Los Angeles, CA (April 23, 2004)–Actor Kiefer Sutherland has opened a new recording studio, Ironworks, with musician/producer Jude Cole. His stash of 28 new and vintage Gibsons provides a full arsenal of guitar sounds for the artists who record in the new studio.
“I don’t play in a band, and I didn’t build the studio so I could make a vanity record,” Sutherland explained. “Jude and I built it together, and it was really to start a label that was going to help young artists that might not be able to find their way in what is becoming a very shrinking corporate music industry and try and make records for them, and either get them out independently or actually use the distribution apparatus of a major.”
The studio is managed by top-notch guitar tech, “Captain” Mark Somgynari, and it’s operating five to six days a week, 12 hours a day. “We don’t rent the studio out,” Sutherland said. “It’s literally for bands that we have developed and that we’re finding. It’s unbelievable how many fantastic bands there are out there that are just not being heard. We just want to make records and try to figure out how to get them out there.”
Ironworks Studio is housed in a historic ironworks foundry in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles; a bohemian suburb that attracts young, artistic hopefuls from all over the world . “Even as people have found success in what they’re doing, they’ve ended up staying because there’s such a fantastic community here, and it’s lent a great kind of vibe to the studio,” Sutherland said.
When Cole, his best friend was a struggling musician in the beginning, Sutherland bought him an Arctic White Les Paul Custom. The two began collecting vintage guitars and gear, and Sutherland would send his guitars on the road with his buddy. “When he started to do well, I said, ‘Jude, remember all those guitars I lent you? I want them back,'” he laughed. “And then we realized we had amassed really an incredible collection.”
His favorite electrics include a ’67 ES-335 that faded from cherry to a golden salmon color after a lengthy stay in a storefront window, a ’65 SG Special, a ’59 Les Paul Reissue that was aged by Gibson finish specialist Tom Murphy, and his Les Paul Juniors and Specials dating from their first years of introduction (1954 and ’55, respectively) up to 1959. On the acoustic side, he also loves his John Lennon J-160E, his 2003 Custom Shop SJ-200, and his ’63 J-185, though his dog Molly put loving scratches on it.
The wide array of guitars provides players with every sound they need. “We had Mark Goldenberg in, who is just a phenomenal guitar player,” Sutherland said, “after the first day, he never brought another guitar back, so that’s a bonus, I guess.”
Other artists who have recorded at Ironworks include Jason Wade from Lifehouse, a new Maverick artist named MoZella, and two acts that Sutherland and Cole are working with: The band Softcore and Rocco Deluca, artists that they’re incredibly excited about.