INTERVIEW: Continental Recording Studio

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having us. Things have been great over here. We’re keeping busy as always.

How did you fall in love with music?

That’s a difficult question to answer because both music and love differ so much from person to person and are an intangible yet essential part of who you are. We always loved listening to music as a kid and were fortunate in that our parents had great taste in music. We were both introduced to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Doors and other classic rock bands at a young age. At the same time, our parents kept up with modern music. We were in our formidable years in the mid-90’s and we got introduced to Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, Sublime, Radiohead, and all the great bands of the 90’s by our dad while they were in their prime. We quickly became music junkies, riding our bikes to the nearest Coconuts or Sam Ash, and later the now defunct local record shop Slipped Discs in Valley Stream, to pick up cassettes and CD’s of our favorite bands. It really all blossomed from there. The more we listened the more we loved it. We got into skateboarding because of music, and got introduced to punk rock through skateboarding. We both played instruments at a young age; Mike the guitar at 10 and myself the piano and sax. We both hated our music teachers though! It wasn’t until we were introduced to local guitar legend Larry Logeman that we really fell in love with playing. Larry was a self-taught guitar guru who chain-smoked cigarettes and taught out of his basement. He helped solidify our passion and love for music.

What led you to start Continental Studio?

We started Continental Recording Studio out of a passion for recording and a love for music. We have always enjoyed being around fellow musicians and we were driven by a desire to build a creative hub where artists would come from all over to make great music.

I understand it started out as a rehearsal room, how it eventually become the studio we know today?

We did start in our rehearsal room back in 2008. We were recording our own music at the time and we began to record other musicians that we were sharing the room with. Eventually it became apparent that what we were doing was working and we saw a need to expand. We found a space in Long Island City that could accommodate what we were trying to do. We now had a small live room and control room and we increased our gear collection. Around this time we found our Sound Workshop Series 30 vintage analog console which has become our cornerstone.

As we continued to build a strong word of mouth following we continued to make upgrades and hone our craft. Eventually it became apparent that we had outgrown our situation and it was time to expand yet again. In 2011 we moved into the current location of Continental. It was here that we built our current identity and brand. The room that we are in now matches our recording style and general ethos. It is a great sounding space hidden away in a warehouse on the waterfront of the East River. We are constantly working hard to establish it as a cultural mainstay in Long Island City.

What would you say makes a NYC studio different from others?

A New York City studios is a unique breed as a result of the landscape of the city. Studios in the city are oases hidden in the corners of a sprawling concrete jungle. In the city you have neighbors next to you, above you and below you and you have to be conscious of the ambient noise of the city. There are a lot of musicians in the city and many come from all different parts of the country and the world to try to make it in the city. There is a lot of creativity and inspiration as well as drive and ambition that comes with New York.

When producing, do you take a different approach depending on the genre and band?

Absolutely. Different genres call for different approaches from both a production and recording standpoint. Within genres individual bands require different approaches to achieve the sound that’s right for them and it goes right down to the song. Every production decision really boils down to what will work and what is necessary for the song.

Can you talk to us more about your series?

We recently started a video series on our Youtube channel called Uncomfortable Covers. In this series we invite bands to record a live in-studio performance of a cover that falls outside of their genre. The outcome is a fun, unique and unexpected cover version of a familiar song.

How can bands join in and be part of the series?

We check out a lot of local artists before making our selection and invite bands that we would like to be a part of the series. If any bands are interested they can send a submission to [email protected]

What else is happening next in Continental Studio’s world?

We are always expanding and upgrading and we will definitely continue down that path. We plan to continue our Uncomfortable Covers series with a new video every month. Generating our own content has been an amazing experience and something we’d like to explore more. Keep an eye on our Youtube page and check out our affiliate record label, Electric Giant for some really cool upcoming releases.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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