I had to double check when I read this in my blog headlines this afternoon, but that four-letter word is legitimate in this case. A FREE recording studio is up and running in Brooklyn thanks to the ‘punk rock’ shoe brand of choice, Converse. Home of the iconic Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers, Converse is a shoe brand with humble beginnings, that became associated with saying so much about a person without saying anything at all. Flip through photos of rock culture’s past and you’ll find them on everyone from The Ramones to Kurt Cobain, hell, even Avril Lavigne made sure she had a pair.
Now the brand wants to give back to the artform that made it cool. Converse has opened a community-based recording studio in Brooklyn that is not only completely FREE for musicians to use, the artists also retain all rights to their songs recorded there. Through an application process, bands may submit their information and timeframe, and the folks at Converse Rubber Tracks promise to respond within 30 days or less on availability. The first round of applications ended May 31, in which New York and New Jersey bands Aabaraki, Majuscules, G.I.C. & Funk Face, Andre Henry and Super Rocket Car were selected for recording time.
The studio will supply sound engineers and gear (provided by Guitar Center, Gibson, Fender, and many others), and arrangements can be made to bring in your own engineer. Basically, you get your time, bring yourself, your bandmates, and your instruments, and get to work! But this won’t be a long, camp-out recording situation. Musicians are alloted about 1-2 days depending on the project, so if you sign up, you’d better be ready to bring your A-game, no unfinished songs and ideas. The company has even sought out tips from professional musicians on how to make successful recording sessions, check them out on the Rubber Tracks website.
I’ve gotta say, this sounds like a great way to give back and provide an opportunity for new music to flourish. So many bands are bogged down by the cost of a decent, quality recording, I only hope they open one closer to the Midwest! The new tagline for the Chuck Taylor shoe: “Chuck Taylor All-Star Sneaker: Made in Music”. I like it!