Devil's Workshop celebrates 5 years in action


The God Damn Doo Wop Band, courtesy of their Myspace page.

Before you even ask-- yes, a band called Idle Hands has recorded there.

30 bands might seem like a big chaw to chew. But when you've been recording bands for five years strong, and you work your rear off to become a name that musicians in the wary local community will trust, getting 30 bands under your flag is a snap.

Tomorrow at the 400 Bar, a full day of music begins at noon on the dot, and will unspool far into the bar close hours. The robust line-up  of bands, each of whom have recorded at the Devil's Workshop, includes acts like Rope Trick, The Dirty Hits, The God Damn Doo Wop Band, and Cortez the Killer. Which is to say the Devil's Workshop covers a lot of ground in its ambitious stride.

It's a hell of a birthday party to be sure, and Chad Weis from Devil's Workshop spoke with Gimme Noise about what it means to be a part of a music community, and about the collaborative, not competitive, atmosphere within it.

After 5 years recording bands, you've accrued a lengthy and healthy roster of bands. What's the best part about being an active participant in the local music community?

The Devil's Workshop Sound Studio is celebrating over 5 years of existence.  Personally I've been recording bands since I was about 15.  I've tried the mobile studio, the basement studio, working in someone else's studio.  About 6 years ago after closing my basement studio I teamed up with my friend Erik Siljander and we scouted for a location to set up a new studio.  I definitely wanted something in the tradition of the studios that I admired both sonically and aesthetically.  I guess the best part of being an active part of the local music community is all of the friends that are made along the way.  The experiences that you share and watching the bands grow.  I am very fortunate to work with some amazing talent who are also people I enjoy being around anytime.

There's no shortage of competition in town for recording options. How have you managed to accrue such a lengthy stable after just five years in action?

We're not competing with anyone and I don't think anyone with us.  Andy Lageson and I have been running the studio for the past few years.  There is a handful of very talented freelance engineers that have been working out of the studio from time to time.  There's a confluence of like minded engineers and like minded artists and bands and we're making records that we enjoy.  We've been fortunate to be doing that basically every day for the past 5 years.  Putting the words "competition" and "recording" next to each other instantly makes me think of "ballerina rugby".  Is that wrong?

What are you proudest of accomplishing in your first five years recording bands?

I get to make records everyday.  I just hope I get to keep doing it as many years as I spent working some crappy job and dreaming about it.  It's what I like to do.  That and touring.  I'm also stoked that over 30 bands signed on to help celebrate The Devil's Workshop Sound Studio's 5th birthday; each one of them having worked on a project at the studio.  I guess what I'm most proud of is that we are still here and artists put their trust in us as individuals and as a studio and together we make records.  It's about making records.