Be it analog instruments or a bad-ass new headquarters, Moog Music sure knows how to make them.
Less than a year ago, the buildings that now house the new Moog factory were just another dilapidated eyesore on the northern edge of downtown. But since opening on May 31 after seven months of renovation, they’ve quickly become a bweeeeeooooee hive for analog music geeks from here and around the world.
“Having come from Asheville, and knowing what an important corner of the city this was — and to see it sitting here and deteriorating — it was just something I felt like we had to do,” says Mike Adams, Moog Music’s president and CEO.
And, man, did they do a beautiful job. Over 25,000 square feet, the buildings were originally built in the 1930s. One was a horse stable, the other an automotive showroom (it still has the elevator that was once used to lift cars to the second floor). When he bought the place, Adams was committed to preserving as much of the original structures as possible, like the well-worn wood floors and aged wooden beams.
Of course, they did make one obvious (and very welcome) change: knocking out part of the facade to add enormous, plate-glass windows that look onto Broadway Street. To Adams it was a must. After years of feeling hidden away in the old factory by the river, he wanted to make sure that their new place would be open and accessible to everybody. Now, anybody walking by can watch a Minimoog Voyager being built by hand, or watch a touring band experimenting testing out some new Moog equipment.
But the move downtown was more than just about accessibility. It was also a physical necessity. Moog Music, despite the recession, has been growing so rapidly in the past year that they’ve hired more than a dozen new employees (they now staff around 50 people). The larger space also allowed them to even open up their own retail store, where the Moog-curious can come in to learn a bit more about the instruments and mess around on some of the gear (like the geek-heart-afluttering Moog Guitar — trust us).
“Everything Moog happens right here,” says Emmy Parker, the company’s senior marketing and brand manager. “Everything gets built here, everything gets shipped out of here, everything gets marketed here, everything gets developed here. All the ideas and execution of everything we’re doing happens right here.”
Naturally, Moog Music is especially excited to show off their new digs during this year’s Moogfest. The company started the festival in New York City back in 2004, so this will mark the second year the event will be held in their hometown, and the first year that the new Moog HQ will be a part of the festivities.
To celebrate, they’ll be hosting a handful of intimate performances by some of the Moogfest bands, as well as autograph signings. They’ve also tapped local artist Chas Llewellyn to create a multimedia art installation incorporating a variety of the Moog instruments on site.
Best yet, the factory will be open all weekend long. And they love having guests, so feel free to drop in for a quick tour if you want to get a little better appreciation of how Moogs are made.
“It’s one thing to come to Moogfest and experience all the bands and the music,” says Parker. “But it’s another thing to get a real idea of the instruments that inspired those bands.”
Welcome to your one-stop Moogasm.
For full Moogfest coverage, click here.