roll. Contact us to get on the email list!
- We submitted a revised grant proposal to the Fort Collins Office of Economic Health — fingers crossed; we’ve added a bit of a laboratory component (which has already inspired more offers of help from the music community, yay)
- We wrote a piece for a digital publication called New Worker Magazine that has inspired contact and support from across the country, including some funny chats about snake sex (<<you’ll have to read the article), plus an offer of advice/maybe even a field trip from a musician from Manhattan who has been involved in running rehearsal spaces in NYC. He started that email out with “By way of convincing you I’m not a weird rando …” and then included a numbered list of non-weird-rando attributes, which was lovely 🙂
- We found out about this awesome project going on in Boise and we’re going to make them our BFFs
So — there you have it. Progress is progressing along at its own tempo, like it does. More to come! We’ll let you know if we hear of other opportunities for practicing while we fuss over blueprints and continue to make plans with the help of bands. We will likely be reaching out to some of you for some more advice as we get to delve into MOAR DETAILS soon, so brace yourself for another round of interrogation, possibly with more pizza. Because this is your space, and we love you. And pizza.