It was 1995 that I started thinking about starting a studio. I’d worked on and off in Grant Lyons’ tiny studio in a room in his parents house on Davigdor Road. Grant had been the owner of Ladida records which put out some records by my first band Earwig, and I got to know about the hardware in a studio from him. He had a DAT machine and a 16 track tape recorded and a small mixer. At some point his parents wanted their house back and we both found ourselves with studio gear stuttered in our living rooms. We did a whole bunch of stuff together like running some PA systems in clubs and venues, and then an opportunity fell into our laps.
There was a place that a band was rehearsing. It was an old bank. We went to visit this big echoey concrete vault. They were renting it but were ok with us leasing it if we allowed them to rehearse there. I did some sums, borrowed £5000 of my dad, and in May 1996 we had our premises. The cash bought us a mixing desk and some sound insulation, so we had to do all of the building work. If you check the photo you’ll gather this wasn’t our strong area. Howard Turner came down and drew the studio plan on the back of a serviette. Paul White’s book on acoustics gave us some ideas for soundproofing. It took us three months to build the live room and another three to wire in the equipment in the control room. In that time we learned brickwork, plastering, and dear god artexing. I also put a screwdriver through my hand, and both of us got Rockwool in our eyes. Plus it turns out its really quite difficult to drill through a reinforced concrete wall. Painfully so.
It really was a leap of faith (maybe it was playing Tomb Raider II that gave me the confidence). Somehow we are still here twenty years later, still recording and more recently mastering and making videos for bands. Just shows you should just go for it and not be put off. I’ve met so many good friends along the way. When Grant took a back seat, Paul Beat joined me in the engineering and a nicer more talented man you are unlikely to meet. Grant finally sold me his share of the business a few years back but is still there in the background obsessing over obscure post punk 7”s. More recently there’s Gavin Williams who I make videos with, and Theo Verney who’s producing some great new guitar bands. And to everyone who’s been in and out of this sweet little studio over the years, thank you, you’re our lifeblood, our family.