For musicians, by musicians: This is essentially the motto of a humble Broward warehouse that is on the cusp of potentially becoming the next local spot for live music.
The warehouse (4530 N Dixie Hwy., Oakland Park) was formed a few months ago out of the need for a more centralized and affordable shared practice space, with locals Milk Spot, Killmama, Fat Sun, and Sandratz rotating practice time at the spot that is, as of now, going by NoBox/Funhouse.
“A good band warehouse is like a living room where people just pop in like Kramer, hopefully with a handful of beers. I think spaces like ours are crucial for any music scene where our bands can collide and collaborate,” says Sandratz’s Ian Brown.
“We all kind of know each other through acquaintances and stuff but this warehouse kind of brings a lot of bands together. All these bands are really cool and tight now,” Preston Small, a member of both Fat Sun and Milk Spot, adds.
The concept for NoBox/Funhouse has evolved since its inception and now the space is more than just a place for bands to practice. Rob Kingsley of Killmama and Milk Spot has extended what he and his fellow associates have done through their own Fuzz Baby Records into the warehouse, such as recording live video and audio of bands’ performances.
“We want to showcase locals and national acts rolling through South Florida. We record bands out of here as well. It's very chill and any band that we work with is not under any time pressure, so it gives them a chance to really perform and be themselves,” says Kingsley.
The space's versatility has motivated a couple of notable Miami bands to make the drive up, including local favorites like Plastic Pinks and Dénudés, who have both recorded inside NoBox/Funhouse. These connections are of importance to the occupants of the warehouse, as they hope they can help make South Florida a more united scene and bridge the very wide gap between Broward and Miami music.
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“It’s kind of fragmented, because a lot of bands stick to playing Miami, a lot of bands stick to playing West Palm Beach,” says Daniel Zerbo of Fat Sun and Sandratz.
“This is basically the spot to bring people together. I just want people to know that this is here,” adds Jesus Arteaga of Fat Sun and Sandratz.
Kingsley hopes that NoBox/Funhouse will become a spot for live music as well as rehearsal. The space had its first show last Friday with the Grumps, Black Cousins, Fat Sun, Sandratz, Milk Spot, and more.
“Fort Lauderdale is in between both counties, and there are very few places to put on shows—especially all ages shows. There's a huge lack of house and warehouse shows from Fort Lauderdale up to West Palm. Miami definitely has it going on in that department, but there needs to be a better network between counties. I'm not really for scenes, but more so for networks. Scenes die like a fad, and networks... well, they are stronger. They last," Kingsley says. "All of us here feel that way. We want to put South Florida on the map. It's growing, but it's still this looming faraway place for out-of-state bands. We just want to try and unite the South Florida counties."