Interview With Toast & Jam Studio & A Lunar Vacation Session

Posted: by The Editor

toast and jam

I spoke with the people behind the Toast and Jam Studio and put together an interview.  Not only do they do recordings, but they also film live sessions, and premiere one of their new sessions with the band Lunar Vacation. Take a look at both below.

Hey y’all! So first thing is first, when or how was the decision made to create your own live studio sessions?

It all started in 2016. We started getting into the local scene pretty heavily working with some amazing bands Blurry and Stay Here. Over the spring and summer we worked on two releases we are extremely proud of those being “Happy” by Blurry and “Blindfolds” by Stay Here.

After those releases were wrapped up we were looking for new projects to work on. We always enjoy whenever a new AudioTree or KEXP live session would hit our timeline so we thought that would be a fun challenge to try and produce some live sessions in our 12x16ft space which would allow local bands we love to have a high quality video. We also thought this would be a great way to meet new bands and get our foot in the door to potentially work with those bands on their next release if we both enjoyed working together. We shot our first two sessions in December of 2016 with two bands we’re very passionate about, Hindsight and Stay Here. We always want to work with bands we’re passionate about even for our test dummies and it helps that they’re some of our best friends too. To our surprise those two sessions ended up coming out really well. Both bands nailed it in one take! We ended using them as our debut sessions for our channel. Once we released those sessions more people started hearing about us and it kind of spiraled from there. Eventually in April of 2017 we moved into our beautiful new space and continue to work with amazing bands creating live sessions as well as making standard LP’s and EP’s.

What is the process like for choosing a band to come through?

The process is the same for a local or touring band hitting us up. We want to work with artists we’re passionate about. There’s about 5 of us that contribute things to the studio as well as the live sessions and at least the majority need to agree on a band in order for us to pull the trigger on recording a live session. We really pride ourselves in having true live sessions with no overdubs or punch ins for fixes. With that being said when we work with bands we’re stoked on and who are amazing musicians it makes our job easier to show case their live ability. So bands feel free to hit us up for a session!

What is the editing process like for a session?

For all of our sessions we setup drums, vocals and band members outside in our live room. All the guitar and bass amps are setup in our amp isolation room to get the best audio possible. All audio runs through our vintage Wheatstone Console into Pro Tools where we have two Pro Tools Certified engineers tracking and mixing everything. Once we’re getting the proper levels we’re happy with we can assign custom headphone mixes for each individual member of the band to make sure every one is as comfortable as possible. Once the session is wrapped up on the audio end we edit the videos in house on Adobe Premiere Pro. It usually take our video editor only a couple hours to make a final edit of the session then it’s uploaded on our YouTube for everyone to see!

To anyone else looking to start doing video sessions, what advice would you give?

I’d say don’t be afraid to start filming and recording even if you don’t have a big space. Work with what you have and make it the best it could possibly be. What’s worked great with us recently has been setting goals to reach every quarter so every decision we make it forces us to think how this is either going to get us closer to our goals or if it’s going to make it harder. Lastly, if you want to do live sessions you just gotta do it. I really don’t know how else to say that. It’s a huge time commitment to produce everything we do but if you want it, you have to make it happen for yourself. You can’t rely on anyone else to try and make your own dream come true so whatever it is you want to accomplish you have to go out and do it.

What can you tell us about the session we are premiering today?

Today we want to highlight our session with Lunar Vacation that came out last week. They are a really amazing group from Atlanta. This session is a great example on how being tight and just having fun really makes a session stand out. They play four sick Dream Surf Pop songs including one new unreleased track! We hope you enjoy it and subscribe to see more releases throughout the year. Thank you!

Sean Gonzalez / @SeanTheCaptain

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