Thursday, June 2, 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice

Ten years ago my first band Shovelfist practiced in a storage unit. Tiger Storage was hell in the hundred plus degree Sacramento summers and hell in the freezing winters. There wasn't enough room for me inside with the guys so I stood outside in the sun sweating to death or in the cold wrapped in a hoodie. There were a few other bands that practiced there as well. If more than one band was practicing in a night, the power would go out.
It was cheap and fun regardless of the downsides. Soon after the new managers took over they ran out all the bands and we were left with few options on where we could practice. None of us had garages, basements, or extra rooms. We then heard about a place called House of Hits which had something like 60 rooms they rented out to musicians for rehearsal space. It was much more expensive than our humble Tiger Storage but the only option we had. We ended up staying there for five years and were very sad when we had to say goodbye to move to Las Vegas.
Once here there weren't very many options either for rehearsal spaces. The 24/hr places were far too expensive and had waiting lists. My dad hooked us up for a year in a place he used to work on his boats. Then we rented a room in a music school. Which recently ended badly when the owner screwed us over.
Practice is an essential part of being in a band and is never as easy as it should be. Getting four people to dedicate two hours at the same time twice a week is hard. Finding a place where you can be loud and can afford is hard. Getting four people to GET ALONG while writing new songs, expressing their creativity, booking shows, designing fliers, cd, and t-shirts without wanting to punch eachother is hard. But at the end of the day when everything comes together and you're in your room playing a brand new song that kicks major ass, it's all worth it.

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