It isn’t easy for a heavy metal band to find a place to rehearse that won’t involve getting complaints from the neighbors. Florida band Abdomen Canvas has discovered one of self storage’s best kept secrets — that storage units can make great rehearsal studios, especially for metal bands.
Heavy metal band members, many of whom are college students, often find it challenging to find the time to practice regularly, much less scrape together the cash for a rehearsal space.
“There are times when it can be pretty hard to manage,” Abdomen Canvas drummer Tanner Lane, who is also a marketing major at UCF, told Central Florida Future yesterday. “You’ve got to look at it all week by week.” Lane not only is the drummer for the band, but also writes songs for the group, which practices once or twice a week and does three to five shows every month.
Nashville rock band Snow Queen also got its start playing in a storage unit, at AAA Storage Bordeaux. Cana Blessing, a Christian metal group based in Alexandria, Virginia, did too. Cana Blessing’s strategy was to make ends meet by sharing the unit with another band and splitting the rent. The facility that houses the band has about 15 rock groups as tenants. There is no heat or air conditioning, but putting up with less than ideal rehearsal conditions is worth it to musicians short of cash who don’t want to end up getting cited for violations of local noise legislation.
“It’s about the only thing around, really, to prevent noise ordinance problems,” guitarist Ryan O’Shea commented in a 2007 interview in The Washington Post.
Not all self storage facilities allow bands to use units as rehearsal studios. Some have a “no band practice” policy. Others, however, such as StorExpress of Pittsburgh and StorageMart of Miami, consciously advertise to attract bands. StorExpress promises bands “free Wi-Fi, sound resistant walls, electrical hook-ups and 20 amp power.” StorageMart, recognizing that many young musicians are also students, notes “having practice at your Storage-Mart space makes it easy to pop in your unit and retrieve the book you’ve been meaning to get out and study.” Last year, British self storage company Ready Steady Store agreed to sponsor a local marching band, Doncaster Danum Scout Band, providing the band with outdoor space in which to practice.