If you’re a musician of any stripe or colour, it’s more than likely you’ve experienced the wrath of a frustrated neighbour who’d really like you to keep the noise down. If they’re nice, they write a sternly worded letter, if they’re jerks, they threaten to call the cops.
Cornwall-based metal band Black Leaves of Envy recently felt the clampdown of their local council, who ordered them to turn the volume down on their noisy rehearsal sessions, enacting a volume limit of just 30 to 40 decibels, which is about as loud as someone watering the garden.
As the Plymouth Herald reports, the band were left stupefied by the injunction. Apparently, they only have one immediate neighbour, who’s never complained about the racket, and their next nearest neighbour is separated by a freaking farmer’s field.
Not content to take the council’s action lying down, the band and one of their parents decided to bring out the big artillery and appealed to Dave Grohl, aka the nicest man in rock, for help. Grohl has famously endorsed the garage as Ground Zero for rock and roll.
Though it seemed like a Hail Mary, Grohl actually responded to the band’s call by penning an impassioned letter to Cornwall Council, urging them to reconsider their prohibitive sound restrictions and explaining the importance of garage bands to an area’s cultural fabric.
“My name is Dave Grohl, and I’m writing on behalf of the local music group Black Leaves of Envy,” the letter, shared across Foo Fighters’ social media channels where it’s been gathering likes and accolades like nobody’s business, opens.
“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).”
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) March 23, 2016
“Like many musicians, I started in a garage in my neighbourhood,” Grohl continues. “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…”
“For musicians that lack 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.”
Grohl even shared his own guide to soundproofing via the official Foo Fighters Tumblr, suggesting Black Leaves of Envy attempt measures like covering the floor in rubberised material and hanging blankets or carpets from the walls to decrease sound leakage.
Best of all, Grohl’s missive seems to have done the job. Taking to Twitter, Cornwall Council confirmed they are “working with all concerned to find a solution but have to investigate if we get noise complaints”.
Lesson learnt: if you’re ever in trouble, get Dave Grohl to help you out.