Silver City Studios Lets Milwaukee Bands Record on the Cheap

What do legendary
rock band Nirvana and Wisconsin have in common? The Dairy State is
home to Viroqua-born Butch
Vig, the widely-celebrated music producer most famous for recording Nirvana’s seminal 1991 album Nevermind in a tiny Madison
studio. The
now-defunct Smart Studios
produced records by other prolific artists like
Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth and
Garbage, alongside
countless Wisconsin-based bands. Vig’s
star-studded recording career was memorialized in the 2016 documentary The
Smart Studios Story
.

When local musician Andrew Jambura (Sat. Nite Duets) saw the
film at last year’s Milwaukee Film Festival, he was inspired to open a sound
studio of his own. He joined forces with fellow scene veterans Graham
Hunt (Midnight Reruns, Midwives
and others)
and Josh Evert (The Fatty Acids) and opened Silver City Studios in April 2017.
The artist-run studio’s motto is “Low cost, high reward,” an ethos the founders strive
to maintain consistently.

The three musicians have known each other for years, having met
through playing in many Milwaukee rock bands. “Josh and I have been friends
since the summer of 2009, when he heard my band on MySpace and invited us to
play a show in his basement,” Jambura explains. “Graham is a guy we had both
known from the music scene for a while. We’re all pretty like-minded when it
comes to music and get along well.”

He explains getting the studio off the ground was “a bit
serendipitous,” though he and Evert both expressed interest in establishing a
place to record for a while before taking the plunge. “I think we were both
ready to find a creative space that wasn’t a lightless, subterranean mold cave
(read: Riverwest basement). Not to mock basements, as nearly all our previous
recordings had been done in them, but we were looking for a space that we would
feel comfortable inviting clients to.” Jambura and Evert heard Hunt was also looking
for a place to record, and the duo invited…

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