Here at City Weekly, we're knee-deep in fine-tuning the details of our upcoming Best of Utah Music issue. It seems fitting then that we'd touch base with musician Eric Lo (pictured above, lower-right), co-founder of Audio Inn Recording (AudioInnRecording.com)—the latest studio to pop up in Salt Lake City's ever-expanding musicscape. Lo describes the space as a "place where you instantly feel comfortable, whether you are a new musician or a seasoned vet." [Editor's note: This interview originally appeared Feb. 14 on Gavin's Underground at CityWeekly.net]
What happened to South of Ramona? What other music have you been working on lately?
South of Ramona was one of my first projects. I was really driven to making it successful, but unfortunately, that drive drove it apart. Shortly after South of Ramona broke up, I joined The Red on Black. I played with those guys for a couple of years until ultimately deciding I no longer wanted to be in a band; I wanted to focus more on growing my businesses as well as entering into production work.
What got you interested in producing music?
Being in a band is equivalent to being in multiple relationships at the same time and, with an art form like music, it's hard having so many people involved. I liked the idea of production because you are less focused on defining what the band's sound is and more focused on creating music. Production has also forced me to learn how to write drum and bass parts, instead of only focusing on guitar and piano melodies. Additionally, the idea of touring all the time has become less appealing to me as I get older.
How did you learn to make an album?
I'm still learning. There's a lot to learn in the world of music—from theory, to gear, to audio engineering. I like to constantly challenge myself to tackle things that I'm not familiar with. As time passes, I'm slowly becoming more confident in applying it.
Your recording studio is on Major Street, close to downtown. How did that come about?
It was a right time, right place kind of deal. Our space used to belong to Michael Sasich, owner of Man vs. Music. He finished building his new space, and then when our current space became available, we jumped at the opportunity immediately.
What was the reaction from fellow musicians when you opened up?
From the beginning, we've worked with phenomenal musicians who love and enjoy what we do every day at the Audio Inn. As we continue to spread our message and invite more musicians to create with us, I know it's only a matter of time before we start making dramatic impacts on the music industry. We've only been open one year and have already established ourselves as one of the best studios in Salt Lake.
What can we expect from you and the studio in 2016?
You can expect more growth. Not only will we be making upgrades to our building, but there are also talks of opening up a second studio in the building for smaller projects. More importantly, I hope to see more musicians join us with our vision. We're all working toward the same goal: sustainable living as a musician. The industry is in disarray right now and no one knows what do within it. It's waiting for the next group to come in and make changes. I believe we can do it.