Architekt Brings Underground Rock to Butler
Two young music lovers channel their passion into thriving new business.
Beaming bright at the corner of Kiel and Boonton avenues in Butler, you can't miss Architekt. Outside, the neon sign shines, beckoning music lovers from every walk of life to be a part of the vision of co-founders Kurt Wubbenhorst and George Roskos.
"Our immediate goal is to be a one stop destination for everything music," Wubbenhorst said.
And have they achieved it. Part musical performance venue, part recording studio, and part music school, Architekt has no rivals in the range of activities it offers to the musically inclined of Northern New Jersey. This was the vision of Roskos and Wubbenhorst, both 23, not long after they both graduated from Seton Hall University.
"Summer of 2009, my mom found that the house, [the former Granite Alps Studios in Wayne] was for sale and she was, like, 'Why don't you guys go look at it?' It was way out of our price range but we went and looked at it and it was cool. We were trying to figure out how the heck we were going to make it possible," Wubbenhorst said. "That got us rolling on ideas."
After playing gigs and recording with their band "West Gate" (described as "a heavier Incubus"), Roskos explained, "We decided to stop and to really try to make something cool in Butler. And we came up with this three-tiered idea of instruction, venue and studio."
But many are quick to question how a pair of recent college grads were able to open a venue of this magnitude right out of college.
"The 100 percent truth is we formulated a business, knew what we wanted to do, we were confident about it, put together the business plan, approached two banks and were financed by two private banks," Roskos said.
It may sound like a long shot but the two are certainly passionate about music.
"I would listen to songs on the radio and figure them out," Wubbenhorst said when discussing his first taps on a keyboard at around 10 years old.
Roskos said, on acquiring their beloved Solid State Logic 9080J console, "this console, not like another version of it, this console was used by Paul McCartney, Alicia Keyes, Foo Fighters and Tupac."
"There's not a lot of good places to go to see original music now. We hope to be a catalyst that fosters a lot of original music," Wubbenhorst said.
Roskos added, "My B side answer to his A side answer is, You know how everybody knows the CBGB's name?" Roskos continued, "I want people to know what we do even if they haven't been a part of it. Or haven't experienced it. I want our name to stand for the highest quality, like the brand, to stand for the best in instruction, performance and recording standards."
The idea has already been received by student, Jennifer Stelluto, 23.
"It's very modern. It's cool. It's chill. It speaks to a younger crowd," she said.
Employee and friend Matt Simon, 23, said, "It's a lot of fun. It's not a bad gig to have as your real job."