The Lafayette-born Drum Box — a tiny studio for drummers to play without disturbing others — opened its second location in Longmont last week.
Jake Schell, owner of Drum Box, converted an old ATM kiosk building, located in Longmont’s Parkway Center, into a practice space for musicians. Drum Box opened its doors to its 170 square foot studio on May 5. Being a Longmont resident, Schell is excited to have a new location close to home.
Schell has played drums since he was eight years old, but hasn’t had his kit with him most of the time. Living in small apartments, or places with noise constraints, limited his ability to play. He wanted a space where he didn’t worry about playing too loud.
“What Drum Box is all about, in a nutshell, is a place for people to be able to play drums out loud, real acoustic drums, without annoying neighbors, or waking up sleeping babies or driving roommates crazy,” Schell said. “Also without having to spend a lot of money to get the gear, take up space in your house and all the things that makes it hard to be a drummer.”
Schell is self-taught and refers to himself as an extreme hobbyist drummer rather than a professional musician. He added that it’s been some time since he has played with a band, partially because he didn’t have a space to practice before Drum Box.
Though there are plenty of music space rentals, he felt intimidated to play where professionals practiced. The cost of consistently renting space was another barrier for Schell.
“I was kind of looking for a way to get my fix on playing drums, and I just didn't really find anything that fit what I wanted to do,” Schell said.
He finally had the practice space he wanted when he launched Drum Box in Lafayette in 2019. At that time, Schell was working as the head coffee roaster at Proper Coffee and Cocktails, which has since been rebranded as OTIS Craft Collective. Every work day, Schell would drive past an empty ATM walk-in building, imagining the tiny structure’s potential. After inquiring about the space for a couple months, he was granted a lease and turned the kiosk into a bite-sized music studio.
The Longmont location is about 40 square feet larger. The ATM walk-in structure had sat unused for at least 12 years, Schell said based on the current property manager’s knowledge. The kiosk was run down and it took Schell several months to renovate the space.
Though Drum Box’s new location is small, it houses two new Ludwig drum sets — a four and five-piece kit. Inside are drum sticks, studio lighting for videos and room for smaller bands. Schell said that the practice space has everything a drummer needs to play, but customers can always bring their personal equipment.
Drum Box is focused on providing service for drummers, but musicians of any instrument are welcomed. Schell said that he’s seen four-person bands fit into the Lafayette location, and solo musicians book the private practice room.
It was important to Schell to make Drum Box accessible both for various skill levels and in rental fees. Drum Box’s basic sessions offer no commitment time slots of 30 minutes or one to two hours ranging from $20 to $50. Memberships are available, with perks of half-priced rentals, there are several packages to meet more budgets.
Schell hopes to find more “boxes” and expand to other cities and continue serving drummers who don’t have a place to play. He is eyeing Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver for the next Drum Box.
Correction: The company name Drum Box is two words instead of one.