By JEN PETERSEN
Whether it’s a hobby or a hope to become big in the music world, students who record albums find their efforts worth the busy and sometimes challenging lifestyle.
Mark Owens, a senior from Walnut Creek, Calif., who recently released his new CD, “Beneath the Big Sky,” said recording demands much of your time.
“When you want to do a big project like (recording an album) that has nothing to do with your academic life, it’s hard,” Owens said.
Owens spent two to three hours every night in a recording studio at Mic Reynolds Studio in Orem for the last six months to produce his 10 track CD.
Because Owens originates all vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and percussion, a lot of time is dedicated to the perfect sound.
Long hours and dedication are necessary factors to musicians, whether they’re practicing, performing or recording.
Scott Reinwand, a senior from Provo graduating in August in media music, spends numerous hours a week recording with his band “ZINA.”
Although Reinwand said he plays as a hobby, much of his recording talents and time has benefitted his academic life.
“My school corresponds so well with what I love to do outside,” Reinwand said.
Not only is a lot of time crucial to recording an album, but every technical detail becomes relevant.
“The shape of a studio room, acoustics, getting the right sound and choosing the right microphones is very important,” Reinwand said.
Aside from numerous hours in studios, many local bands strive to capture audiences at local clubs and cafes who cater to musicians by featuring live shows.
Wrapsody located on University, The Cafe, (formerly Mama’s Cafe) located south of campus, and ABGS on Center Street in Provo, provide a place for recognition and have become favorites among local bands.
Another place that is becoming more popular for local bands is the barnhouse at Seven Peaks.
The “Moontubes,” is a four member band with three BYU students. Their first album will be released next month.
“It’s been a challenge to pay for the recording (when) you’re not making money at it. It’s more of a hobby than anything, but it’s definitely worth it,” said Mark Smith, a junior from Provo majoring in Industrial Design, and lead singer and guitarist for the “Moontubes.”
Smith attributes much of the band’s success to the band’s well-known and talented drummer, Covey Christensen, a senior from Los Angeles, Calif, majoring in accounting.
Christensen also recorded with Owens, playing drums on “Beneath the Big Sky.”
“Covey is very talented and added a lot to the album,” Owens said.
What makes it worth it? The reasoning is similar among the different band members.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you’re playing music and there is a certain vibe in the air. I know it when I experience it … people are having a good time and enjoying it,” said Brian Cripe, a junior from Provo majoring in communications, and “ZINA”‘s lead singer.
“It’s a way to release energy, have a good time and express myself, as well as allow other people to do the same. That’s the ultimate satisfaction, when you see that somebody picks up on the same feelings and emotions,” Smith said.
“It’s therapeutic. You understand yourself better. That’s why I record … there are a lot of experiences that are best documented in song.”
This intense crave and satisfaction for music is expressed through the hours of dedication a musician spends perfecting his/her talents.
Dave Heslington, owner of Toonz, (formerly Herger’s music) a new music store located on Freedom Boulevard, and solo guitar and vocal performer for 23 years, said it’s very difficult to be successful in Utah Valley.
Heslington has performed with Michael Martin Murphy, Glen Campbell, The Everley Brothers and has been featured on TNN six times.
However, he spends most of his time performing locally at different places,including Sundance, and The Grub Steak in Park City.
“You can be successful on a local level, but to be a big success, you’ve either got to go to Nashville, New York or Los Angeles, you’ve just got to,” Heslington said. “And you’ve got to do it when you’re young.”
“I turn 41 this year and pretty much the dream is gone. It’s such a youth oriented business, anybody over 29 or 30, you might as well forget it,” Heslington said.
Student musicians seem to have caught on to that vision.
Amy Greetham, a 20-year-old UVSC student from Detroit, MI., and lead singer for “Sunfall Festival,” a local band said it’s best to start young.
“When you’re older, you feel you’re too old. Especially when you have kids and your married. You have other responsibilities. It’s hard to shoot for a dream when you just can’t afford it,” Greetham.
Uniting in 1996, “Sunfall Festival” has already released two CDs. According to their website, sunfallfestival.com, they have recently been picked up by Davis and Shapiro entertainment law firm in New York.
For many of the bands, they will go where their dreams will take them.
“If somebody in the industry offers a contract, I’m not going to deny that opportunity … at the same time, you can’t count on that,” Owens said.
And the “somebody” is sometimes difficult to find. Smith said getting big comes from who you know.
“It’s how you use your resources. If you know people who have some pull, you’re going to go places.”
“We’ll take it as far as it will take us. That may mean all the way to Rock Stardom or staying locally and just having a good time, which is the main point anyway,” Reinwand said.