Part music store, part rehearsal and recording space, and part audiophile hangout, Loud Music is aiming for a fall opening.
WILMINGTON — Loud Music promises to give music fans a place to relax and musicians a place to rehearse and record. Oh, they’ll have some really nice guitars, too.
Loud Music was founded by two music veterans who were ready to trade in the L.A. grind for something more laid back. Husband-and-wife team Michael Cole and Tina Landon have made a career working with some of the most acclaimed and successful artists in the world, including Prince, Shakira, Michael Jackson, and others. Landon, a world-renowned choreographer, is from Los Angeles, but Cole is a self-described “Carolina boy.”
“I grew up in Greensboro, I went to ECU. I lived in Wrightsville Beach,” Cole said. “I just got so sick of Los Angeles. I missed the beach here, and it’s just such a great place to leave. So I told Tina – I gotta go, and we’re married, so… you gotta go too, obviously.”
Cole said both were more than ready to take on something new, but wanted to stay close to the world of music. Their new venture – Loud Music – is intended to fill a niche in Wilmington’s music scene.
“The main thing is that this is a place to hang out and be around music. We’ll have a fully state of the art rehearsal space to play music – maybe a little louder than you can at home, you know – and we’ll have a recording facility,” Cole said. “But most of all this is a place you can go and hang out.”
In addition to rehearsal and recording space, Loud Music will also offer music lessons. With five fully isolated practice rooms, Loud Music hopes to offer dozens of one-on-one lessons daily. Cole said he aims to use a ranking system – think one to five stars – to make sure students get paired with instructors who are at the right level.
As part of the lessons, each week some of the instructors will focus on a particular artist or even song. At the end of the week, students can perform together live.
“We’ll have ‘Rocketman’ week, so we’ll teach the drum part, the guitar part, all that – at the end of the week, we’ll have students who are able to get together and play an amazing version of ‘Rocketman.’ Next week, we’ll have Nirvana week,” Cole said.
Eventually, Cole said, he hopes to have quarterly Cole also hopes to turn lessons into live performances at neighboring Johnny Lukes. (If it sounds a bit like School of Rock, it’s a definite influence on the Loud Music idea.)
“We’ve had talks with the Johnny Lukes folks – who are great – about doing a Loud Music showcase,” Cole said.
And, of course, there will be a retail area, focusing on music memorabilia and art, but especially on vintage and rare instruments.
“We’ve have some great guitar stores in town,” Cole said, mentioning Music Loft, Finkelstein’s, and Guitar Pickers. “We’re not trying to run anyone out of town, and those places are established. We’re focusing just on vintage, really nice guitars – like a ‘62 Gibson.”
Cole said selling guitars wasn’t his primary concern, adding, “I’d rather have people hanging out than buying stuff, you know?”
Right now the location at 5500 Market Street — near the intersection with Eastwood Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway is “just a blank space,” but Cole and his wife hope to have Loud Music up and running for a grand opening in October.
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