If you've been making music for the last few years in Santa Ana or San Pedro, you've probably at least heard of Lockout Music Studios. The buildings full of rehearsal spaces/recording studios are open to musicians at all hours, and are designed to give young musicians everything they need to take their projects from infancy to completion.
Owner Dave Leon grew up playing in bands and recording his music in warehouses, garages, industrial offices, and anywhere else where he could lay some tracks down. Now, he wants to make sure the next generation of musicians doesn't have to do that.
"I wanted to create the studios and environment that I never had growing up playing music," Leon says. "Our buildings have become a network of musicians who help each other in their projects."
Three years after opening the first location in downtown Santa Ana, Leon's got another one coming to DTSA. Why have two of the first three studios in Santa Ana? Well, you couldn't ask for a much better location in Leon's opinion, particularly since he's half of the duo that re-opened the Yost Theater not too long ago.
"We wanted a location that was central for musicians all over Orange County," Leon says. "It's in an area where a band can go walk just steps away to a great restaurant for dinner, grab a beer or get inspired watching their favorite artist at the Yost Theater. Then go right back to practicing, all within a short walking distance."
While the two existing locations offer plenty for rock stars-in-training, Leon believes that the newest location will be the one that stands out among the rest. The four-story building will host over 80 individual studios, an improvement over both the current DTSA location and the more expansive South Bay studios.
"This will be by far the largest facility in the County, and it's within walking distance of all the great restaurants, stores, and bars in DTSA," Leon says. "It'll be a complete musicians hub."
Each studio includes utilities, an air conditioner, and a handful of different security measures to keep musicians' gear in top shape. It's important since each studio is used for everything from band rehearsals to DJs, music lessons to recording studios, so no two setups will be exactly the same.
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Going forward, Lockout doesn't merely expect to open locations in Riverside and San Diego next year, but also wants to expand into the rest of the live music side of things. Why wouldn't you when you already have access to so much of DTSA's music scene?
"This year we also plan to start putting on Lockout Music concerts and even festivals," Leon says. "We have so much talent in our buildings alone, we think it we be great to showcase them together."