We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Schell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jake, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I’ve played the drums for about 30 years. Like many drummers, I’ve spent a lot of time unable to play because of living in apartments, condo’s, or just not having enough space to set up. When I moved to Colorado, I spent the first 5 years without my drums and was always trying to think of a way to get my fix without shelling out $300 per month for a dark studio to put my drums in. Knowing that my conundrum wasn’t unique, I decided to approach it as a fix for the masses instead of just trying to solve the problem for myself.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Drum Box is a place for ANYONE to be able to play drums, out-loud and without distraction. Whether you’ve never held a pair of drumsticks in your life, or you’re a seasoned pro, you can book a session and have a great time. We have two sets of drums, an excellent collection of Meinl cymbals, and even provide sticks and headphones. There’s nothing new about renting space to play music, but Drum Box is a little different. You book your session online at www.drumbox.space and the space is all yours for the time that you book. You get a unique door code and let yourself in to do your thing without worrying about anything else. 30 minute, 1 hour, 2 hour & 4 hour sessions are available. I’ve been playing drums for about 30 years now. While I’ve never done it as profession, it’s always been a passion and I would get pretty bummed out anytime I went very long without being able to sit down at a kit. Throughout different points of life, like most people, I’ve lived in apartments, condo’s, or lacked the space to set up even if I did have the ability to get away with making that much noise. This is the plight of many drummers. We can get drum mutes, low volume cymbals, or even buy electronic drums, but there is nothing like playing real acoustic drums at whatever volume you want. Throughout all of my extended periods of being unable to play, I would always look for a way to get my fix, but all I could find was a place to rent an empty room for hundreds of dollars per month to put my drums in and leave there, or to go to a studio and rent time on some drums. That was always an intimidating thought, to go ask a studio to let me play their drums. Would they be smirking when I fumbled a fill or couldn’t stay locked into a fast tempo for a whole song? I knew that I couldn’t be alone with these problems and feelings, so I started thinking about how I could solve this problem for all of the drummers in my area. Drum Box has been going strong for a year and a half now and I’ve been happy to learn there are more drummers around than I had ever imagined. Currently (perpetually) I’m on the hunt for more properties to make our next locations. Doing this whole thing has been a lot more difficult than I anticipated, but every time I get note or an email from a customer telling me how thankful they are, and how long it had been since they got to play drums, it makes it all worth it. It keeps me wanting to always be improving the experience for every customer and potential customer.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Thinking post pandemic here… Let’s meet in Denver and start the day with coffee at Little Owl, Queen City, or Sweet Bloom. Next we should balance that caffeine to food ratio with lunch at Moxie Bread Co in Louisville. After that, we grab bikes and do a lap at Hall Ranch or hike Ceran Saint Vrain if they’re not into mountain biking. I’m probably hungry again by now, so we will hit up Verde in Boulder for some great tacos and the best chips and salsa in the state. Now let’s head up to Longmont and stroll main street. We’ll pop in to Absolute Vinyl and flip through some records on our way to Dry Land Distillers for a drink to round out the evening. Day two starts with coffee at home and breakfast at Lucille’s. Later we stop by Drum Box for a friendly drum dual and then grab a beer from the neighbors at Front Range Brewing Company before we walk across the street to Tandoori Kitchen. Another short walk and we’re at Muse Performance Space to watch some live jazz. Day three heads north to do some bouldering and catch sunset at Horsetooth Reservoir, then the worlds best strawberry ice cream at Scrumptious in Longmont. Subsequent days find us at Boxcar Coffee and Beleza Coffee Bar, getting dinner at River & Woods, and catching shows at the Boulder Theatre and The Ogden. We should probably go SUP at Gross Reservoir. A drive down the Peak to Peak highway and pizza at Crosscut fall somewhere between more hiking or biking, and if they’re a drummer, we will go say hey to the crew at Rupp’s Drums in Denver before they depart the area. Maybe I should be a vacation guide…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Creating and running Drum Box would be close to impossible without the encouragement and support of my amazing partner, Jessica. Whether it was wielding a paintbrush working late into the night via car headlights, helping build acoustic treatment panels, or helping get customers set up with remote access to the space, she’s spent a lot of time helping me “make it happen”. Thank you, Jessica.