In the past couple of weeks, Facebook invites have popped up alerting us that the Snooze Theater is open for business.
Cop City Chill Pillars and Love Handles members C.J. Jankow and Jordan Pettingill have taken it upon themselves to lease the now-defunct Lake Park blues venue, the Orange Door -- the host site for New Times' Best Music Festival Zitfest in December -- giving it a new breath of life and a new name. The venue will henceforth be known as the Snooze Theater. We here at New Times were curious to see what they had in store for us, now that we've all tipped our 40s to their previous place to play, Club Sandwich.
The pair have been playing together for more than 16 years. The bands
they've been in change as time goes on, but the sentiment is always the
same. They are always looking to have a good time and provide a positive
atmosphere for everyone in attendance. Now they can really expand upon
that with their newest musical venture. Be sure to check out the show
this Friday with Weird Wives!
What was the motivation behind leasing the Orange Door?
Jordan Pettingill: We had lost our spot [Club Sandwich], and we've always wanted to have a spot, ever since we were living in New York. You know, just talking shit since we were younger. We got back from tour, looked around for practice spots, warehouses, garages too. Shit like that.
C.J. Jankow: Somebody from here told me about it, the Brass Ring, where I work. We just kind of stumbled upon it, really.
Jordan: We just had that show with Blank Dogs; he was there. We talk to James all the time, and we have a pretty good relationship with him. He didn't say anything to us. Then somebody in here one day told us about it, and he just offered it to us. Like "Yeah, I should have thought of that!" That's not an exact quote, but you get what I mean.
So why did you guys especially want to have a venue like that, the Orange Door?
C.J.: It serves a purpose for a lot of things. We can use it as a rehearsal space, for anything we want to do, especially just being a big open room that happens to have a cooler that we can sell beers out of. There's endless potential now that we have this huge open space. With the people we know and the ideas we have, it's the craziest opportunity we've ever come across. We're really going to try and use the whole amount of space. I think we can do really unique events in there. Like with bands that we know, we can give them the opportunity to make a show more than just showing up, plugging in and playing.
So do you want to have a more laid-back atmosphere, to have a place to hang out at as opposed to just using it strictly for shows?
Jordan: With Club Sandwich, we had free shows. We would try to get bands from out of town to come. More than a handful of times, we would be paying for that to happen. We'd bring four cases of beer and give some money to the bands. We would end up paying to play. The shows were fun, but we'd really like to be able to pay bands from out of town that come to play, at least more now than we ever could before.
Is the Snooze strictly classified as a bar?
C.J.: Technically, it's a bar/theater, but there's more than that. We can host private parties, things like that.
What does that allow you to do, as opposed to a traditional bar setting?
C.J.: We've been talking about regularly having parties that are strictly RSVP and maybe bringing one guest along. For example, we've been talking about throwing a Shaquille O'Neal party for a long time now. It allows us the luxury of having events like that, generating a response, like how many people are attending. It would be more of a party. We also want to get into contact with younger kids that don't have a place to play. There's like one spot around here where they can really play. I'm just assuming that the people that run the place don't really care about the kids. Not that we're running a charity or anything, but we just want to get involved and have a more positive place for them to hang out in and not sitting around in some smoky bar.
Jordan: With three-dollar Cokes.
I heard there's free soda-pop at The Snooze.
Jordan: Cola all week.
Jordan: Whatever the cola may be.
Aside from theme parties and shows, what other kind of events are you trying to get going in the future?
Jordan: We've been talking a lot about it. Every day we come up with another idea. Youtube playlist night is in the works.
What would that entail?
Jordan: Somebody makes a playlist on Youtube and we run it through the projectors and play it.
C.J.: Anybody that wants to do it is going to be able to do it. That's one of the really unique things about the place. There's going to be a lot of things where people aren't just going to be coming to the show. I mean, there are things that people will be doing anyways by themselves at home and now they'll have a forum to come out and participate.
To get out and get together with their friends?
C.J.: Exactly. Even like with our Open-Mic Mondays, it's as simple as it sounds. You can go in there and sit next to someone you kind of know and get up on stage and play some music with them. It doesn't need to be like an actual, serious performance or anything. The possibility of a real magical music experience is there, seeing bands from around here playing a real loose set and just having fun.
Jordan: Anything could happen if the right people are there at the right time.
There is a real variety of people that could be present and great things
are possible. Even just as locals. All the local people get together, all-ages. Not even just the people we see at our shows. Anyone.
Do you have any shows currently slated for the new place?
Jordan: On the 4th of July we have a big show. Creepoid and Nothing are coming down from Philly. The Jameses and Cop City are also playing that. On July 8th Surfer Blood is playing with Guy Harvey and Love Handles. Weird Wives are playing this Friday.
C.J.: We also want to somehow get some regular events going. Remember that show Love Connection, with the three-person panel? We're thinking of way to where they wouldn't even be able to hear the people's voices, so they would maybe type responses back and forth. We would give out a gift card to a restaurant so they can go on a date. We also want to do speed-dating, stuff like that.
So you really want to engage social interaction in person?
Jordan: We want to do Saturday morning cartoons, show some old-school ones, serve some cereal. I think it would be great, a lot of potential. The landlord gave us the spot behind it, too.
What other spot?
Jordan: I guess the whole thing used to be this giant bakery. It got divided into these three awkwardly shaped sections.
So there's a possibility of expansion, then?
Jordan: We would like to use it as our new rehearsal space and for recording. Maybe get some other bands in there as well.
It seems like the biggest thing is to motivate people to get out and play together.
C.J.: Yeah, I mean, we want to get people that may seem worlds apart musically to just come out and do their thing.
Jordan: We love that shit.
C.J.: There seems to be a natural filter with people sometimes, like the people we know and the people we don't seem to get weeded out. We're done with that shit. We want everyone to come out together and have fun. The place is so small it seems kind of pointless. We appreciate people who have their own flavor going on. You can do anything, play music, give a speech, anything. Free to do whatever.
Weird Wives will be playing this Friday, June 24, with New Coke and Hungry Gayze. Doors will open at 9 p.m. The Snooze is located at 798 Tenth St., Lake Park.