You’ve put together a solid band. We’ve written a bunch of amazing songs. And maybe you’ve even played a few shows. The next step is putting together an EP, but you’re taking the starving musician thing a little too seriously – albeit, maybe not by choice.
Enter Marcos Codas and DW Records. Marcos has put together a project that aims to get you into a recording studio – no matter your budget.
I spoke with Marcos about the project’s start, why bands should consider it, and where it’s going next.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): In your own words, describe the project.
Marcos Codas (MC): DW Records is a project that allows musicians to record good-sounding material regardless of their economical situation. A band can come into my home studio, have four hours to record three songs, and then receive a final mix and master, and pay me whatever they can afford for the whole issue.
RMM: What gave you the idea for the project? And what made you want to pursue it?
MC: The idea came from a long period of brainstorming and thinking about the current situation of the music industry in Canada. I’ve seen people having to pay to play a show, and I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think it benefits anybody.
I’ve been a big fan of Humble Bundle, a system that allows you to buy a bundle of video games for whatever you can afford, and even give part of that money to charity, so the pay-what-you-can aspect came from there.
And as to what made me pursue it, it was definitely coming to Calgary. Moving out of my comfort zone in Toronto, I found myself with experience and equipment, but with no way to work with talented people.
So I invested more money to get the equipment to record a full band at once, and decided to launch it.
MC: I think this is a great opportunity for musicians to, firstly, get great sounding recordings regardless of their economical situation, and secondly, to see the dynamics of working in a recording environment, which is much different than a live situation or a rehearsal situation.
I have industry-standard equipment and a decade of experience in the industry to go along with it.
RMM: Why should musicians try something like this, opposed to (for example) doing it themselves, or splurging on a big-name studio?
MC: That’s a two-part question, so I’ll dissect it.
Why this instead of doing it themselves? Again, I have the equipment, and more importantly, the experience to go with it. You learn quite a lot from doing this for almost ten years, and that difference can be the deciding factor between having an okay-sounding material and having an industry-standard recording that can be a truthful representation of how the band sounds.
And, of course, having a producer is always beneficial. A second set of ears is helpful when it comes to arrangements, and when to say ‘that’s enough of that riff’. I not only have experience but I’ve also taken courses in songwriting and production from places like Berklee College of Music, so I think it’s a great package for people to benefit from.
Why this instead of a big-name studio? I have nothing against a big-name studio, really. But they are quite expensive, and that provides very little wiggle room for creative development for a band.
An established band can benefit from coming to DW Records because they’ll have maybe a pre-production set of songs that they want to listen to and polish before spending $10,000 on recording an album in a huge studio.
And for a small band, the benefits are even greater, as they will benefit from the experience, my expertise, and of course, the quality of sound that their music will be presented with.
But definitely, DW Records is aimed at the musician who is unable, for economical reasons, to go to a big-name studio and spend $300 an hour, while at the same time providing industry-standard equipment and expertise.
RMM: What was the biggest challenge to getting this started?
MC: Well, getting the word out there has been tremendously difficult. Investing a big chuck of money hasn’t been easy, of course, but really, just letting bands know about it has been very hard. And of course, just a couple of weeks after launching the project, Alberta was affected by flooding, and that changed everybody’s priorities. We’ve all been affected and I think it will still take time for the people of the province to recover.
MC: Very timid and very cold. I think people are afraid that I’m just a kid trying to get bands to come and get their money – haha! I have faith, however, that once we start a new wave of promotion, it will allow us to deliver the message more effectively and allow us also to reach the musicians who will truly benefit from this.
RMM: What’s in the future for DW Records?
MC: First off, promotion. The word needs to get out there, people need to know about it. It’s of no good to me to have all this knowledge and equipment sitting here, it’s not doing any good. So I’ll probably try to contact more media outlets (who’ve also been a bit reluctant), and maybe even spend some money on advertising.
I don’t know that DW Records will ever provide a full income for me to live off of, but it’s an exciting project and one that I have faith in, one that I think can really make a difference in the life of musicians and the career of bands.
I’m not gonna give up on it that easily.
For more information about DW Records, like how you can get involved, visit www.dwrecords.tk.