Musician Jesse Abraham on What It’s Like Rehearsing Inside a Storage Unit

Courtesy of www.jesseabraham.com

We talk a lot about all the great things you can do inside one of our New York City storage units. You can create a sports gear storage closet for all your hockey sticks or pack away your summer clothes with seasonal wardrobe storage. Need bike storage in NYC? We’ve got you covered! But one thing you might not realize that you can do (and frankly, we didn’t either) is planting the seedlings of your own fledgling rock band! Well, at least you could if you were Jesse Abraham! Hear his tale of rocking out in our Tribeca storage unit a few years ago.

Let’s Start With: Who Are You?
I am Jesse Abraham. I am a human male. I am a musician. I am a rapper, MC, hip-hop artist. I also run a tutoring company in Manhattan. We have services for 3 year olds through 30 year olds. We use specialized tests, do homework assistance, organization, yoga, cooking, flute. Anything needs helping out.

How Did You Become Involved With Music?
I was listening to hip-hop and Michael Jackson when I was a baby and I used to break dance when I was a toddler. I started actually rapping when I was about five or six. I used to write parodies of Beastie Boys songs, and Run DMC songs. I would buy tapes and make my own little versions of their songs and my mom would record them on our 55 pound video camera. It was fun! I’ve been pursuing it since then. I’ve been in bands, I’ve been in groups, did the solo thing. Was a poet for a while. Long hair, short hair. Beard, no beard. I’ve gone through many stages. As a career, it’s only been about like a year. But I’ve been pursuing it for fun and as a source of extreme enjoyment and expression artistically literally since I was six or seven years old. I’ve been writing rhymes since then and I’ve been recording songs since then.

What Are You Working On Right Now?
Actually there is quite a bit going on. I have a project coming out on October 12th, which is the third project I’m releasing in 2010 actually. The single for that is out. It’s a song called Yoga. It’s a fun little ditty. I have shows all over the place, including the record release party on October 11th at Public Assembly in Williamsburg. It’s a free event that you can go to. It costs zero dollars! And it is a variety of fantastic performers who will be on stage and it’s going to be an extravaganza worth seeing for sure.

Tell Us About Practicing in a Manhattan Mini Storage Unit.
We were on Varick and Vandam. It was quite an experience. To be honest, I wish I could say that was a concept that formulated in my brain, but I certainly jumped on the bandwagon of an idea that already existed. I was putting together a band in 2004 and the drummer who I ended up auditioning with already had a side project where he rehearsed in a storage unit which he offered up. I was like, “that sounds good.” And it happened to be geographically quite convenient. I just kind of walked in and the whole thing was already set up: drum kit, guitars and amps. Best part? It was kind of sound proof already! The actual experience itself was quite comfortable. Everyone was cool. We were respectful. A lot of people might picture musicians smoking and drinking or being crazy. But we were there to work and everybody got along. It was quite good.

How Long Were You There?
We rocked out there for about a year. It was interesting because the vibe was that you just stepped into the closet and closed the door — you’re just in another space. You could have been in a garage, you could have been in someone’s house, but it just kind of felt like a cool space. Obviously it’s not a very conventional, musical space, but that contrast appeals to me. I love telling people that are like where do you guys rehearse – “oh we rehearse in a storage closet.” It was kind of a fun little tale to tell people.

Did anyone hear you?
I can’t really say. I’m sure there were times when people walked by and heard us but they didn’t necessarily notify us. Sometimes people would pop their head in and be like “this is weird what are you guys doing.” But not very often. (laughs). Most people if they heard crazy raucous coming from the closet they might just raise their eyebrows and text their friend “I don’t know what is happening here” and walk away.

Would You Recommend Practicing in a Storage Unit to Other Musicians?
I, as the wordsmith of the group, am less sonically inclined so I can’t tell the difference from what it is supposed to sound like and what it shouldn’t. But it sounded cool to me! We recorded a few demos in there that sounded horrendous but I’m sure that was due to our lack of ability and not to do with the space.

Jesse Abrahams’s new project Bars & NoBull will be available for free download at DJBooth.net on October 12th. For more info visit:
www.jesseabraham.com
www.twitter.com/jesseabraham
www.facebook.com/jesseabraham212
www.jesseabraham.bandcamp.com

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