Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Interview/Q & A with Todd Barriage from Borland Studio

As some of you may know, we here at Barren Praise are big fans of Speaker and Die Hexe....both bands have put out some killer music fairly recently but those albums didn't record and mix themselves. So we thought it would be fun to catch up the man who did record and mix those albums (and some other sweet ones). So here's a quick Q and A/interview/whatever with Todd Barriage of Borland Studio.

Can you talk about your earlier experiences in heavy music and what inspired you to start Borland Studio?

I had a pretty sheltered Christian upbringing, so I wasn't introduced to music with substance until I played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the PS1. I had to have been around 10 or 11 at the time. That game was packed with all sorts of goodies from Lagwagon to The Swingin' Utters to Powerman 5000. Then THPS3 had Goldfinger, AFI, Bodyjar, etc. y'know, bands that had a lot of speed and power and emotion in their songs. And around that time, High Speed Internet and online radio became a thing so I was able to freely explore music outside of video games. So around the age of 12 I started listening to Slayer, Cradle of Filth, Death, proper heavy stuff. Then the year after that, Saosin and The Used came out with their first records and reintroduced the word "hardcore" to the alternative-mainstream. 

Ever since then I've been fascinated with how passionate and aggressive music can be. Once high school hit, I didn't really party or do drugs and I wasn't quite nerdy enough for the Anime Club so I'd record my own music to pass the time. I did a couple We Are Adam West albums, some stuff for local bands. It just never stopped for me, I've pretty much been recording ever since!

Do you like to take any active role as producer, or do you just like to stick to engineering mixing and mastering?

I like to be as hands-on as the situation calls for. With Vickie Vale, I wrote & performed the drums for the first three albums and worked pretty closely with Scott on their fourth. I did a lot of vocal coaching with Lungless and helped Nick and Mike find their voices, we shaped a lot of the melodies together, particularly on Inhale. Speaker and Die Hexe were less hands-on, those bands pretty much just came in and smashed their tracks out. They knew what they wanted & trusted me to get them there!

Can you tell us about your approach to each project you take on?

First and foremost, I like to sit in on a band practice and get a feel for the band both musically and as people. I don't record music I don't personally like, and nobody wants to spend 8-12 hours a day with someone they're not comfortable with. So I make sure the band and I are on the same page. From there, it really depends on what the band's strengths and weaknesses are. I don't have like a, "Borland Studio Process™" that I impose on the bands I work with. I prefer to work with the artist and approach each record as the unique piece of work that it is.

You released a pretty rad cover of Refused's "New Noise" with Vickie Vale's Tyler Charlebois... Any plans to release an album under your own name?

Thank you man, that was a lot of fun to do! I've always wanted to cover that song, I couldn't have picked a better partner in crime for that one. I do have an album out, it's called This Is Love but it's way more pop-inspired and formulaic than the music I tend to produce. I've since released two singles, Depression Is A Hell Of A Drug in May of 2015 and Being Free in August of 2015. Those two are a lot heavier, and they mean more to me. Maybe some day soon I'll put out a proper hardcore record of my own!

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