Damien Gerard Studios began life back in 1982 and just three years later, Marshall Cullen would come onboard as co-owner. Since then, Cullen has continued to pilot the studio towards a reputation that has welcomed the likes of Jack Endino (engineer for a little band called Nirvana), Randy Jackson, and even John Denver. Such a mixed-bag is testament to not only their strength, but versatility.
“Even from day one, we treated the demos as if they were releases, and that’s always been the ethos,” Cullen says. “It’s always been really skilled engineers who are passionate about what they do, everyday. From a musician’s point of view, it might take half a day to make a great guitar sound that they’re happy with. Here, they can come in, trust the engineer, and within a few minutes they might have this great sound they can move forward with to get their tracks done. We’ve had a lot of people come to us for the speed of the work flow. It’s what we do.”
While some remarkable bands have recorded at Damien Gerard, Cullen is emphatic that the services they offer aren’t out of reach for rising performers. For emerging talent, the time and energy that can be saved by reaching out to Cullen is almost as strong as the final product.
“As a young songwriter, you have to write the song, be your own engineer and producer, be your own mastering guy. It’s a tough call to do all that yourself and come out with a really good product. Some of them will succeed, sure. But a lot will get halfway through that and think, ‘It’d be good just to get another set of ears on this to tell me what I’m doing.’ So we start with a single package, which then moves up to five or seven day deals for EPs depending on detail, and then an album package which is about 15 days. We spend lots of time really honing in, making sure there are plenty of mix options. We want to go deep, rather than just tear through songs to get them done.”
Damien Gerard Studios are located at 174 Mullens Street, Balmain, New South Wales. For more information visit damiengerard.com.au.