The Auxiliary Art Center has been hosting shows in Chicago for the last year and a half, but the venue’s run is coming to an end on Friday, Nov. 13. Bleach Party, Rat Hammer, Mama, The Baby Magic, and Soddy Daisy will be playing the venue’s final show.
The venue, located on Belmont Ave. on the north side of Chicago, is partnered with Powell Brew House, which often offered complimentary drinks during shows. One of the venue’s show runners, Brad Knain, put together a compilation tape for the venue’s farewell party next Friday. You can listen to it below and check out a quick Q&A with Knain about the venue’s run.
Ghost Track: Why is the Art Center shutting down?
Brad Knain: The owner (Jeff Walschon) is moving out of the city to go flip houses in Louisville, so we decided to take a break because we liked the idea of shutting down on our own terms, without any sort of legal intervention.
GT: How long has it been running and doing shows?
BK: We’ve been doing annual shows there for almost five years, but only done the regular monthly – or more – thing for about a year and a half and Jeff, the owner, has run the space as an event venue, an art and music school, a work shop, and a recording studio off and on that whole time.
GT: How many shows would you say you guys had there?
BK: I will actually need to default to Matt (Conzen) on that one, he has a document somewhere, but I think we hosted more than 100 bands, so I’d say we probably had at least 30 shows there in the last one and a half years.
GT: How’d you guys start out?
BK: Jeff opened the space as an art school, music school, event venue with the ability to rent out practice rooms or the stage to bands that needed practice performing on a stage. We hosted annual things there to support our budding home brewery, Powell Brew House, and in May of 2014, we decided to host regular things there, and it kind of blew up
GT: What did the venue mean to you guys?
BK: That one is tough (laughs). It meant a lot of distractions at work, it meant a lot of fights about not sharing time with my girlfriend’s plans for Friday nights, but it was also a real blast developing a network and a set of regulars who supported us and partied with us. I loved it, for the most part.
GT: The place had a very home-like feel. Did it feel like a home-away-from-home to you guys because of that? Or even because of the social atmosphere of the venue?
BK: Yes and no, sometimes it did feel kind of like a job, but other nights it just felt like any other house party that you’d host, so I guess, yes, it did feel like a home away from home.
GT: What is the future looking like for you guys? Are you looking to start another venue or is this it?
BK: I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a label, Josh (Garrett) is probably going to take his beer more seriously, and I’d like to be a part of that, and I know Matt wants to take his photography stuff more seriously. And Jeff, he’s so happy to get out of the city, and I’m happy for him. He’s been wanting to be a full-time independent carpenter for a while, and the city’s rules and regulations has been a strain on him so this is going to be great for him. We will miss him and the space, but we sincerely appreciate him letting us piggy back on his dreams to throw parties for all these bad ass bands and our new friends.