Tom Larkin ~ Homesurgery Recordings.
Tell us about your new Studio Launch
The room opened quietly in 2008 as an artist workshop – since that point we have gone through a slow evolution of how the place operates.
Given that 2018 was the 10 x year anniversary of the doors opening and we felt the setup of the room and the gear within it represented the best overall balance between environment and tech, we wanted to relaunch the studio under a name that represented what our manifesto was and reflected the room and the team’s work.
“Homesurgery Recordings’ speaks to the rooms as a comfortable environment in which to create and the attention to detail and care for the sonic representation that we make a part of every recording.
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
Recording can be tough and the twists and turns involved in getting to a point where we can stand back and listen to a project at the end of it all is a consistent highlight. So the look on an artists face when they hear the finished result and it’s beyond what they had imagined or makes them feel pride and confidence in their music always makes me proud.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Always a fan of the Shred Jar – This tends to be one that comes up with the hyper young and enthusiastic bands – invariably in the recording process you will be closing in on one specific idea that needs to be developed and focused on – like a drum beat or a guitar part etc. and whilst doing so, the more impatient members tend to start noodling or tapping because they are bored however this shuts down concentration and communication etc. etc.
Our solution was to invent the ‘Shred Jar’ where if anyone makes noise whist others are trying to communicate their name goes in the Jar and at the end of the week the numbers are tallied and the person with the most names in the jar have to buy everyone dinner.
What, or who, inspires you?
It’s interesting because as I get older you think far more in terms of macro inspiration as opposed to specific individual and artists. So with that in mind – my peer group and the artists that operate within the southern hemisphere are an endless source of inspiration both musically and personally. I’m inspired by the team at both Homesurgery Recordings and VVV MGMT – They are constantly challenging me with new insights and great work ethic that I hope to give back in exchange and last but far from least is my family, my daughters and cat.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
I think this maybe the hardest question ever asked – in an attempt to answer I will go for ‘For those about to rock – we salute you’ by AC/DC.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
We have to tip the hat toward two of our Neighbours in the Brunswick area as there is a cyclical relationship between the food we access and the results we output musically so firstly ;
TIBA’s Lebanese Restaurant – suppliers of meat platters and excellent kebabs that don’t need the excuse of drunkenness to participate in.
RAY Café – Suppliers of Caffiene updates for all concerned and the home of the most appropriately titled menu in the Southern Hemisphere with items such as Hash Sultana, Iron Maiden and Fries Against.
What’s next for you?
We’ll we have a ton of initiatives this year around the studio – looking to do some exciting albums with great artists, further to that there are some exciting developments to be rolled out around the management company VVV MGMT that we run as well.
What’s your scene?
Sock game – a daily competition to outdo each other on the style and aesthetic co-ordination of our team socks. Best sock choice carries the day with bragging rights.
Since its inception in 2007 ‘The Studio’s In The City’ has been home to some of Australia’s finest acts, producers and engineers.
Located in Melbourne’s iconic suburb of Brunswick (which appropriately hosts the highest concentration of songwriters in the Southern Hemisphere according to APRA) the recording studio has been responsible for producing a plethora of top charting records. Acclaimed alumni include Calling All Cars (Top 20 Aria Debut, Triple J Album Of The Week) Villainy (2 x top ten album debuts) Young And The Restless (J Award – Unearthed Album Of The Year, Triple J Album Of The Week) High Tension (ARIA nominated), The Getaway Plan, Northeast Party House and The VANNS. It has also seen legendary producers Matt Lovell (3 x ARIA Engineer Of The Year, Eskimo Joe, The Mess Halls and Shihad) Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke).
James Lewis (Arctic Monkeys / CeeLo Green / Charli XCX), Kurt Ballou (Converge / Kvelertak / Four Year Strong) frequent it’s facilities alongside the permanent all-star cast of engineering production and mixing wizards Samuel K and Jon Grace.
At the helm for the past decade has been none other than founding Shihad member, legendary producer, VVV Mgmt (Killing Heidi, The Vanns, Dear Seattle, Darren Middleton, Eliza and the Delusionals) and Signal Artist Development Accelerator head honcho plus general all round top bloke Tom Larkin. “I founded the studio’s in 2007 when I happened upon a project studio for long term rent – I moved a ramshackle amount of equipment in there and began work straight away on the debut album for a band called Young & Restless, that record went on to win a J award for Unearthed Album Of The Year”. Known for its nurturing environment, the studio has garnered a well-deserved reputation as the best in the biz. [pullquote]“I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in some of the world’s most renowned studios, yet nothing really compares to the warm, welcoming and creatively nourishing environment. I feel very much at home there” Matthew Wright The Getaway Plan[/pullquote] “Tom Larkin is one of the best producers I’ve worked with. He’s someone who listens and understands your dreams and hopes for the project, and he’ll make you work hard for it. He knows what you’re capable of, even when you don’t think you have it in yourself. I recall many times when he heard ‘magic’ in a take when no one else picked it up or intended for it. He brings the best out of you and each member of your band. He’s got an incredible approach to producing — he somehow understands your poorly articulated ideas and knows what to do to execute it in a technical sense. He’ll make things sound HUGE. He’ll humour your ideas but he’ll also let you know if something is shit. Young & Restless’ debut album received the inaugural Triple J Unearthed J Award & SOYA Award and High Tension’s ‘Death Beat’ album received an ARIA nomination for best heavy album — not a coincidence that Tom produced both of these”. Karina Utomo High Tension
A recent upgrade to the the API 1608 console takes Homesurgery Recordings to yet again another level; “The sonics of the API 1608 make it feel like the console was tailored for Homesurgery. Wide and punchy has always been our M.O and this thing delivers in spades. It is also remarkably easy to use when you consider the wealth of on-board features it provides, and its plug-and-play nature makes it a phenomenal creative tool” Jon Grace. Producer/ Mixer Samuel K elaborates“As a fan of big bass, huge punch, distortion on everything and a massive stereo image, the API suits me perfectly. I felt a connection with the thing as soon as it arrived and that connection continues to grow with each session. We’ve been through a lot of center stages at Homesurgeryand the API is the first one that made the studio sound bigger. Like, ‘holy shit!’ big.”
Homesurgery Recordings borrows from the legacy and experience of the past decade, with killer gear, in a great room, allowing artists imagination to take flight. “We have now arrived at a point where that manifesto now flows through the whole studio, it made sense to refocus the team and the studio under the ‘Homesurgery’ banner. Its a name that speaks to both the our collective respect for craft and detail, through to the ethos of providing a comfortable. relaxed and creative environment around the artist”. Tom Larkin.