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- Posted on Jan 3rd 2013 3:15PM by Caitlin White
Noam Galai, AOL
What was the inspiration behind starting Wreckroom Studios?
Wreckroom naturally evolved from a rehearsal space in my home. When I moved to [Brooklyn's] Clinton Hill a few years back, I built a studio as a place to jam with friends. The equipment improved over time, and we began filming the sessions to share online. Fans started listening, and we grew organically from there.
How would you define Wreckroom? Is it a label?
Sort of, but not in the traditional sense. Rather than dedicating ourselves to a small handful of bands, we're becoming a launching platform for emerging artists to record a single, film a video and expand their audience. By focusing on building our own brand channels, we're able to provide more to both fans and artists.
You had a Wreckroom CMJ showcase in 2012. What were the highlights?
Oh man, the night was full of them. The place was packed, and each band brought their own style and energy. The overall highlight was taking a step back, and seeing the community at work. Most people came to check out one band, but ended up a fan of another. The goal of Wreckroom is to shine a spotlight on great artists through a collective momentum, and you could just feel that in the air that night.
Adrian Grenier at the Wreckroom CMJ party at Fontana's. New York City, Oct. 20, 2012.
What makes the space/recording area feel different or special as opposed to other studios?
We really encourage the bands to take risks, and to use the opportunity to try something new. Since we provide studio time at no cost to the band, there's less pressure than a typical studio session. That laid back environment opens the bands up to more creativity. Our team is also very easy to work with. I brought in my friend Damien Paris to lead production and film the sessions -- he's a character, and keeps the energy flowing.
How do you select bands to work with in the Wreckroom? Is there a submission process?
We're a four-person team, and between us, there's no shortage of bands that we want to work with. Damien has been playing with bands in New York for over fifteen years, so he brings in a ton of stuff. Our business guy Mike Frankel has run FreeIndie for years, and has a finger on the pulse of what's coming up. Our engineer Brian Koerber is also very deep into the Brooklyn underground music scene. I'm always discovering new bands around Brooklyn too, so we've got our hands full. That said, we do take submissions!
Describe the recording process of a typical day session. What is your favorite part? What is the most challenging part?
Bands load in and get acclimated, then Damien and Brian discuss the song and how to execute; they give them a sense of what they can expect. Then they jump into it. No time to waste, we do a band a week, so there is a lot to do. Then they start tracking. I get to listen to the song over and over from upstairs as I do work. It's great cause when I take breaks I get to go downstairs and kick it with the band.
As someone who is in bands yourself, what advice do you have for the hoards of other bands trying to make it?
To make it means something different today. The days of big record deals are a thing of the past. If you want to make music, then do it. Don't be so precious about one song, or one album. Keep producing and sending it out into the world. People will respond, and support if you do good work.
The entire process is free. Why the philanthropy? What prompted that aspect of the studio?
We don't charge bands for the upfront cost, but we do share in the back-end revenue. If one of the songs makes anything, then so do we. That gives everyone an incentive to promote the song. I wouldn't call it a philanthropy per se, but certainly a system that encourages community participation. I think there is wisdom in the crowd, there is success in the collective. We are a pay-what-you-can model, similar to what Radiohead did with In Rainbows. Our business is based on our philosophy. We would love people to support us by donating to the songs they download so that we can continue to do what we do, and shine a light on more great bands.