Musicians, it's time to get excited because there's a new studio in town that's shaking up the way things are done. The Nice Weather for Airstrikes Residential Recording Studio is packed to the rafters with all the gear you could dream of and is ideal for those looking to record and rehearse in a relaxed environment.
We spoke with Pete, who runs NWfA, to get the full scoop....
NWfA has always worked closely with bands, whether that’s putting on festivals or releasing music. What was it that inspired you to open a recording and rehearsal studio?
I've always worked in and around studios and I've always wanted to have a really relaxed homely sort of studio, somewhere in the countryside. I find that's best for creativity at least. So often bands can only afford a certain number of days in the studio, and it's all a bit of a mad rush to get everything down - it's always a compromise. And I don't want it to be like that. I want everyone to be relaxed and just have the chance to be creative, and enjoy it. I also got so fed up of all the overcrowded rehearsal rooms with 3 hour slots and every other band in town rehearsing up and down the hallways, I personally wanted some privacy! Especially when it comes to writing, there's nothing more off-putting than hearing a band learning covers in the next room.....not that we've anything against covers of course, it's just off-putting!
How long did it take for you to get the studio up and running?
We had a 'soft' opening a year ago, but the final bits and new control room were only completed in July. It's now fully finished, after a long old slug! We've rebuilt the bathroom, the kitchen, and most of the walls. And of course now the new control room.
Judging from the pictures, it looks more like somewhere that we would go on holiday rather than to record music. Can you tell us some more about the location, facilities and the building itself?
We actually live in the house upstairs - it's a 4 storey Georgian house that we've been renovating - and the studio is the lower ground floor. The live room is underground and about as soundproof as you can get, but the entrance, kitchen and control room are on the ground floor. It's essentially a self contained house, with it's own parking, garden, kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom (as well as live room and control room of course) all completely separate from the house upstairs. We're in Pulborough, which is a lovely little village about 40 minutes from Brighton and an hour South of London. We're right at the foot of the South Downs, it's very idyllic. The idea was to have that sort of space where bands can really feel like they've got away - that they've escaped to the country - but without having to travel for half a day to get there. It's easy and quick to get to, Pulborough train station is a 5 minute walk and there are trains to London every half hour (approx 1hr 10 mins).
What sort of experience can a band expect to have at NWfA?
We like to think of it as a proper escapist place, bands can really lose themselves here and not feel rushed. We don't book sessions by the hour like a typical studio, but by the day (10am til 10pm) instead, and we have accommodation for 6 people too. That way there's no time pressure and you can really relax and enjoy it. There's a garden, bbq and 3 lovely local country pubs nearby to so you could of course just treat it as your holiday. We even have a couple of people booking in for stag do weekends this year!
What's your message for those looking for a new studio to record or rehearse at?
If you want privacy, less time pressure and somewhere affordable and nearby, then we're the place for you. I used to hate writing new material with a band in rehearsal rooms in 3 hour slots in Brighton, surrounded by other bands. This is what I'd want, somewhere relaxed, secluded and without the time pressures. It can't just be me!
We've also got some lovely gear here, (equipment list is on the website!), including Universal Audio, Neve and Focusrite preamps, an all analogue Midas desk, plenty of lovely microphones including Neumann / ElectroVoice / AKG, and a great collection of guitar amps (Orange / Vox / Marshall / Fender).
Finally, please share some of your fave acts that have passed through the NWfA doors so far?
Off the top of my head my highlights through the doors at NWfA so far have been Yndi Halda, Meet Me In St Louis, Nordic Giants, Poly-math , Snow Ghosts, Delta Sleep and Waking Aida.... The first album we recorded here was the ALMA debut, and we've since recorded many that are set for release in the new year including ALMA's 2nd album.
Check out the ALMA debut below...
And listen to some of the other bands that have passed through the door at NWfA below...