Raleigh bands find new use for storage units as rehearsal space

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Storage units are often full of surprises, inspiring network TV shows that auction off contents inside units. But perhaps one of the biggest surprises you can find in Raleigh is several local bands using a storage unit off Capital Boulevard for practice space.

"Our lead guitarist, Andy, is the one who found it," explained Matt Gross, the drummer for Undercover, a '90s and 2000s cover band.

"We used to play in a building off Capital Boulevard; it used to house a bunch of bands. That building got demolished a couple of years ago so we were looking for a new home and stumbled upon this place," Gross said.

Undercover has been practicing in a storage unit for almost four years. They share their unit with another Raleigh band and are one of about a dozen bands using the storage spaces for rehearsals.

"It's rare to not hear another band at least in the evening," Gross said.

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Band uses Raleigh storage unit as rehearsal space.

Gross said his band moved into a climate-controlled unit a few years ago, which is a great feature to protect the instruments from extreme temperatures and humidity. The units are still hot during practice but Gross says gigs are hot too, so it works out.

"It's not quite as comfortable from a temperature standpoint, but it certainly does the trick," Gross said. "It stores the instruments, it's a good place to play. You can get loud, nobody complains. And, when you split it up between us and the other band, it's like $30 bucks a person. You can't beat that."

Besides bands, Gross said he's noticed storage unit neighbors using a space to repair lawnmower engines, another does cabinetry, and someone works on bicycles. Not all storage facilities allow bands or businesses to work out of units.

Gross said the customers using their units for actual storage space are probably the most surprised to hear and see what his unit is being used for.

"They're moving their stuff in and out and here we are practicing the harmonies to MMMBop for 20 minutes," Gross laughed. "I'm sure that's weird for them. We've had some folks peek in; we get some thumbs up, we get some strange looks, too. If you want a free concert on a Tuesday night, come stop by your local storage unit."
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