It’s pretty much what you’d imagine of a basement playroom: Shag carpet. Makeshift bar. Leather couch. A bunch of dudes hanging around, along with a couple of girls. But it’s also peppered with instruments: A guitar. A drumset. A high-tech engineering system. A sign-in book.
“Welcome to my wreckroom,” says Adrian Grenier.
To most, Grenier’s persona is synonymous with the character he portrayed for eight seasons on Entourage: Queens-bred actor turned high-rolling womanizer Vinny Chase. And yet, in real life, Grenier lives in a surprisingly modest Brooklyn townhouse. He produces documentaries. He hangs out with a bunch of artists. He has an herb garden. And every Monday and Friday, he invites local musicians into his home, to record music in his basement — a kind of playroom-turned-professional-recording-space he calls, simply, The Wreckroom.
The Wreckroom is an attempt to give artists a platform — along with access to professional recording materials, and an outlet to release their music to the world. It’s also, for Grenier, anyway, a kind of boyhood dream come true. “I’ve had fantasies since I was a wee tot of having my own studio,” the 36-year-old tells Tumblr on a recent afternoon. “That’s really what this is — the manifestation of a boyhood fantasy.”
It’s a point that doesn’t easily get lost on a trip through the Wreckroom. The space’s head producer, Giraffes guitarist Damien Paris, is Grenier’s best friend since high school. Since the early days, when the boys were skipping class at La Guardia (you know, the Fame school) to jam, the quest for a studio space was never ending. The duo — two of the four-member squad that made up the UFOs (that’s “Unidentified Funky Organisms”) — first tried Adrian’s high school bedroom (not exactly jam material). Then there was the loft at Damien’s parents’ house (it was OK). Their first real studio was a rat-infested basement near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, underneath a dry-cleaner. Later, it was in the spare bedroom of the friends’ Williamsburg apartment.
Finally, there is now the Wreckroom proper, an official subset of Grenier’s production company, Reckless. Since January, Grenier and his pals — Paris, along with an engineer (Brian) and a manager (Mike) — have put out a video every few weeks on their website, from bands that range from sibling rock group The Skins to electronic-sax trio Moon Hooch (featured in the clip above). The point: Share the space. Make music. Give that music away for people to enjoy.
“I’ve known many bands over the years, and everybody’s trying to make it,” says Grenier of his philosophy behind the space. “But if that never happens, they just have all this content that they’re holding onto. So as a way to embrace new models of the music business, we were just like, ‘Why don’t we all just collectively come together and give away the content?’”
Welcome to The Wreckroom.