With self-recording technology ever improving, and physical record sales declining, the music recording business can be a pretty tough one to be in these days.
So when a local recording studio makes it to its tenth year in business, they must be doing something right.
That’s the case with local studio East Hall Recording, who will celebrate a decade of business this year with two days of local live music April 10-11 at Ryleigh’s on Dickson Street.
Owner Chris Moore enlisted the help of 10 of his favorite local bands to commemorate the occasion.
Friday night’s lineup includes locals Teenagers, The Chads, Basement Brew, The Good Fear, and Will Gunselman.
On Saturday night, Pagiins, Ten High, Hot Shot Karate, Witchsister, and JT Bowen will perform.
Admission to each show $5 per night. Music begins at 8 p.m. For a bit more information, check out the Facebook event page.
We got in touch with Chris, and he answered a few questions about the big night.
10 years, eh? How have things changed and evolved in the industry since you’ve been recording in Fayetteville?
Ten years! It’s hard to believe. I’ve seen a lot of studios come and go in the last decade, and I feel very lucky that I’m still here doing what I love.
The industry has changed a lot in the last 10 years. When I started, bands actually put out CDs! For money! Most records I work on these days, the bands release them online for free. Recording has kind of become a band’s loss leader to try to get gigs and fans. Although, at the same time, they put more out on vinyl and cassette now, too.
The bands I work with have also gotten more sophisticated in their home recordings. It’s become a very collaborative process where they may do demo recordings and scratch tracks at home before they come in, or they may take files home to add overdubs. The ones who really know what they’re doing may do everything at home and then bring the tracks to me for mixing and mastering. Every project is different, and I try to bring what they need to the process.
Probably the biggest change I’ve seen is more of a desire for authenticity in recording. Several years ago, bands were more likely to take a “fix it in the mix” attitude, relying on the technology rather than good, old fashioned hard work. These days, most bands I work with are tracking together, as a band, live to tape. I don’t know which is the chicken and which is the egg, but they’re working their butts off and coming in prepared. That makes all the difference in the world.
Over that time, what are some of the recordings you are most proud of?
Oh wow. Obviousy, the bands playing this weekend, Teenagers, Pagiins, The Chads, Ten High, The Good Fear, Hot Shot Karate, Basement Brew, Witchsister, Will Gunselman, and JT Bowen.
But I’ve also gotten to work with (and am proud to have my name on projects by) May the Peace of the Sea Be with You, Grim Creeper, The Great Scotts, Dead Indian, Ankansauce, Matt Demon, Shawn James, Burn Down the Ghost House, The OneUps, Egyptr, The Brothel Sprouts, Thunderlizards, Damn Arkansan, High Magic, The Irie Lions, Silverstone, The Inner Party, Thanks for Nothing, The Poggs, Voyageurs, Sock Party, Little Chief, Animal Noise, Fauxnz, Carter Sampson, 1 oz. Jig, Real Live Tigers, We Are Kilroy, Trashcan Bandits, Auric, Terminus, Resin Hands, and so many others that I know I’m forgetting. Last I checked, I’ve worked on about 400 different projects over the last 10 years.
I’m not a songwriter, and I don’t get to play in that many bands these days, so I try to treat these projects with the utmost care, like they’re part of the legacy I’ll leave, too. I want all of them to be as good as we can make them, so we’re all proud to listen to them years later.
How’d you decide what bands to book for your anniversary party?
First off, they had to still be around! The life span of most bands is only a few years. So there were bands I would’ve loved to get involved, but it just wasn’t possible. That said, there are a few bands that have been on extended breaks that are getting back on stage for this show. Ultimately, I had to look at it like “who are the bands I love working with, that I want to see live and hang out with for a weekend?” But it was still really hard narrowing it down to 10 bands. In all honesty, I probably could’ve easily filled an entire week. Maybe I’ll have to do an 11th Anniversary Bash, too!
Will you be performing?
Yes! I’ll be picking up my bass both nights.
On Friday, I’ll be with Will Gunselman (along with Jared Dunn and my brother, Dave). It will be almost exactly five years since our last show together, so it’s been really nice spending time making music together again.
On Saturday, we’re dusting the cobwebs off of Hot Shot Karate. I’ll be up there with Justin Brasher, Caleb Rose, and Travis Smith. That band will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary later this year. We’ve never officially broken up, although we’ve managed to average about one show per year for the last few years. But it always clicks together as soon as we get in the room, and the rehearsals have been great.