Many of your favorite bands that now play arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums started off in the smallest of venues — a garage. But for teen metal band Black Leaves of Envy, that’s currently not an option due to a city council ban in Cornwall, England where they’re unable to play in their garage due to a noise violation. The youngsters, however, are seeking to overturn the ban and have a well known ally on their side — Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
According to the Plymouth Herald, the band members were told they needed to bring their volume down to between 30-40 decibels in order to comply with the city regulations. The teen foursome of Cerys Plenty, Dylan Plenty, Adam Jones and Lewis Cunningham were said to be making too much noise, but the band says they have one immediate neighbor who has not issued any complaints and their next nearest neighbor lives a farmer’s field away.
As they attempt to fight the ban, the group and one of their parents reached out to Dave Grohl for help, remembering that the star previously spoke on the benefits of young musicians getting together in their garages to play during a speech endorsing grassroots music. And Grohl responded with an open letter to the Cornwall council as well as some tips.
His open letter, seen here, reads as follows:
Dear Cornwall Council,
My name is David Grohl, and I’m writing on behalf of the local musical group Black Leaves of Envy. It has been brought to my attention that the band is having difficulty functioning within the current noise restrictions placed upon them by the Cornwall Council, a maximum of 30 to 40 decibels (approximately the level of a dishwasher at 15 meters distance).
I am an American musician of over 30 years, having played professionally with such bands as Nirvana and Foo Fighters, just to name a few, selling over 100 million records combined. I have traveled the world since 1987 playing clubs, arenas, festivals and stadiums, many of them in the UK.
Like many musicians, I started in a garage in my neighborhood. Together with my friends, my adolescent years were made better by playing music with others. Music is not only a healthy pastime, it is a wonderful, creative outlet for kids, and fosters a sense of community necessary to the emotional and social development of any child. It is tremendously important, and helped me through those otherwise difficult years growing up in Springfield, Va.
For musicians that lake the resources to rehearse in professional facilities, a garage or basement is the only place they have to develop their talent and passion. I believe that it is crucial that children have a place to explore their creativity and establish a sense of self through song. The preservation of such is paramount to the future of art and music. Without them, where would we be? As a proud father of three aspiring musicians myself, I have always made this a priority in our home, to great results.
For the sake of your local band Black Leaves of Envy, and for the generations of young musicians that they may eventually inspire, I ask that you reconsider the restrictions put upon the volume of their private rehearsal space. I believe that in doing so, you will be sending a message that Cornwall is not only a home to music and the arts, but a place that encourages children to follow their dreams in a world where anything is possible.
Thank you for your time,
Not only did Grohl write the open letter, but he also offered a link with suggestions for soundproofing for the Black Leaves of Envy group that work for other aspiring musicians as well. Check out his soundproofing ideas here.
The Cornwall Council stated that their community protection team was investigating the matter, and a spokesman added, “We are always willing to offer advice regarding noise control. 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.”
Grohl also directed fans to the band’s Cornwall campaign and their desire to provide all young musicians with a communal practice space. For more info, please contact Mr. Plenty at email@example.com.(Chad Childers, Loudwire.com)