Time To Wail
EC’s new recording studio, pedal workshop, record label, and show venue
Sandwiched between a heating a cooling shop and some storage units in Altoona is Wail House. You might not think much of it as you drive past, but within lies a music haven space that houses Dwarfcraft Devices’ pedal workshop, Dwarfcraft Global Media’s record label, The Island of Dr. Lee’s recording studio, Ronald Raygun’s practice space, and a show venue.
“We want this place to be a hub,” explained Ben Hinz (Dwarfcraft honcho). “There’s couches here for a reason; we want people to hang out! We want them to feel free to come in, hear what’s going on with Jaime’s recordings, try out some of my stuff, or hang out and enjoy a show.”
Wail House 2 is the third official space orchestrated by Hinz. The first, on Grand Avenue, was simply known as “The Space.” It was run by Joey G for most of its existence, and just about every band practiced and hung out there, Hinz said, citing examples like Mount Vernon and Mel Gibson and the Pants. The original Wail House was on Starr Avenue, and mostly acted as a pedals workshop until circumstances surfaced that made them start looking at industrial areas to house the sequel. That’s when Jaime Hansen jumped on board, having been a mobile recording studio for a decade and hopeful to have a place to call home base for The Island of Dr. Lee.
Likely the most exciting thing about Wail House to the general public (and local musicians) is their plan for monthly shows. They had the first of these in July as a sort of celebratory grand opening, and I had the honor to be invited (na-na na-na boo-boo). Just like many of these shows will be in the future, it featured an out-of-town band, a mindblowing food-and-beverage setup, and crazy-awesome socialization. “We’re gonna set up a drum kit, a bunch of amps, pedals … and just let people play around with stuff. Like an open collaboration,” Hinz said.