El Paso Music Scene

Interview with Rose Guerra of The Warehouze

3/26/05

EPMS: How long has The Warehouze been open?

Rose Guerra: Going on two months. My plan is to get The Warehouze out there as a rock venue.

EPMS: How has it been going?

Rose Guerra: Great. Having The Warehouze gives us the opportunity to show bands that have never been in front of audiences.

We've done lots of types of events. I've even had some awesome Christian punk rock shows from out of town to do their shows here. The Last Hope from Chicago, their lead singer reminded me of Billy Idol. They were very talented.

EPMS: How do you keep getting so many bands to come in here every week?

Rose Guerra: I have a huge band list that I rotate around. We see the bands on the street, they say 'hi.' We're very attached to them. We really enjoy having them here.

EPMS: How do you keep in touch with so many bands?

Rose Guerra: I prefer to talk to people in person, or on the phone. I'm not too much of a computer person. I have to train myself. I tell them 'Call me, I want to talk to you.'

I invite everybody to get on the bill or promote their own show. As well as showing off their music talent, I'm giving them the opportunity to show off their business skills.

EPMS: Why do you do that? Why not just put all the shows together yourself?

Rose Guerra: It gives me a good feeling to give young people the opportunity to promote a show. It makes them feel real good about themselves when they pack in the house, and make easy money. My basic offer with young people, on Saturdays, we do the Loco Roc show. They have to put eight bands together, they name the show, they design a flyer, they print it, they start advertising. They use all the free services, including El Tiempo, What's Up. I'm sure other publications I haven't looked into... They use message boards. Also, we have a base group coming every Saturday anyway to check out shows.

EPMS: What's to prevent somebody from not living up to their side of the agreement?

Rose Guerra: That's happened to me... I've had last-minute cancellations... I just put together a show real quick, we do the best we can. They don't want to mess up. If it's just that they're being irresponsible, they're out of the picture for me. I won't deal with them any more. I don't like to be that way. What lots of people don't understand, yes its a business, but there are other things involved, having people like you. You don't want to get a bad reputation.

EPMS: What other types of events do you have here?

Rose Guerra: We have foam parties for high school kids.

EPMS: Foam parties?

Rose points to an area in the building with a giant plastic chute over it.
Rose Guerra: You dance in there. It's like a swimming pool party. It's bubbles.

EPMS: What gave you the idea of turning this large area into a concert hall?

Rose Guerra: We've always been around loud rock music, through our mobile DJ system, which we've done for twenty years.

EPMS: What is the name of your DJ business?

Rose Guerra: Pyrotech. In twenty years, we had the opportunity to play Sunland Park Casino regularly on Sundays. We were there about one year.

So, we've been playing many years in this type of atmosphere.

EPMS: How do you draw crowds to your shows?

Rose Guerra: I have my rock crew, they help me with flyers.

EPMS: Rock crew?

Rose Guerra: It's a group of kids that help me flyer my events. The most loyal to The Warehouze. I talk to the kids, they help me with whatever I need.

EPMS: Do they get paid?

Rose Guerra: They get in free for every thing. They get special VIP treatment.

What kind of things do you sell at your concession stand?

Nachos, chips, sodas, ...

EPMS: No beer?

Rose Guerra: No, we don't sell beer. We've had people want to come in here and do it for us, but we want parents to feel safe letting their kids come here.

EPMS: You've gotten some criticism over not having big road shows play here.

Rose Guerra: It's not that easy to bring big bands like they'd like.

EPMS: This is a family affair for you, isn't it?

Rose Guerra: Yes. My daughter sells the tickets, my husband builds all the stuff. My husband and I make a awesome team. We're like Italians: we hug and kiss everybody. That's part of why we enjoy doing this.

All the bands, I admire their dedication.

If it weren't for the bands, the kids, they are the ones that make it happen for me. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate that.

- Charles Hurley

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