Rich Higton caught up with Robin Newman and Rich Collins from Snug Recording Co after the studio's recent move to Nottingham’s JT Soar...
For those who aren’t familiar with Snug Recording Co, could you tell us a little about yourself?
We have been running in Derby for quite a while, we first took over a studio there which both myself and Rich were working at, which used to be called the Hive. That had been there for many years, we had both been there with our first bands, recording and things. So, when the owner wanted to move on to other stuff, we took over there in 2006, so we’ve been working in this line of work for most of our adult lives. We stayed in Derby for a long time, working with bands from all around the Midlands including many independent artists.
You recently moved down the A52 to your new home at JT Soar in Nottingham. Why did you choose Nottingham to set up base, and what are the advantages of being in the city?
Yeah, it had got to the point where it was uncertain whether we could stay in our current location, due to development works etc. As much as an emotional wrench it was, we decided we had to start to look for alternatives. We have been mates with Phil at JT Soar for ages and adored the work that they have done over there, being such a key part of the indie and DIY scene in Nottingham working with the likes of Sleaford Mods, so working both nationally and locally.
JT Soar is such a great place, it allows bands to make weird music in a small space; you don’t realise how hard it is to launch a weird band if the smallest venue is 200 capacity. Now, at JT Soar we have had the opportunity to build the studio from the ground up and we have a very well-appointed studio which has so much potential for experimentation.
The main advantage of being in Nottingham is the incredibly fertile creative scene, and the city as a full music ecosystem. You have places like JT where you can fit fifty people to watch more weird and experimental acts, but then you have so many other venues from Bunkers Hill, the Chameleon, Metronome, up to Rescue Rooms, Rock City all the way to the Arena.
JT Soar is such a great place, it allows bands to make weird music in a small space
Could you tell us a bit about working on the new Lost Alone album?
We’ve worked with Lost Alone for a long time before they were even known as Lost Alone, so since 2006, on multiple projects. Steve Batelle, who is the main song writer, guitarist, and singer with the band, worked on his two solo albums with Snug Recording Co. When it came to the new Lost Alone album, it all started when they were asked to support My Chemical Romance in 2020 and wanted to record a song to promote.
Of course, all that was called off due to the pandemic, so in-between the lockdowns lifting, Mark Gibson would come in to record the drums. Steve, who was based in London, would record guitars and vocal and send it to us, we had to quickly adapt to working with people remotely. Getting to grips with technology which could stream high quality audio, have one person on a Zoom call so we can communicate but the audio is studio quality. It was a cool way of dealing with something that could have made the whole process so horrible.
Do you have any big projects coming up?
Yeah, we have a few things coming up. We have just started working on a record by a band called The Newcranes, they have been around quite a while but had a big hiatus. We’ve done some collaborations with Phil at JT Soar, he’s worked on the new Martha record, they are one of the best punk bands in the country. So, Phil asked us if we wanted to join in mixing the album, and we jumped at the chance. They are one of my favourite bands ever! Robin has just finished working on another project with the Leicester National Space Centre, translating a previous virtual reality piece to a big, projection mapped gallery based in Montreal, which should be opening in December.
Robin has just finished working on another project with the Leicester National Space Centre
Which local artists that you haven’t worked with yet would you love to see walking through your doors?
There are so many great artists, this is going to sound like such a horribly diplomatic answer, but there are so many in and around Nottingham and Derby. We have worked on the latest Sancho Panza stuff, it would be great to do more stuff with them. Some great bands which rehearse at JT, like Every Face Becomes A Skull, and Myopic, who are quite a new band and haven’t done any recording yet. We don’t tend to work with a specific type of band, but personally I’d love to do a quiet folk record; some really moody acoustic guitar stuff.
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