Growing up in Mahopac, NY, I have had the privilege of working with some pretty amazing bands. This town has many sides, I've seen the best and worst of it, but one thing that nobody can deny is that there is some serious musical talent that comes out of here. These bands helped me get my feet off the ground in my recording career, and I've had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many of them. I'm proud to call these guys my friends and am proud to see what they've accomplished.
EVENT HORIZON - EPISODE
These guys were the FIRST demo I produced at Nada Recording Studio. Kinda got thrown into the fire...I had this huge studio at my disposal with not much actually professional experience on how to use it. I was glad these guys gave me a chance to record their demo because it helped push me towards making this my job. Listening back to the first mixes of Procyon, I am really glad to see how far I've come in recording, and how far this band has come musically.
The next set of songs made EPISODE, Event Horizon's sophomore album. This album was what really brought out their songwriting and talents. All the members in the band put their hearts into these performances and there was a lot of room for experimentation. Much of it was recorded in my mom's basement! Even with that change of environment, these guys put their absolute best forward and murdered every take. Cheers to you Event Horizon.
OURSELVES - OUR ENEMY
The weirdest band in Mahopac award goes to Ourselves. Weird, unique, fun and energetic. It all started with a 3-song demo. The recording process for Ourselves was different than what I was used to at the time. It was a fusion of a live recording and tracking. No click track (which scared me at first), and they all tracked together, but we only kept the drums and bass. Later on, we tracked guitars and vocals as overdubs. This process gave us the best of both worlds, assembly-line style recording to focus on flawless performances, and a live feel to capture the energy of seeing these guys live.
Ourselves came back to record Our Enemy which has all varieties of rock flavors (punk, progressive, trash, metal, black-doom-core-hip-hop-polka), as well as a little piano outro which I listen to while focusing on my chi.
Also check out their NEWEST album Means to an End. This was recorded and produced by Eliot Geller at The Geller Cellar studio, a very talented, and respected producer in the area. One of the first to really put Mahopac recordings on the map. This album contains a song called Beef Feature, which is definitely in the top 3 of my favorites of all their songs.
Social Standards - Battle of the Blizzard
I was in bands playing shows with these guys since high school. When they were looking to produce their album, I was excited because I already knew it was going to come out great. The vibe we wanted to get was grungy, dirty and punk as hell, and naturally, a whole lot of trials and tribulations were set forward to finish the album. First off, the last day of drums the power completely shut off at the studio due to an insane blizzard that come out of nowhere in October (that's right, the infamous October blizzard of 2011). I remember us driving through the treacherous storm and having to park the car at the bottom of the hill near Ryan (the drummer's) house, then walking uphill about a mile in a foot of snow. All while seeing cars that were crashed and abandoned on the side of the road, and others sliding in a total frenzy. Another obstacle that we faced as running out of studio time and we had to finish vocal sessions in my dark, stinky, grungy basement (actually really set the mood for the record). This was one of my favorite records to record because I saw all the blood and sweat that went into transcend in the recordings. Justin and my buddy Colin now play in a really awesome band called Gameday Regulars, who also did some work in Nada Recording Studio. I was excited to see them join such an awesome band. they're definitely worth checking out.-
2 For 30
Although Event Horizon was the first band I demoed at Nada Recording Studio, 2 for 30 was the first full length album I recorded. I was surprised the process was so easy but then I realized, "Oh, I basically didn't have to do much but set up the mics and hit record". Since these guys were so talented and had their ideas set in stone already, I didn't have to do so much producing, the process was very smooth. It is not like this with all bands. Sometime it's because there is a bunch of extra production and tracking to be done besides what you would hear in a live setting, other times because the band isn't completely prepared for the studio and you have to do a lot of editing. 2 for 30 didn't fall in any of those categories. They had great songs so all they had to do was perform. It wouldn't be right to mention this band without mentioning Idioento, which includes Kenny and Keith from 2 for 30. Idioento probably came out to be my best mixing job ever, but that's to be told in another blog post...
Reckless Serenade - The Reckless EP
This was the first Reckless Serenade EP. I had Cory (vocals) interning with me for a little bit, getting to know about Pro Tools and production after the 2 for 30 and Event Horizon records came out. His band Reckless Serenade put together a few songs and came down to the studio and recorded the Reckless EP. Here was another band that had their songwriting together, and to this day, I feel so lucky to have worked with some really great projects so early on in my career. The Reckless EP had a great overall sound and I was going for a sound like my favorite 90s-2000s pop rock records (Movielife, New Found Glory, Getup Kids, etc.). I tried not to over mix it and I was happy with the overall results. The first 3 songs they came with were Two Years too Late, Losing Streak and Resolution, which came out fantastic and were recorded in a period of 2-3 days. Once those were done, we recorded DNA, Sassy Song, and Get Up, Get Up, which were EVEN BETTER songs, as if the first three weren't kick ass enough. And that's kind of been the way these guys operate, they're always topping themselves and getting better, both in their songwriting and how they approach their career as a band.
So yeah, all in all, it's crazy how so many awesome bands came out of this little town (and I only mentioned the ones I recorded!) Music is really important in Mahopac and I look forward to seeing more come out of my quiet suburb in downstate NY.