A couple weeks ago Jeremiah Hayden, drummer for Kelli Schaefer and Drew Grow & the Pastors’ Wives, sat down to chat with our very first Thursday Night Spin Class DJs Adam Ydstie, Doug Stoeckicht, and Katie Lowery – the folks behind The Warehouse. The closing of their venue – and home – was a tragic loss to Tacoma’s music scene, but the Warehouse lives on as Adam, Doug and Katie have continued to put on incredible all-ages shows at various venues as they search for their new permanent home. So come down to the Bourbon Bar this Thursday to enjoy some of our specialty drinks and hear these guys play some of their favorite tunes. We serve Tutta Bella pizza as well!
photo by Andrew Waits
Jeremiah Hayden: Okay, so we have Adam, Doug, and Katie, from The Warehouse.
Adam Ydstie: The Warehouse as it stands.
JH: Yeah, whatever that means, right? This was formerly a venue that I had played on a few occacsions, and had loved to play, and most of all the sense of what a promoter should be doing for artists who come into their venue is what really struck me. We got paid, which was amazing. There was food there for us. There was a schedule that was abided by and those all seemed like very important things to you – that artists feel comfortable when they come in. And then somebody ruined it.
Katie Lowery: Yep. Pretty much.
AY: Yeah, some old guy that didn’t really get what we were doing. He was the landlord and he felt like we were getting too much publicity and were too much of a liability so he ordered us to vacate. For those who don’t know, it was actually our residence. It was a 3000 foot warehouse in downtown Tacoma so we actually got to live in the space and hold events there. So now that we got kicked out we’re moving from venue to venue.
JH: And you’re looking for a permanent spot, right?
AY: Ideally, that’s what we’d like.
Doug Stoeckict: Yeah. As it stands right now we’re jumping from space to space but we’ve also got some big community partners like the City of Tacoma and Spaceworks, which is a current program and initiative of Shunpike which is, I think, based in Seattle, right?
KL: Puget Sound
DS: Puget Sound. They’re actually, for the next six months, going to give us a space to use for free to help ourselves expand and help them expand the program. So we’ll be able to start producing more shows in a space we can call our own and actually start creating an environment almost to what we had before, which is ideally what we’d like to be in the future.
JH: An all ages space?
AY: Yeah, no question about that.
KL: That’s always been a goal of ours. To bring music to all ages. Music is for everyone and not just the 21 and over. Everyone deserves to hear good music and in Tacoma you don’t get that and that’s what we’ve really strived to do – to provide music for all ages.
AY: I mean, I look at my youth and when I was 16 I got to go to an awesome show by myself and in many ways the reason I love music to this day – the reason I play music and promote shows – I trace back to those early years when I was able to go to kick-ass shows in downtown Minneapolis. But kids in Tacoma don’t really have that option. There’s just a couple all-ages venues but they’re very isolated in their genre and not really branching out. But kids in Tacoma don’t know that there’s even this opportunity for them because there so used to not having a venue to go to that most of our crowd right now is 21+ but we’re really working hard to promote to the youth.
JH: So that’s next, opening a new space.
AY: That’s next. And we’ve got a big show coming up here on July 15.
JH: That’s my birthday.
DS: Well, you can come for free.
AY: Yeah, that’s our gift to you. (Laughs) We’ve got The Head and the Heart, who are blowing up in Seattle right now. They really want to do a show down here. They just played the Round which is another great thing happening in Tacoma and I know Seattle’s got that too. And then we’ve got a band from Modesto, CA called Not an Airplane that is coming up so really it’s pretty amazing that we’ve been doing this 6 or 8 months and the draw that we’re having from bands is pretty incredible. To have a band from California and to be contacted by bands in Minnesota and the east coast already is pretty cool and encouraging.
KL: It’s nice knowing that the work we’re doing is paying off and that we want bands to feel welcome in Tacoma and if that’s what we can provide it just means a whole lot to us. I mean, when I found out a band from Minnesota said “We want to come play for you,” I was thinking, “What!?”
DS: The ridiculous story with that band that is that I actually went to high school with one of the guys who had no idea I was even out in this city. When he contacted us I had just heard about them and actually bought their cd on iTunes and I was like, “Really? Shut up.”
JH: Yeah, the music community, I think, just get’s smaller and smaller all the time.
AY: I say that about Tacoma and I think that one of the benefits is that Tacoma makes the world smaller. It’s incredible how connected people are and how by a few degrees of separation people know each other from around the country. It’s a really networked city and surprisingly open to outsiders willing to come in and love Tacoma because a lot of people think Tacoma is a hard city to love. And that’s primarily…
JH: Because of traffic?
AY: (Laughs) Yeah, because of traffic. And the smell and all those things that really aren’t true. It’s a great community down here and we love this city and so we want to give something to her and we love the music and think that Tacoma deserves high-quality bands coming through town.
DS: Yeah, it’s really interesting having Seattle north of us and Olympia and Portland south of us, all cities that have great music, and yet the same vibe to them. You know, it would be amazing if all four cities could connect with each other and network and bring the same shows so we could all work together. The type of music we could do in the Pacific Northwest would be amazing.
AY: I’ve been amazed we’ve actually had a group of people from Ballard, this epicenter of music, coming to our shows. If I lived in Ballard I’d probably stay in Ballard, you know, but for some reason we’re doing something that they’re really attracted to and they’re committed to coming to our shows and like the bands that we book. So it’s pretty cool to see that.
JH: Well, it’s different too. There’s a thing that’s behind the thing. The second thing being shows that are happening and the first being, it seems, the attitude that goes into that, the care for what’s going to happen at the show and what sort of moments that you’ll create for people.
DS: Yeah, we were just in Seattle and met with a really good band called Pablo Trucker and chatted up with them. And the one place they had a experience with here in Tacoma they were kinda done with. They had heard about us a little bit and they were excited to network with us this summer and try to get out here for a show. It’s really cool for us to hear these established places that have been around for a long time, that have a name in the community and people know they can go there for music, you know, and these bands that are bringing people to these events are saying, “No. We got treated like crap.”
DS: The fact that we are so gung-ho and always making sure there’s a home-cooked meal and there’s a space for the bands to relax and that we can treat them just like family, that’s so vitally important to the music scene. And for the artists that travel so many hours of the day just to come play music for a few hours that’s really important. If only we can feel some of the stuff they go through. And if they need a place to stay, we’ll find a place for them to spend the night, too. You know, it’s about them and making sure they’re taken care of. It’s really what we’re about.
JH: Well, I think you guys are doing a great job.
AY, DS & KL: Thanks.