This month’s STUDIO OF NERDS segment brings us to Brad from Among the Outcast, someone who has already been mentioned once in this issue (see the Robert Becker interview a few pages back), and is currently making waves both on and off stage. It’s actually really impressive how far Brad has come as both a musician and sound engineer in such a short time. Here’s the interview:
1. First off, introduce yourself. This interview will be about both your band and your business. I’d like to know all the basics about you, followed by how you came to start or join Among the Outcast. Definitely dive into how you got into home recording as well.
Hey my name is Brad Guenther from Among the Outcast, I appreciate the opportunity to share some details about me and the band! I am a guitarist in Among the Outcast owner and lead audio engineer at Archaic Studios. I’m an audio nerd, an avid Dungeons and Dragons player, and I like to smoke weed and drink whiskey because that’s the rock and roll lifestyle babyyy. Nah, just kidding, everyone has their vices, right?!
In Among the Outcast, Bryan (drummer) my brother, had been jamming with me ever since we were kids, Matt (vocals) and Jeremy (guitar) are also brothers who grew up doing the same thing. We have all been friends since high school and we all just ended up jamming and writing songs for years before we actually decided to get serious with it. We always credit our current skills to our time spent just having fun and getting to know each other on a musical level. Those years of messing around really laid the groundwork to having a solid band where we can all anticipate each other’s actions on stage.
As for Archaic Studios, that has been one of the biggest projects and dedications of my life next to writing music with the band. When me and my friends were teenagers, we all downloaded this audio software called FL Studio because we wanted to make electronic music and beats. We all kind of messed around with it but I was the only one who really stuck with it. I had already been a musician for years at that point so I suppose it was only natural to be interested in recording software. After years of making random glitchy electronic music that nobody should ever hear (it’s bad i’m serious), some of my friends Gray Vasi and Chuck Foor started getting into writing Rap music. Already knowing how to operate a microphone and record, I offered to help record and mix their music. Ever since then I’ve loved the process of recording and I stuck with it.
2. Give us your scene history, if you will. Talk about every musical project you’ve ever been a part of in chronological order.
As a kid I grew up a fan of all the local bands who would come to town, then the music scene in my town started to die when they stopped having shows. I think that inspired me to be in a few no name bands over the years when I was in high school. I wrote a bunch of songs with lots of friends but it was hard to get all the pieces to fit together and form a band. Then, I joined an original/cover band, formerly known as Stick Margarett and is now called Automatic Overdrive, Jim Keith really motivated me to stick with it and I got a lot of on stage experience as a lead vocalist with them. We Just stick to cover songs these days but we have fun!
I did some rap/singing shows under the name Archaic before my studio was a thing but I left that in the past to make time for bigger and better things. Though I will say, learning to mix and master my own music gave me valuable experience.
The guys in Among the Outcast gave me the confidence to take the band seriously a couple of years ago, Matt had to pick up bass guitar just to make it work. Not having a reliable bass player was probably our biggest struggle as a band.
3. How long have you been playing guitar? Who inspired you to pick it up?
There are two people who are no longer with us that I can give credit to my taste in music and my desire to play guitar. My childhood friend Joel Fleckinstein was the first person who tried to write music and start a band with me and my brother. That was where I learned to love that modern heavy metal sound that we all love. The other person I have to give credit to is my dad, who inspired both me and my brother to get into music. My dad was a drummer and loved to play music around the house often. He bought me my first guitar and amp around 11 years old and after a few years I really started to be a dedicated player. I really miss him and I wouldn’t be where I am without his influence.
4. What other instruments do you play?
As a music producer in the studio, I have to learn about a lot of instruments and how to organize them into music but I do not actually play many of these instruments. I love singing, probably one of my favorite things to do. I obviously love playing guitar. I also own this crazy expensive drum instrument called a handpan, which has a really interesting melodic sound.
5. Talk about the very first music you remember listening to and how you were inspired to become a musician in the first place. I’m talking about before you even decided on playing guitar in a band.
I grew up with my dad playing Motley Crue, Metallica, and Van Halen. My mom always played The Beatles, Soundgarden, and a lot more modern music. My friend Joel, who I mentioned previously, got me into Parkway Drive, Three Days Grace, and many other heavy metal artists. All of these bands were some of the first to shape my taste in music.
6. Now discuss some bands of today who have emerged in maybe the last decade who have truly inspired you or influenced your writing in some way. Talk about local bands here if it calls for it.
As far as my current style of writing, Like Moths to Flames, I Prevail, and Wage War are some bands that are influencing me. Also I have to really credit Benot Breathing, a band we have been playing with this past year, for befriending us and introducing us to a really good circle of people in the 716 music scene.
7. When it comes to Among the Outcast, talk about some songs you’ve written that you’re most proud of and why they’re so special.
Our newest song Guillotine is my creation and I really want to use this song as a flagship song for shaping our newer sound. This song has such a heavy vibe and a great groove that gets me hyped every time. We are putting all our energy into these new songs and we can’t wait to unveil more!
8. Now talk about the most memorable live shows you’ve ever played and why those were so special. These could be road shows, local shows, etc. They can also involve any project you’ve been a part of, and not just Among the Outcast.
Me and the boys in Among the Outcast just ran our own show from the ground up alongside Benot Breathing. We provided our own sound and stage and we feel like we were able to get a better sound with full control over the whole setup. We have a lot of work to do to make bigger shows happen but we have some things planned for the future!
I’ve also had the pleasure of headlining a night at Rock Camp, a local metal festival. I did that show with Automatic Overdrive and we will never forget that night! Everyone needs to check this yearly festival out at least once!
9. Discuss any future plans you have for Among the Outcast that you’re at liberty to divulge. (recording, shows, cool merch runs, etc.)
The biggest thing that Among the Outcast wants everyone to know is that we have just finished recording our new single “Same Boat Different Weather” and we are very close to releasing it on all streaming platforms as well as a music video for it! We are working on merch and some other things right now too but I’ll have to spare the details on that.
10. Discuss ARCHAIC STUDIOS in detail. Give us a rundown of how your setup has evolved. Talk to us about gear specifics as well. We’re interested in the brands, makes, and models you swear by when it comes to instruments, recording hardware and software, mics, amps, pedals, other electronics, the works, etc. The goal here is to give musicians who are struggling to get the perfect tone or mic placement (for example) some fresh ideas. As a community, we should strive to sound better if we can.
Archaic Studios is located in Springville NY and we are dedicated to providing great service to our loyal clients and getting new artists on their feet. We run FL Studio as our DAW, and do most of our mixing and mastering on digital gear for a modern clean sound. A high end PC is the core of the setup, its key to running the demanding programs necessary for mixing and mastering. I could talk about my gear all day here but I think what really makes Archaic Studios stand out is our dedication to creating a comfortable environment for artists to express themselves without strict time limits or ridiculous fees complicating the process. Most of the new clients I get are coming from bigger studios who overcharge their clients as well as not taking the time to really perfect the artists sound. Many studios won’t even properly edit and tune vocals because it is too tedious or perhaps they just don’t believe their client is worth the time. Many artists are feeling like they are being taken advantage of in these situations and these horror stories have motivated me to a new level. We have a modest size studio with much less gear and capital than other studios, yet we are delivering better quality and will actually listen to what our artists want. I think a lot of audio engineers forget that you have to put heart into your work. WE TAKE OUR ARTISTS SERIOUSLY!! I Suggest new artists go into the studio, being fully prepared, practiced, and be knowledgeable about the recording process. Don’t be afraid to ask for things and be critical of yourself and the engineer you’re working with.
11. Plug your full online presence online! And for potential studio clients, be sure to link some of the mixes and masters you’ve put out as ARCHAIC STUDIOS!!
Find our studio page here! Thanks again Mike for the interview!
Scroll down the Facebook page to find many links to our clients music!