The puke green exterior made the Mitchell Building in Deep Ellum look like a frightening industrial shop of horrors. Far from being accidental, that's by design -- the place was actually a weapons manufacturing facility during Word War II.
In the early '80s, the dark fortress was reinvented as a squatter's art colony. Painters and musicians braved time and temperature to suffer for their means of expression. Dissonant noise was part of the daily fabric; power saws, compressors, welding torches and the banging of nails blended in with new bands like The Daylights, who could often be heard honking and squealing during rehearsals in the middle of the night.
"Decadent Dub Team began at the Mitchell building, in my old studio space there on the second floor," recalls longtime Dallas musician Paul Quigg. "The building was like a magnet that attracted everything from aspiring artists, musicians, writers, future technoids and the like, to runaways, groupies and meth cooks. The scene there on a weekend night was blast. All the bands loading back in at 3 a.m. after their gigs in Deep Ellum, with their attendant admirers, groupies, and partners in debauchery. The freaks came out at night indeed."