When I was young, I fell in love with music and was fascinated with recording. A friend of mine in high school had a reel to reel tape recorder that let you record over tracks you had previously recorded without erasing them. We had a blast with that thing. Part after part piled on until we ended up with an indistinguishable mush. Heavenly!
I rented a little room in Alhambra to play my guitar as my apartment neighbors would complain if I cut a noisy fart. Truth is, for much of my life, the only thing people would say about my music was it was too loud. The room next to the one I was renting became available, so I rented that one too. Finally, a bigger room across the hall became available. Then there were three. I started fixing the place up for a studio. I found an eccentric partner, Jeff Mallory, who worked at Cal Tech and used to cool down his Dr. Peppers by dipping them in a tank of liquid nitrogen. We called the place Roaring Silence Sound. By day I worked with my dad at construction jobs, by night I was a fledgling recording engineer. We didn’t have much gear, but we had a passion for recording and time to kill.
I remember the day clearly when I decided owning a recording studio was a bad idea. A woman had come in to record You Light Up My Life. I was playing bass. She was so awful that I finally just put my bass down and asked her to leave. It was obvious trying to get paid for making music was ruining my experience making it. I love music and this was turning it into demeaning and torturous activity.
Fast forward a whole bunch of home studios later, I decided to take another crack at it. This time, I was determined to make it fun, creative and something that fueled my love for music rather than pouring a bucket of warm piss on to it. In 2016 I found the perfect spot to make my studio. One thing I had learned from my earlier experience was not to spend a bunch of money on someone else’s property trying to turn it into a studio. That doesn’t end well. This time, I purchased a new home and the 1500 sq ft detached building the previous owner was using as his cabinet shop.
I drew up sketches of my dream studio, hired a contractor to help me with the more challenging structural elements, and spent a year building myself a Rocket. I owe a debt of gratitude to those who helped me get to where we are today. Shea Thompson put in countless hours, as did my pal John Saccoman. I could not have done it without them.
We’ve been up and running at rocket for several years now. Every time I pass through the front door I look around and say, “Damn… this is a dream come true!” I love making music at Sonic Rocket and I love seeing my friends and neighbors doing so as well. Come be part of a community of artists who use the Rocket to help launch their artistic dreams. That’s exactly what I built if for.