Photo Source: Eleanor Lonardo http://www.flickr.com/photos/elonardo/
We practice at The Sound Museum in the South End. Our building is a former warehouse/industrial complex-type building located in a triangle between South Boston, Bay Village and Chinatown. It’s an interesting melting pot of winos, hookers, drag queens, Chinese Laundromats across the street from Irish pubs, working warehouses, gourmet pastry shops, alleys and vacant lots strewn with trash, piss and used condoms, and townhouses carefully sandblasted by young elitist corpromaggots and Starbucks glitterati (30 years ago the first wave of idealistic young professionals bought up these crumbling townhouses in droves, displacing the “low-income”, i.e. “ethnic” tenants, and then declared the South End to be happily “integrated”. They were wrong).
The road leading to our building always makes me think of post-war Berlin. Inside, it’s not much more glamorous.
Our space is a brick room, with one wall covered with silver lined insulation. No climate control. In the dead of winter, we can only use a space heater for ten minutes or so before playing, lest we blow a fuse. In the dead of summer, it’s a total blast furnace, even with a fan.
Our space carries the stench of starving musicians; stale beer, smoke, sweat, hell knows what else. Sharing the space with two other bands doesn’t help matters, as tidiness isn’t quite a priority in their world. It’s a melee of unwrapped cables, wah-wah pedals, coffee cups, empties, overturned ashtrays, dirt, grime and destitution.
There is nary a hint of glamour involved, at least tangible glamour. We go in, we play very loudly, we sweat off a few pounds, we go home, we come back, break down and hump out the gear, drive many miles, set up, play the gig, break down and hump out the gear, drive many miles back, dump it off back at the space, go to bed at ungodly hours, drag-ass into day jobs, miss loved ones, and deal with aches and pains. We do this frequently. This is the cost of love, and the price we pay for those 45 sustaining minutes on a stage.
This is what we live for. We’re an American band.