Although I speak with so much love for my studio space, it does come with its challenging sides; mainly, the noise. You can have it all cosy and about to do some vocals tracks and then the walls start shaking from the metal band upstairs, or the techno party a few doors down. You can turn the volume of your music up, but you can’t blot out the vibrations. I always struggle when there are two different songs playing, but here there are like 5 or 6 from all different directions.
I use the term ‘band’ very lightly to describe the upstairs inhabitants. It is more like drunken kids hitting musical instruments at the loudest possible volume. It is not even as if they rehearse a set of songs, they just go for 6 hours on one chord or riff with an epileptic drummer pounding away in a different world. Most bands come and rehearse their set for two hours and that is very tolerable. But these boys sometimes go from 12 at night till 6 in the morning rarely stopping or finishing a song and I am right below them!
The techno parties can be endured, but the worst thing about them is the break down. Your body tenses up with the endless and aggressive speed bass drum, then as soon as it stops, your body eases up for a few moments and breathes, only to tense up again when the bass drum kicks back in. There are a lot of junky wasters and gypsies who live there with their dogs. And it’s the dogs I feel a little sorry for. They have such sensitive hearing and must struggle with the constant barrage of beats and vibrations.
Over the winter there were 3 guys camping in the trees next to the factory. They must have been so fucking cold! I would see them do the rounds on the bins looking for bottles. Then later, two of them would come carrying a crate of Sterni like it was the arc of the covenant. I would always leave my bottles in a bag on top of the bin with a bit of tobacco and smoke in there. One day as I was arriving at the studio there was a room clearance and a skip outside filled with all the stuff from the room. It didn’t take long for one of them to climb in and load up his cart, and then he went back to get the other two.
It was like Christmas for them, they were rummaging around finding all kinds of useful things for their camp. They shouted in joy when they found a box of cutlery. “Gabels!!” And each one would find something else and declare their discovery. They got lots of wood for the fire and they almost emptied that skip. A few months later, just after that really cold patch with snow I was smoking out the window and saw them leaving. They were all on separate paths away from eachother, slowly pulling their trolley with their tents looking a little crestfallen. They must have been through quite an experience there.
There is a biker gang who live below to the right and outside of their room is like a junk yard of bike parts and tools. They are always drilling and grinding metal and though they have the look like they are using the heavy drugs they are quite harmless and their speed techno rarely intrudes too much. Two doors down from me is a speed freak whose bass drum rarely ceases. Whenever I see him he has that colourless, lifeless, dirty, wasted look about him. He is always having parties there and it intrudes on my peace a little. I hear them leaving and sniffing and then vomiting in the toilets; dirty bastards.
There is a bar in the opposite building which is where I go when I need to escape the metal. They have the beer of the week which is 1 euro and bratwursts and pizzas and a nice collection of people to chat to. If only they had a real dartboard!