So here at Soundscape we listen to music (a lot!), review albums, attend gigs & review them and interview artists. But have you ever wondered about the process of recording one of the aforementioned releases?
We caught up with Todd Campbell of Stompbox recording studios for an inside view.
Introduce yourself to our readers, who runs Stompbox?
I’m Todd Campbell and I run both the studio and the practice rooms. I play bass in Straight Lines and guitar in Dopamine when I’m not producing other bands.
So Todd how long have you been established?
I started out about 7-8 years ago recording from home by pretty much recording friends bands. The Saidmike song ‘Satellites’ was one of the first things I recorded which became pretty popular locally and I’ve worked since then. More recently I’ve moved to a larger unit in Pontyclun where I run rehearsals as well.
What does Stompbox offer?
I offer a lot of experience and I can communicate pretty easily with most bands. As I’m still actively touring I think I’m normally on the same wave length as soon as clients walk through the door. I also try to keep my prices as low as possible. I’ve had quite a few artists get Kerrang Radio and TV play lists as well as Radio 1 play lists and spot plays. I think that’s pretty good going for a small studio in Pontyclun.
What’s the feel of a session at Stompbox like/about? What makes you different?
I don’t really think about what makes it different to other people, I just get on with my own thing. I try to get the band involved as much as possible. The days of engineering and producing being a dark art are long gone and most bands now have a pretty good understanding of music technology. So if a band want to know what EQ I’m using or what mic set up I’m always up for a chat about stuff. I think if everyone is included in the process as much as possible they end up with a product they’re much happier with.
What bands have recorded at Stompbox?
Most recently I’ve been working on albums with Exit International and Samoans. There’ll also be EP’s by Manhattan Coast, The Echo and The Always and Casino Thieves out soon as well as the long awaited album by The People The Poet. Ive just finished singles with Evarose and Milestone and I start recording the Peasants King album next month. Other cool bands I’ve worked with recently include Denim Snakes, States and Empires (out of the ashes of Attack! Attack!), Ghosts and Echoes (a side project of Neil Starr & Gavin Butler), Follow Suit, Ressurection, Falling with Style and there’s loads more I can’t think of right now.
Describe the process of recording a song for us.
There are loads of ways but I’m pretty traditional, drums first, then bass, guitars, vocals. It changes from song to song. Some bands want to play quite live and capture that feel and then some want a more produced sound. It’s important to figure out what a band want (sometimes they aren’t sure themselves) and work to their budget.
Which producers do you admire and why?
I like kind of honest sounding albums. I Like Steve Albini, Dave Eringa and pretty much anyone who’s worked with Silverchair.
Who/what band would you love to produce & record?
That’s a tough question. I don’t know really, I’m pretty happy working with the bands I work with at the moment. All hard working and hungry to do well. I can’t really deal with ego’s or anything like that! I just like honest bands and honest music.
Thoughts on the UK music scene right now?
I think it’s really healthy. There’s a lot of variety. Maybe the national press could reflect that a bit more although they don’t seem to at the moment. The industry is changing though and on the whole I think its a better thing which is leaving more room for bands to do well.
Top tips for the remainder of 2013
I think the Exit International Album could do well. The People The Poet album really is something everyone should check out. They’re telling stories that are really important and could help a lot of people. It’s a new angle on music I don’t think the South Wales scene hasn’t explored. Also I think Falling With Style could get a big fan base. Those guys are full of energy and have a load of catchy tunes. They played Download this year and hopefully they’re gonna carry on the momentum from there.
Thanks for your time Todd!
Stompbox produced tunes:
Evarose – Vice
Milestone – I Can Make it Rain