SXSWORLD November 2014


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 35

S X S W. C O M | N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | S X S W o r l d 3 1 "It's a combination of the people you work with and the environ- ment," says Brady Blade, producer, drummer (fellow drummer Brian Blade's brother) and co-owner of Blade Studios. "We built this studio from the ground up. We tried to think of everything, so the creative environment serves the making of the record." Austin, Texas' Arlyn Studios opened in 1984 and was the recording site of acclaimed albums by artists such as the Butthole Surfers, Meat Puppets and Sublime. Owners Freddy and Lisa Fletcher – Freddy is also a founding partner at the new Austin City Limits Live venue – recently refurbished the studio, reopening it in 2012 as a top-notch facility. "There's a revival in studios mostly because it is a professional environment. Everything here is to make the best record," says Freddy. Frank Sinatra, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Plant have hung their metaphorical hats at Arlyn, which is named for Freddy's musi- cian father, but the studio's biggest musical legend is his uncle, Willie Nelson. "It's in a historic building, the old Austin Opera House. Willie really encouraged us to put the studio here." Another Austin legend left his mark too: the studio's courtesy car is Stevie Ray Vaughan's '78 El Camino. "I get a kick out of that," Fletcher chuckles. "People like it. But I remember Stevie when he was a young kid." The past fuels the present as legacy and legend continue to build. When Greenberg reopened the revamped Village in 1995, he worried, "No one wanted to record where all these old bands had recorded. Then one day I got a call from someone called Bill. That turned out to be Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan who came in and recorded Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which put us on the map." "Brady has this band, The Nauts," says Blade Studios' Bell. "It's Dave Matthews, Jakob Dylan, Charlie and Will Sexton, and Tony Hall. Alison Mosshart's been hanging out, too. Anytime that ses- sion is going is amazing. Tequila is flowing until three or four in the morning and the bars stay open until six a.m. here. I have to go detox whenever they leave town," he laughs. "There's lots of stories," says Fletcher with a chuckle. "But one of my best memories is my mom playing piano right here," he says of Bobbie Nelson, Willie's longtime band member and elder sister. "This isn't just a recording studio, it's history, and for me it's about family." So while software advances continue to turn ambitious musi- cians into bedroom producers, owners of traditional studios manage to keep up, knowing with confidence that history and that special essence that comes from their venerable rooms are on their side. RECORDING MUSIC. RECORDING HISTORY. v i l l a g e s t u d i o s . c o m 1 6 1 6 B u t l e r A v e n u e W e s t L o s A n g e l e s , C A 9 0 0 2 5 p h 3 1 0 . 4 7 8 . 8 2 2 7 A rly n Stu d ios W H I T N E Y G O N Z A L E Z

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SXSWORLD - SXSWORLD November 2014