The members of my band, Della Mae, live in three different states. People always ask us, “But how do you practice?”, to which we usually answer, “on the road.”
While that is somewhat true, the reality is that on tour we are crunched for time simply trying to make it to every soundcheck. We struggle to find space for practicing and writing new material. We’ve really been wanting to make a new album, but it’s been hard to get things off the ground with just a Dropbox folder.
Back in January, we became aware of the Music District. I heard the words “rehearsal studio” and could already smell the old, dirty carpets, hear the metal band thrashing away next door, and see the broken music stands leaning in a corner. But when we saw the facility, my stereotypes were shattered. The place was full of windows and beautiful clean floors. There were three levels with all different kinds of rooms. There were drawers full of effects pedals. There were fully functioning PAs, amps, microphones. There was a kitchen painted to match the avocado-colored, new-but-retro-looking fridge and a wonderfully full and hot coffee pot.
We used the facilities for a couple days in January to share new music with each other. We would work for a while as a group, then split up into pairs, some using the piano room, some upstairs in the beanbag chairs, some in the Blue Room on the main floor. We’d convene at the end of a specified time and present what we’d worked on. We had time and space to be together and focus only on music.
We had such a positive experience at the Music District that we came back for a few days in June, this time staying in the very modern and comfortable apartments just across the parking lot. It was almost too good to be true – to live together for a few days, in a central location of a great town, and have every resource we could want to work on our music. On the last day of our residency, we held a workshop for local musicians, which was a great way to connect with the community.
Thanks to this invaluable resource, we are well on our way to creating a new album. We can’t thank the staff at the Music District enough, and we hope to come back soon!
*Guest blog by Zoe Guigueno – Music District Artist-in-Residence June 2018 and bassist in Della Mae*