Interview/Business Review: Anthony Potenza of Studio A Recordings/Abyance

Photos by Cody Bollinger*

 

Located on Bullis Road in Elma, NY, Studio A Recordings is an up and coming recording studio, owned and operated by Anthony Potenza (guitarist/vocalist for Abyance). It’s a great opportunity for local bands to get professional recordings out to their families, friends and fans at an affordable price and we were happy to chat with Anthony tonight about his awesome business endeavor.

STUDIO A LOGO

The Metal: How long have you been in business?
Anthony Potenza: I haven’t really announced my studio until recently. Just posted some social media updates here and there on my personal page of some bands I ended up working with through word of mouth. I wanted to wait to come out as a business until I was confident in the sonic quality of the recordings/mixes that I am putting out.

TM: Can you list off some bands you’ve worked with since you started? Maybe, name some albums you’ve recorded?
AP: I’ve worked with some great local and regional artists so far. I’ve worked with I’m From the Government on their “Trooper” cover they came out with about a year ago, Retribution, Nine Layers Deep, Jord, and a few others.

TM: Who were your biggest inspirations to become a sound engineer?
AP: I think the way I started was just me learning other instruments to help me write for Abyance, naturally I wanted to demo song ideas so I got a cheap little interface and started demoing riff ideas on that!

 

 

TM: Are you eventually looking to move and expand the operation?
AP: I don’t think so, I’ve got a beautiful space, so it would take a lot for me to move away from it. However, it could happen in the future. But this is a great area, there are so many great artists in just the Buffalo local scene, and we’re right by Cleveland and Pittsburgh. So, I’m definitely planning on in the future, working with some bands from those cities, bringing them here and making some awesome sounding music with them. In addition, I offer mixing work which means anyone, anywhere in the world can send me their recorded tracks, and I mix them. I actually have a band in Florida who’s doing that with an EP because they liked the sound I have, which I thought was really cool!

TM: Which is more important to you right now: Being a sound engineer or being a musician?
AP: I hate this question, haha. I actually had a bigger producer that I’ve learned from and talk to frequently tell me I’m going to have to make a choice between the two eventually. Normally, when people tell me that stuff it just drives me to prove them wrong though, so I don’t know what will happen! To me, they intertwine with each other. Working on making things sound better helps me make sure my band sounds the best it can live, and working with other bands on their songs and listening to other genres makes me a better songwriter, which then helps the band out. They’re both huge parts of my life, so I don’t really think I could choose 1 right now.

TM: What are your long term goals for both A Studio Recordings and Abyance?
AP:  For the studio, long term would be becoming the “go to” studio in Buffalo for bands to work with me, so they can hit that next level. I don’t just want to record bands here, I want to help their music be the best it can be and help them go from locals to regional or even national acts. I’ve been lucky enough to gain a ton of knowledge over the last few years from some of my industry friends and have a pretty good understanding of the steps and way to climb up nowadays, and I want to share it with people around here. For Abyance, we just want to get bigger and make better music. We took a big step last year, by singing with an international management company, and from the looks of things we’re just going to keep growing from here on out.

 

 

TM: Any projects recording with you soon that you’re excited about?
AP: I’m currently finishing up doing some songs with a cool band called Vertigo Freeway that I’m excited on. I’m also wrapping up an EP with Jord, who are a cool shoe/blackgaze band and I’m really stoked on that EP! They’ve just been one of the bands I just vibed with immediately and we’ve had a ton of fun making the songs we did. I’m going to be working with this new and upcoming band called, “From the Branches of Tide” next year on a single and album. So, I’m super stoked for the projects I do have right now coming up, and the interest seems to keep growing by the day, so I’m sure next year I’ll have a ton of music being released out of the studio.

TM: What about gear and programs? Name some brands you swear by.
AP: I use Pro Tools as my main DAW here, I absolutely love my Universal Audio Apollo interface! My favorite gear is probably not recording based, but the instruments themselves. A little over a year ago, I realized that it doesn’t matter how nice my recording gear is if the instruments I’m recording are mediocre. So, I ended up buying a studio drumkit, a Tama Starclassic with a full set of Meinl Byzance cymbals. The tones I get out of them are so good, so those are 2 companies I swear by. For guitars I’m an ESP guy, so I have a few ESPs here for bands to use if they want. Bass I find that the Fender Jazz Bass can’t be beat, it’s a studio classic and it sounds great!

TM: You’ve thrown a few killer shows in your own backyard over the last few years. Do you have more planned for next summer? Maybe another…”Integrity Fest”?
AP: Haha, that show was planned in like 10 hours. I barely slept and it was worth it! I actually wanted to do that this year before the whole thing with Government happened, but I saw how many shows were booked and decided against it. That being said, it was so fun and the vibe at the show was so different, but awesome from other local shows. I don’t see how we can’t do it again! The only thing is, we’re going to have more bands next year and make it bigger and better, so I’m super excited for it.

TM: If you’re not opposed to talking about Abyance again for a second, what’s new with you guys? How’s the lineup progressing?
AP: This year has been crazy for us, we couldn’t nail down a solid lineup for us until this summer (jobs, other commitments etc). But now, we’ve taught our new guys all the songs, including some new ones and I can say that its the strongest lineup we’ve ever had. I’m super proud of my brother, Timothy because he’s improved so much on the drums this last year, that it’s super exciting to hear how powerful it’s made us sound. We’re going to be announcing some out of town dates in the next month, and we’ll be putting on a comeback show sometime before the end of the year in Buffalo. For next year, we’ve got some big things in the works that I’m not allowed to talk about just yet, so keep checking in with our social media if you want to stay updated.

TM: For the sake of the bands thinking about using you to record, can you give us some examples of your studio’s rates and availability?
AP: My rates right now are 30/hour. I’m always willing to talk with bands that are doing full lengths and make a budget that suits their needs. My availability is pretty clear at the moment for the end of the year, however, early next year is starting to fill up. The nice thing about the studio is since its soundproof, we can work whenever. So we can have late sessions or early ones to work around schedules.

TM: Thanks for taking the time to answer these and please keep us posted as things progress. Most importantly, have fun, dude! You’re doing awesome things!
AP: Thanks for all the support you guys have given me over the last few years. Can’t wait to see what the future brings!

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