by Michael Todd
You can't blame him for asking. Kyle Sasse, lead singer and guitarist for The Raging Derilicts, was curious about how his band's practice space measured up with the ones I'd seen back east.
This was less than two weeks ago, about 48 hours after the tragic end to one of the worst days Alliance, Nebraska, has known. In the same block as Thiele's Pharmacy — where a gunman held Charles Lierk, the father of one of my high school friends, hostage for more than seven hours before Lierk escaped — this practice space dubbed The Studio was fairly innocuous from the front door.
Walk down the hallway, though, and you'll find walls full of guitars and girls. There's a keg and a stocked fridge alongside the worn couch and recliner. Look through the window to the room adjacent, and various amps, two drumsets, a couple mixing boards, speakers, pedals and a few empty bottles line the floor.
Admittedly, the practice spaces I've seen are mostly basements and garages. As I understand it, The Raging Derilicts rent the space in this building on Fourth Street downtown in tandem with a band of a few musicians around my dad's age. What sets The Studio apart then is its communal quality, how it plays host not only to these two groups but whomever the guys invite, and that list is long.
As proven by drummer Darrin Jelinek's realization that my mom is who most recently owned his house, it's a pretty small world out in western Nebraska. If you're a musician and you haven't played in The Studio, chances are you have a friend who has. And as bassist Derek Johnson says, "This place creates magic."
shot by Cory Cummings and Michael Todd
edited by Michael Todd
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He enjoyed playing drums with his dad for the first time in The Studio. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.