Studio startup enables local artists

Studio startup enables local artists

Race Hochdorf / Intern Writer

Redwood Recording Studio in Denton is turning out records and pleasing ears, signing popular local bands and singers like Seryn, Dark Rooms, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Robert Gomez and Kaela Sinclair.

“I love working at Redwood. The studio itself is beautiful and I always feel at home there, working with musicians I love,” local musician Sarah Jaffe said. “Respect has everything to do with its warmness.”

At Redwood Recording, Jaffe produced her songs “Defense” and “Satire,” which gained national attention in USA Today and on the music website Spin.

But for founders McKenzie Smith and Joey McClellan, opening their studio locally wasn’t without risk.

Smith decided on Denton as opposed to larger cities like Dallas or Fort Worth. Smith said his love and admiration for his local community made Denton the only option.

“I’ve been in Denton for 16 years. I came here in 1997 to attend the University of North Texas,” Smith said. “I started my band here. It’s also where I own my business, Paschall Bar. So for me, Denton is where I call home.”

Smith and McClellan are members of the band Midlake. The band has toured throughout the United States and around the world, and released three records.

It was during the production of the band’s last album that Smith and McClellan decided to open Redwood.

“It was always a dream to open our own recording studio,” Smith said. “And after the last album, I knew the time was now.”

It took nearly a year to turn an old motorcycle shop into Redwood.

The walls of the studio are made almost entirely of cedar and adorned with vintage album covers and artwork.

The rooms are dimly lit, and while there are indeed computers and recording devices present, along with drum sets and other instruments, the presence of the technology and instruments is subtle in terms of the overall décor.

There are tables in the corner with old-fashioned lamps and stacks of books, which is similar to the aesthetics of Paschall.

“We felt very comfortable and we were able to get right to making great sounds and having fun,” Nathan Allen of the band Seryn said. “Every recording I have heard from Redwood is top notch. Denton keeps getting better and better and Redwood and Paschall’s are a big reason why.”

The studio has also hosted bands to perform at its location, calling the events “The Down Sessions.”

Recently, Chambers and Astronautilis have been featured in “Down Sessions.”

After being open for only a year, the founders of Redwood said business is good and the state of music will be even better, as they work with a diverse group of artists and performers and try to transcend traditional genres.

Many musicians have performed and recorded music videos at Redwood. The studio  also works as a home base for owners McKenzie Smith and Joey McClellan’s  production company “Redwood Music.”  Feature photo courtesy of Mckenzie Smith and Joey McClellan

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