Seattle, WA (December 4, 2006)–Seattle’s legendary recording studio London Bridge, which brought the Northwest’s trademark grunge sound to the world, has celebrated its first anniversary under new ownership.
Young entrepreneurs Jonathan Plum and Geoff Ott, who as former London Bridge employees helped record the likes of Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, have now successfully reinvented the studio to conform to the demands of the home studio era. As part of its rebirth, numerous local bands and musicians, as well as several out of town acts have chosen to record at London Bridge thanks to its time-tested acoustics, vintage equipment and the many upgrades realized by Ott and Plum.
Unlike its heyday during the 1990’s, when the studio was the private recording domain of Rick Parashar and his portfolio of Grammy Award-winning national acts, the latest generation of clients are mainly local and independent artists. London Bridge is also carving itself a niche among large orchestras, serving as the recording backdrop for video game and movie soundtracks. ESPN’s remake of the original 70’s Monday Night Football theme was recorded at London Bridge in January.
By encouraging bands to capture their basic tracks through London Bridge’s vintage analog gear and then tweak their work digitally, Ott and Plum have made the large format studio accessible to projects with smaller budgets. And by keeping rates low they’ve saved the fabled studio from the wrecking ball. “We’re beginning to sense a backlash against the home studio concept,” said Plum “musicians with home studios are discovering they simply can’t emulate the sound of their favorite classic records on home digital gear. “
The band Transition in London Bridge with producer/engineer Jonathan Plum (far right)Support from the musical community has been overwhelming, according to Ott and Plum. Engineers bring mix projects at London Bridge because the studio’s vintage 70’s British made Neve 8048 recording console which sounds warmer and more musical than mixing inside a computer. Acclaimed composer/producer Dori Amarilio, who engineered the ESPN Monday Night Football session said. “The Neve console sounds beautiful and the hard wood floors in the tracking room offer a tight and present sound.”
“It’s the best sounding drum room in Seattle,” said Ben Smith, drummer for the band Heart, last March when tracking a side project. As independent producers Ott and Plum are able to keep the studio booked while channeling the proceeds back into the studio. However, the young owners acknowledge that its taken time for bands to understand that a studio of such reputation is accessible to even modest budgets. “People often assume its ether too expensive or already booked with a major record label band,” said Ott. “The truth is that 90 percent of our clients have been local musicians spending their hard earned dollars.”
Other notable recordings made at London Bridge this year include:
Transition (Flood Gate Records) produced by Mike Herrera of MXPX, Anberlin (Tooth and Nail Records) produced by Aaron Sprinkle, Good Charlotte (Sony Records) produced by Don Gilmore, and “Sleeping Beauty” for Seattle’s Children Theater.
London Bridge History