Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Death By Audio

As the curtain closes on the act called 3 Catherine St, I must look again, for the sixth time in five years, for a new place to live.

Some of you may have heard the rumors about "the ultimate loft space" in Redhook, in Bed-Stuy, in Williamsburg, featuring Nate, Joe Grocki, Drew, Chak, Dustin, Big Nate, and me. We would build a studio and record bands and live in a big commune and it would be great. We talked about the "summer of building walls" and I looked forward to some manual labor in the summer, drywalling and painting and constructing the place ourselves.

Then there was the Great Flood of 2009. Our basement abode spent three days in the mildew of Brooklyn garbage and god knows what the hell is in the water around here. My mattress didn't make it, and I just barely saved the drums and amps. I spent the whole night wrapping up cables and hanging them out to dry, along with my sheets and some clothes. It was miserable.

Then we got the news about the loan. The loan that was supposed to grant access to our glorious loft space. It didn't go through. People started dropping off the lease and a general depression hung in the air. Nate and Drew moved home. April found a space in Park Slope. My options were running out.

Enter Death By Audio. Those of you in New York may recognize the name as a small all-ages venue in Williamsburg, in an old refurbished warehouse. Some of you musicians may recognize it as a manufacturer of guitar pedals. However you recognize the name, it also doubles as a living space.

Harry and the Potters play DBA

I was lucky enough to meet a friend of April's that lived there. He invited me to check out the place to see if I wanted to take the spare room that had been available for the past few months. I walked through the first half of the warehouse, through the stage area and into the back where everyone lived. I passed a row of bikes, skateboards, and various speakers and keyboards in the entry way. I emerged into a huge space with high ceilings that functioned as the kitchen/living room area. One of the guys was preparing a fish dinner with potatoes. Another was cutting out some magazine clippings and pasting them on a bass drum. It bustled with activity at all times.

There was a practice space on the first level, mostly for bands that rented time. Attached to this was a makeshift mixing room, cluttered with DBA pedals. The next room was the pedal production room. About 15 pedals sat open on the counter, in front of a wall of resistor drawers. They are debuting a new pedal in the next few months, and are getting ready for the demand.

Wandering into the next room I saw a wall full of paint cans, a workbench, screens for printing, some lumber, and an array of hand tools. There was no shortage of projects to work on. On the side of the kitchen, a second level was constructed above all of these work spaces.

Upstairs was a small living space with a projector for movies. My room would be next to this. It seems to good to be true. So I came back today to meet some more of the guys. A Place To Bury Strangers , a few of them residents, were playing their new album for an older guy from Mute Records. I sort of got an informal tour and they told me I was welcome to move my stuff in.

So I close this chapter of my life and enter the next, and I don't think it could get any better. Who knows what is going to happen from here on out.


  1. kleb, that's fucking amazing, congrats sir... and when the fuck did drew move back?!!?

  2. omg sounds way good..we are visiting asap- sister maria and friend christina

  3. Oh yeah. My good friend David Levin works there. Say hi to him from me. Also my friends True Womanhood record there. A Place To Bury Strangers rules (I saw them at Choachella)! I'm totally jealous!!!

  4. I can't believe you are actually living at DBA - it's such a sweet gig you've got going for you now. I'll definitely be up to visit some weekend in May to check everything out. Congrats again ... I'm so jealous of you. PS, Saxon Shore's new album leaked - you've gotta check it out ... and buy the vinyl when it's actually out.

  5. Wow dude, the first thing I ever built was a ripoff of their feedback loop. Had no idea they were Pennsylvania based. Seems like an ideal situation to get into, good luck man.

  6. Joe Grocki please contact me in Scranton re sound engineering job.