Anyone who has played in a band knows all too well that finding a place to practice is tough business. Even the idea of being a garage band is kind of a myth because it’s hard to practice in a garage, because there’s no much standing between you and the outside world. Being a basement band is slightly more practical; especially if you have forgiving parents and/or roommates. Truth be told, though, playing in a garage is a lot of fun.
Well, that is until local government gets involved.
Black Leaves of Envy, a metal band made up of teenagers from Cornwall, England, had been practicing in one of their garages, seemingly not bothering a soul. The garage belonged to two of the members parents whose dad, Andrew Plenty, was also a musician and had no problem with his sons’ bands hammering away. It also wasn’t a problem for their one neighbor and, according to Plenty, the next closest house was “a farmer’s field away.” Yet that didn’t stop the town council of Cornwall from getting involved, demanding that the band take it down a notch, keep their volume below 30 to 40 decibels. Your fridge is about that loud. Asking a band, let alone a metal band, to play at that level is damn near impossible.
So, while Poppa Plenty was fighting for his sons’ right to play via a campaign and gathering public support, the band took a different course. They wrote a letter to Foo Fighters’ leader Dave Grohl, asking for his help. Grohl is somewhat of an ambassador for garage bands everywhere, having frequently championed the idea of kids learning how to be in a band by rocking out in their garage.
And, of course, Grohl responded because that’s what Dave Grohl does.
The singer wrote a letter to the Cornwall Council, asking them to reconsider the limitations they have imposed on the band, highlighting the positive effects that encouraging young people to follow their dreams can have. You can read the letter below.
Grohl also provided the band with some helpful tips on how they can soundproof their practice space, so as to avoid disrupting neighbors.
There’s been no word on whether or not the Cornwall Council will end up changing their minds. At this point, they have put together a committee to further investigate the matter.
“We are always willing to offer advice regarding noise control,” a spokesman for the council said. “The law regarding statutory nuisance is based on what is reasonable but it may be that certain activities are not appropriate for the area in which they occur, or that restrictions or compromises can be agreed. We will continue to work with all parties involved in order to try to informally resolve any issues.”
It always helps to have a famous rock star on your side.