Meet Alex Tru

Here at Madison Records, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Alex Tru, a uniquely talented young artist, over the past few years. As we all eagerly await the release of her upcoming album, we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce Alex to the public. In this interview, you get a glimpse into the life of someone who we think will soon be well-known throughout the southeast and the entire United States.

MR: When did you first start singing or performing?
AT: I’ve sung in church since I was four years old. But it was as a teenager that I really became committed to the craft. I started writing songs at 12, and by 16 I knew music was what I wanted to do with my life.

MR: What was it that provided that turning point for you, that helped you realize music was more than just a hobby for you?
AT: It was actually when my dad took me to see Purple Rain. It was more like going to a concert than watching a movie, and I was just totally entranced by Prince, his showmanship, and his talent. I loved Prince’s range and how he could do all those things with his voice. It not only made me want to learn to control my voice that way, but also to be on stage, bringing my music out to people.

MR: In addition to Prince, who are some of the other artists that have influenced you?
AT: Well, my dad is a white man from Kentucky, and my mom is a black woman from Atlanta, Georgia, so they each have different taste in music, and both exposed me to a lot of different styles. I grew up listening to Loretta Lynn, June Carter Cash, the Oak Ridge Boys, and John Anderson, as well as the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty. From classic country to classic rock!

I think those influences show through in my own music. I definitely have a country style, in how my melodies come out and the fact that I use music as a way to tell stories. But I also have been told I don’t fit into the country mold. I’ve used that as a challenge, to enhance and improve my own unique voice. When I auditioned for American Idol and was told I wouldn’t be moving forward because the said Nashville wasn’t ready for what I was doing, I took that as a challenge. My independent attitude definitely comes through in my music.

MR: What would you say drives your music?
AT: For me, music is an emotional outlet. I started writing songs when I was a kid as a way to deal with some of the things I was going through. I faced a lot of racism and bullying at school in Gwinnett County, because I was the child of a mixed marriage. Writing was how I dealt with that, and still today it’s how I work through my emotions.

MR: The influence of fellow musicians is important, but even more important are the people in our own lives. Who has helped you grow into your career as a musician?
AT: First, I would really have to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my parents. They’re such great role models to me, having stayed strong in their marriage and providing the foundation of this family for me and my two brothers.

Also, a few years ago I started working with a vocal coach, Celia Doughty of the SOS Band. She really helped me learn to control my vocals and get the sound that I want. A lot of times vocal coaches will train your voice to how they would best represent it, but Celia as taught me to embrace my inner self, and let it shine through.

MR: What has it been like working with Madison Records to produce your first album?
AT: Recording in the studio was the most amazing experience. I love that I am working in a place where it’s just me and my music. And Tanner, Wyatt and Jim Barber have all been great to work with. They’ll spend hours working with me until we get things just right. Not only are they all very talented, but they also really made me feel comfortable.

Learn more about Alex at https://www.alextrumusic.com.

A Change of Place

Tanner and Wyatt bring a sense of adventure to their work at Madison Records, and this summer that meant getting out of the studio for a little remote recording work. Thanks to the addition of a new console, a DiGiCo S31, the team was able to offer their services to The Head in a new location, to experiment with a new place and look for new sounds.

The remote recording took place at Tanner’s family cabin on the lake in Hiawassee, GA. “I’ve been coming up here my whole life, and it’s really a home away from home for me,” Tanner said. He’d already done some recording in the cabin, and had fallen in love with the sound, but what he was able to produce was limited due to lack of studio-quality equipment. “Now that we got new gear we don’t have to sacrifice quality when away from the studio,” Tanner said.

“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, to record up here, but we didn’t want to bring a band out if we weren’t able to produce good quality music.”

Getting into a new space has its benefits. Since the lake house is built out of wood, the sound of the drums reverberates in a different way than it does at the studio in Atlanta. But unlike a live recording, the setting is still controlled just like in a studio.

The new location helps bring a new outlook for Wyatt and Tanner as well. “We love the studio, but we’re there every day, seeing the same thing. It’s great to work in a different space and really get the creative juices flowing in a new way,” Tanner said.

The outing to Hiawassee in July with The Head produced two singles for the band, which they will release in early 2018, after their album comes out this August. It’s just one more way artists benefit from working with Madison Records. In this day and age, when things are moving so fast and fans expect content on a regular basis, Tanner and Wyatt work to find new and creative ways to help their artists rise up to their fans’ expectations. And the ability to switch things up means more options for creativity not just from Tanner and Wyatt, but for the artists as well.

Listen to The Head’s new LP on Spotify, and come check them out on their tour this month as they travel through Texas, Arizona, and California.

A Musician’s Magic Touch

The historic building and great equipment are just part of what makes a studio session at Madison Records special. The other part of that equation are the two partners in the business, Tanner Hendon and Wyatt Oates.

Both men have a long love of music, and are experienced musicians themselves. Tanner’s first love is the drums, which he started playing when he was 10 years old. Since then he’s picked up bass and guitar and recently a little keyboard. “I like playing other instruments, but drums are really my specialty,” Tanner said. As a member of the band The Stir, Tanner gets plenty of opportunities to play in front of a crowd. Wyatt started out with guitar, playing in various bands while in school. Later he picked up the piano as well.

Tanner and Wyatt merged their talents to start producing a little over three years ago. In those years they’ve helped bring the music of many different artists to the public. As musicians,  Wyatt and Tanner bring a level of knowledge to the craft of producing that you won’t find in most other studios. “I think our musical background helps us speak the language and really communicate with the artists we’re working with,” Wyatt said. Tanner added the fact that performing helps him when in the studio to not over-produce a song to the point that it’s impossible to recreate in a live venue. “I’m able to visualize what it’s going to be like playing a song on stage,” Tanner said.

Their experience also helps them work with the artists they represent to help get the best version of the music to shine through in the studio and really showcase the musician or band’s talent. The two bring a talent for arranging to their production work, working with artists even before the recording sessions. They’ll go through each song, helping massage lyrics, extend a cool solo, or maybe even cut a part of a song that goes on too long. “Our goal is to get something that we feel will keep the listener’s attention through the whole song,” Tanner said.

In the end, what they do is make use of their own musical background and their experience in production to help take the artist’s vision for the arch of the song and turn it into a finished recording. “We’ve found most artists want to make a version of their art that can be consumed by the public, that really reaches people, and that’s our goal at Madison Records,” Wyatt said.

Want to learn more? Contact Us

The Stir and The Thrill of The Road

For the past few months, The Stir has been hard at work in Madison Studios, writing and recording their upcoming album, Let Freedom Ring. But before that album officially hits the streets, the band will be out playing for crowds all over the southeast, perfecting their sound and getting in front of as many people as possible. This summer, The Stir hits the road with a full southeastern tour. On tour they’ll be promoting their newly released single, “Musket.” Fans will also recognize their other singles, “Nightshift” and “Legitimate” All three songs are included on the album.

The band, made up of Andrew Evans, guitar/vocals; McClain Hendon, drums; and Tanner Hendon, bass; has been playing together for a couple of years. Since coming together, the band members have spent a lot of time writing and playing, working on new songs and recording the album. The studio work is challenging and rewarding, but the band really enjoys being out on the road, playing in front of a crowd, and summer is the best time to do that.

“I love performing, taking everything we’ve practiced and letting it explode out of you, holding nothing back,” Andrew said. He finds a different energy being out on the road. “In a live setting there’s so much energy, so much going on, and things are just free flowing. There’s a passion and realness to a live performance that makes it special.”

Even though they’re hard at work on the upcoming album, the band finds it important to make time to get out on the road and play in front of people. “We want to continue to write, record and perform in ways that will increase crowd energy and feedback, and the only way to see if what we’re writing is doing that is to get out there,” Andrew said. The band has been working a lot on harmonies, and is ready to add some new elements to their concert line up.

“I’m really looking forward to our concert schedule this summer,” Andrew said. “Being out together just brings us closer and makes the music tighter. Our tours are full of nonsense, laughter, and rock ‘n roll, and to me that’s just about perfect.”

Check out The Stir at a city near you:

May 31: Savannah, GA
June 1: Jacksonville, FL
June 2: Melbourne, FL
June 3: Miami, FL
June 4: Daytona Beach, FL
June 6: Orlando, FL
June 8: Lakeland, FL
June 8: Winter Haven, FL
June 11: Largo, FL
August 4-5: Nashville, TN
August 11: Asheville, NC
August 12: Charlotte, NC
August 17: Birmingham, AL
August 18: New Orleans, LA
August 19: Mobile, AL
August 24: Savannah, GA
August 25: Athens, GA
August 26: Atlanta, GA

Keep up with The Stir on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestirmusic/

Get Out, Get Dancing! Spring is for Music Festivals

Here at Madison Records, we spend a lot of time in the studio. We love working with artists to get their sound just right, and finding the right mix to show off vocals or a really cool solo. But getting out of the studio and playing in front of people is just as important as the time spent perfecting things inside. That’s what we love about spring, the opportunity for playing at music festivals, where outdoor venues attract large audiences with a wide range of tastes.

The great thing about festivals, as opposed to a concert at a bar or theater, is that you get to hear so many different bands play. There’s a variety of genres, and the atmosphere is great too, with good food and crowds ready to have fun.

From a musician’s standpoint, festivals are a great way to get more exposure. Because of other attractions, such as food or artwork, festivals attract a variety of people. Some who maybe aren’t even there to see the bands, but end up listening to them and maybe even giving you a chance to win over some new fans.

One of Madison Records’ own musicians, Chelsea Shag, is on the line-up for this year’s Sweetwater 420 Fest, and she is excited about the opportunity. “I have always loved going to music festivals, they enlighten my spirit and my ability to see my dreams unfold,” Chelsea says. “As a performer, festivals are just an amazing space to share with people. I love to see a huge crowd in front of me, and I feel I can let go of myself more. I just can’t wait to feel all that love!”

We’ve picked out a few of our favorite music festivals. Check out Chelsea at the Sweetwater 420 Fest and plan to attend a few others this spring.

SweetWater 420 Fest
April 21-23, 2017
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, GA

Madison Records’ own Chelsea Shag is part of the line-up of this 3-day festival, joining Widespread Panic, Futuristic, The Werks, Patrick Morgan, Dopapod, and many others on three stages. The event started 13 years ago as a way to celebrate Earth Day, and this music festival remains environmentally-centric, with Planet 420 Eco-Village that features hands-on workshops to learn how to be more eco-friendly in daily living. There’s also a cornhole tournament, a 5K, and tastings of SweetWater Brewing Co.’s craft beers.

Shaky Knees Music Festival
May 12-14, 2017
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, GA

A relatively new festival, this rock-fest started in 2013 to showcase a diverse line-up of up-and-coming artists and world-renowned acts. This year’s line-up of more than 60 bands includes the Pixies, LCD Soundsystem, Ryan Adams, Third Eye Blind, Bishop Briggs, Car Seat Head Rest, Twin Peaks, Con Brio and many others. A fantastic line-up of food trucks helps stave off hunger, with everything from BBQ to vegetarian corn dogs.

Atlanta Jazz Festival
May 26-28, 2017
Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA

One of the largest, free jazz festivals in the country is right in our own backyard! It was born out of the city’s commitment to ensure everyone who resides in and visits Atlanta will have easy access to high-quality cultural experiences. Kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend with the smooth sounds of Cleveland P. Jones, Danii Roundtree, Frank Houston, Harriet Tubman: The Band, Macy Gray, The Joe Gransden Big Band, and more.

Candler Park Music & Food Festival
June 2-3, 2017
Candler Park, Atlanta, GA

Chelsea Shag’s here too! Along with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, the Motet, Railroad Earth and others. It wouldn't be called music and food without a great line-up of food trucks, serving mac & cheese, tacos, corn dogs, noodle bowls and lots of other fun food. Proceeds from this festival benefit Atlanta Contact Point, an organization that hosts free play days in Atlanta parks.

Get out of the city!
There’s a lot of music in Atlanta, but there are also fun festivals to explore in other parts of the state as well.

AthFest Music and Arts Festival
June 23-27, 2017
Athens, GA

Bringing the best local and regional musicians and visual artists together in downtown Athens, this festival attracts an eclectic mix of people. Proceeds from this festival go to support music and arts education for youth and schools in the community. Because of its emphasis on youth and music, this festival includes kid-friendly bands and the UpNext Showcase where middle and high-school students get a chance to perform.

Bragg Jam Concert Crawl
July 28-29, 2017
Macon, GA

This event started out as an impromptu tribute to two brothers and musicians, Brax and Tate Bragg, who died in a car accident in 1999. Today the concert has grown into a major community event, and proceeds go to causes that meant a lot to the Bragg boys, including the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and Amerson River Park. This year’s line-up features Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Frank Hurricane, Gringo Star, Opposite Box, Me and Molly and more.

One Kiss: An Inside Story

We are excited to have released a new single from Chelsea Shag on March 10! This talented young artist is a prolific writer and has a beautiful voice, and we’re so glad to have her as part of the Madison Records label. We got a chance to talk with her about her latest single, and here’s the inside story in her own words.

I really love this song, One Kiss. I wrote it like I write all of my songs, from a real emotional place. At the time I had figured out I was in love with someone who was also a dear friend. I guess I had known for a while that deep down I had these feelings, but I hadn’t really let them bubble up because I didn’t want anything to get in the way of our friendship. But I knew I couldn’t ignore those feelings, and this song is about the anticipation, the excitement, the worry, the passion -- everything that you feel when you’re wanting to kiss a person for the first time. It’s all about wondering if you should just go for it, and describing the way the butterflies feel at the pit of your stomach.

I think what really brings the emotions across in the song is its tempo. It’s kind of got a spacey feeling, where I tried to capture the feeling of wonder and anticipation through music. I also really love the heavy harmonies in this song. It brings a depth to the lyrics.

Tanner and Wyatt were great to work with when recording this song, whose credits include Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and the Spice Girls. We also brought in a producer from Los Angeles, Stefan Skarbek. He helped bring out something in me that I really hadn’t explored before. The single that’s being released has a really lovely, polished and refined sound. It was great to be able to learn from Stefan, and I’ll be able to incorporate some of those things in the songs on my next album.

Get "One Kiss" by Chelsea Shag, available now on iTunes, Google Play, & Amazon Music.

The Top 5 Things You Need to be Doing to Promote Your Music

You’ve spent years practicing and writing music. Months (and maybe years) recording it. Now you’ve got a few songs recorded, or maybe even an album, and you want to share it with more than just friends and family. For one thing, you want to increase your exposure. But you also might be trying to make music your livelihood, and in that case you want to sell your music too. There are some great ways to promote your music, widen your fan base, and expand your audience. All it takes is a little time, patience, and persistence, and soon you’ll be gaining momentum in the world of music marketing. Here are the five things we feel you should focus on to market your music.

1. Create a Website. It might seem slightly old-fashioned in this era of social media, but having a central location where people can go to listen to your music and find upcoming concert dates is crucial. Services like Soundcloud, ReverbNation and Bandcamp allow you to upload your music to streaming services and make it available on your site. It doesn’t hurt that a website also affords space to include information about you or your band, to help visitors and fans understand you a little better and see where you’re coming from with the music you create. You can even do fun things like posting lyrics or writing a blog. Regularly updating a blog keeps fresh content on your site which helps improve your rankings in search engines, but it can also be a fun way to connect with fans and explore topics that interest you.

2. Upload to YouTube. Unlike streaming services, YouTube allows you to share videos with other people. It can be footage of concerts, videos of you at work in the studio, or more professional-style videos to accompany your songs. The great thing about YouTube is you can use it as is or embed the link on your website. Either way, it is easy to share.

3. Create a Facebook Page. Yet another tried and true marketing mechanism, Facebook may seem dated in some ways, but it remains a force to be reckoned with in the marketing realm. Rather than sharing on your personal page, create a “business” page on Facebook. This makes it easier to separate the personal and professional as far as what you choose to post. The business page option in Facebook also includes Insights, which help you track interaction with your Facebook page. But remember, building a relationship with your fans means using your Facebook page for more than just upcoming concert dates. Share tidbits about how you come up with lyrics, what music inspires you, and who you’re working with to help people want to follow you and possibly buy your music.

4. Stay Active on Other Forms of Social Media. Twitter, Instagram, and Musically are just some of the other social media apps that can help you get the word out about your music and upcoming gigs. You can make life easier by using a scheduler like Buffer, so you don’t have to constantly be updating your status during the day when you really need to be working on new music.

5. Get out and Perform! When it comes down to it, the best way to promote your music is to get in front of your fans. Schedule concerts whenever possible. Collaborate with other artists to share your fan base. And of course, use all the avenues listed above to promote your performances and get as many people there as possible.

If you’re interested in taking your music to the next level by getting a studio recording and promoting it to the public, contact Tanner or Wyatt here at Madison Records. We’re always looking to add to our list of artists and happy to share our own experiences and talent with others. CONTACT US to learn more.

A Conversation with The Head

If you haven’t had a chance to hear the music by Atlanta-based band The Head, it’s time to visit their website and check out their work. This hard-working band is serious about their music, and it shows in their dedication to touring and recording. The debut EP, Millipedes, came out in 2015, after which the band ramped up their tour schedule, playing over 100 shows a year the past couple of years. As if touring at that rate wasn’t enough, they used the time when not on stage performing to work on more songs, and are excited to have a new LP releasing later this year. Here at Madison records we’re excited to be working with such a talented group. We took a few minutes to talk with the guys in the band -- Jack Shaw, Mike Shaw and Jacob Morrell -- in order to share their story with you.

MR: How did the three of you end up coming together to form a band?
Jack: Mike and I are twins, and we’ve been making music together basically all our life. We met up with Jacob in high school, and we just sort of instantly became friends and started jamming out together. We officially formed the band in high school and played a few local shows. We continued to play together even while we were in college, getting together on weekends and doing shows throughout the southeast. But it wasn’t until we graduated from college that we decided to make the band a full-time endeavor. That’s when we recorded our EP, “Millipedes,” and hit the road with a pretty full tour schedule.

MR: How do you guys work together?
Jack: It’s really 100% collaborative. We all work together to write and arrange songs, and that’s how it’s always been. For the songs on our new album, “Space,” we were writing while on the road. We were traveling together anyway, so it gave us time to throw out ideas and work on things.

MR: Where do you find your inspiration?
Jack: We all love the British bands of the 80s and 90s. The Stone Roses, The Verve, and Echo & the Bunnymen have influenced our music in some ways. We also really admire R.E.M. Even more than their music, what all of these bands have is an ability to work together and write music together that’s really inspirational. We especially look up to R.E.M., being a band from Georgia as well. They have such a great story of starting out at the grassroots level and then making it big. They really worked hard and their story is one we aspire to.

MR: What was it like working with Madison Records on your new LP?
Jack: The experience of working in a studio itself was great. It wasn’t just recording in our basement, we had great equipment to work with. We were able to experiment a lot, and really work to get the sound we were looking for. Plus, Tanner and Wyatt are great people with a lot of talent. They understood our vision and helped us bring our songs to life.

MR: What can your fans expect from the new album?
Jack: Most of the songs on “Space” were written right after we decided to make a go of the band full time. There’s a sense of urgency about it, because we were writing on tour and were constantly on the go. But there’s also an overall theme of starting a new chapter and embracing life. My favorite song on this album is “You.” I really like the sonics of this one and how it sounds in the studio. The recording is awesome.

Mike: My favorite song on this album is “Don’t Know Why,” mostly because of how we wroteit. It was written and recorded in the studio in a real improvisational way, which I think gives it an intimate feel.

Jacob: My favorite on this record is “Zoey.” It almost feels like a club song with its drum and the interplay between vocals and guitars. It was a blast to record and is always one of my favorites to play live.

Of course, just because the album is recorded and waiting for release doesn’t mean the guys in The Head are resting on their laurels. They’re as busy as ever, playing for audiences across the country. Be sure to follow the band to see when they’ll be playing at a club near you, and be one of the first to get their new album this summer.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Musician

What better way is there to spread good cheer, then by buying gifts for the ones you love.   And the best gifts are those that you’ve put careful thought into, hoping to get that rockin' gift that will bring joy for years to come.   Therefore, fret no more as we have compiled a list of some of our favorite gift ideas.   Hopefully, some of these suggestions will inspire you to get that favorite musician in your life that something special.    

65 Amps amplifier. A great amp helps good music sound even better. Brighten up Christmas morning for the guitar player in your life with a handmade amp from 65 Amps. Learn more about the company and its history in our blog from earlier this year.

Guitar Case. Keep that investment protected when on the road to the studio or gigs with the World Tour Deluxe guitar case from American Musical. High density padding helps make this a good purchase for the musician on the go.

Guitar Pick Cutter. Never run out of picks with this nifty little tool from Muzjig. You can make your own picks from the plastic provided or use old debit and credit cards for a more artistic approach.

Prince and David Bowie. Pay homage to two of the great musicians who passed away this year by getting their music collections on vinyl for your own music lover. There are many places to purchase their albums. For starters you can find Purple Rain and David Bowie (his self-titled first LP) at Barnes & Noble.

MagicScore Maestro. Ranked as one of the best composition software options by Top 10 Reviews, this program helps turn compositions into clean, easy-to- read notation. Its features include the ability to listen as you write and to work in piano or guitar notation.

Personalized Record Doormat. Jazz up your entrance with one of these doormats, perfect for the up and coming musician! (Mix tape doormats are available as well.)

Major Scale Wine Glasses. Impress your guests by playing a melody on perfectly tuned wine glasses. As you can see, the opportunities are endless when it comes to gifts for the musician.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Piano Music. One of the reasons the Christmas story told by Charles Schultz’s gang of characters has remained a favorite year after year is the wonderful jazz soundtrack that plays almost constantly through the television special. Vince Guaraldi’s talentin composing helped generations of children gain an appreciation for jazz. Anyone who loves the show will love this book of music. While you’re at it, check out the Switched on Pop podcast about “Linus and Lucy” from 2015.

Let your creativity run wild, they will appreciate it.

The Making of an Album

There are a lot of people who write music. Some may have notebooks filled with lyrics, while others have music staff paper with bits and pieces of melodies lying around the house. The goal of working with producers and a studio, such as Madison Records, is to help you get those songs onto an album which you can be proud of.

Here are a few things to know before heading into your first studio session...

Bring Everything. The final album might only have 10-12 songs, but those are usually chosen from at least 15 or more. Our goal is to carefully go through everything, even ideas for songs that might only be 20 percent complete. Something you might feel is terrible, can change dramatically once we add a little special something and make some tweeks. Before you know it, we’re jamming with it!

Rehearsal Rocks. You might think that working with a producer means you’ll spend most of your time in the studio recording. You will get there eventually, but first we spend valuable time in the rehearsal studio. We set each group member up just like a live show setting, in order to get a true feel for the songs and the band. This is where we’ll make decisions about which songs to include, and then proceed to spend time working on each song. We absolutely understand most songs aren’t coming into us at performance level, so we work on tightening things up in places, maybe adding solos or depth with additional instruments, while cleaning things up overall. The idea is to get the arrangements down during rehearsal, so that when we move to the studio we focus purely on performing.

The Studio Experience. Once the songs are lined up and the arrangements are complete, we’re ready to next go into the studio. One of the great things I like about producing is we get to work on so many different types of music. At Madison Records, we tend to focus on alternative rock and alternative pop, but we’ve done many other genras as well. For a 10-song album, we might spend up to two months working six days a week, recording in the studio.

Patience is a Virtue. Once the studio sessions are complete, we spend another month or two working on post-production, mixing the songs, and getting them in top shape. Overall, the process from beginning to end can take about four to six months.

If you’re interested in getting your songs into an album, give us a call. We’re always excited to work with new artist, helping to bring new music to the world.

Questions? Contact us for more information.

Rockin’ Out with The Future Babes

Rockin’ Out with The Future Babes

Rockin’ Out with The Future Babes - Don’t let their youthful look fool you. The four guys that make up the band The Future Babes might be young, but the band’s work has a mature sound well beyond their years. We’ve had the pleasure of working with these talented musicians since last year, when they first came in to Madison Studios to start work on their recently released EP, and we were able to see first-hand one reason for their experienced sound -- their friendship. The four have been friends for so long they can almost communicate without even saying a word. They joke around and rib on each other constantly, but when the time comes, they all take their work very seriously.

Carson Fleishman, Ian Klin, and McClain Hendon have been friends since middle school. Andrew Evans joined the band a little later on, in high school, but he fit in immediately. “It might have looked like we were doing homework in class at school, but really we were writing songs,” Ian said. Songwriting wasn’t the only thing they were doing, they also spent afternoons and weekends playing together in each others’ basements.

“We just started jamming together, but then we decided to go to the Battle of the Bands, and the rest is history,” Andrew said.

The self-titled EP is a true showcase of the band’s diversity. Each band member admits to having different taste in music, and they bring what they love to their songwriting and playing, blending it all together to create a new sound unique to The Future Babes. Carson is inspired by folk music, old country, and blues, in particular artists like Bob Dylan and Tom Waite. Ian’s musical hero is Charlie Parker, and he also likes Elliott Smith and Nirvana. McClain says his first favorite band was Guns N’ Roses, and he likes hard rock. Andrew is also a hard rock fan. He and McClain bonded heavily over Guns N’ Roses, and he also like Pearl Jam.

The wide range of musical inspiration is evident in The Future Babes’ work. Their first EP might be classified a rock album, but you can also hear influences from swing, country, and folk making its way into their work.

The band is having a lot of fun promoting their new album, with a few events lined up through the end of the year. They’ll be playing at The Nick in Birmingham, AL on Oct. 28, as well as the King of Pops Field Day in Atlanta on Nov. 6. If you can’t make it to a concert, check out the band in this video of “Cold Blooded.”

In the meantime, The Future Babes is hard at work on their next album, and they’re looking to give fans an even bigger, better experience. “There’s going to be more songs and a lot more diversity on this next album,” Carson said. “The songs on the album are a compilation of things that have been written over the past few years, about different life experiences, so there are different moods and emotions playing into each song.”

The Future Babes bring a multitude of talent to the music they produce, but it might be their passion and energy that really have them poised for greatness. It’s an enthusiasm that has definitely rubbed off on all of us here at Madison Records.

Contact Us for more information.

The Studio Difference

The Studio Difference

The Studio Difference: The music world of today is definitely different than it was just 10 years ago. People now have the ability to sing in their bedroom, record it on a laptop, and post it on YouTube. But even with all the new technology, there is a definite advantage to actually coming in to a studio and recording.

Here are four reasons why the producers at Madison Records recommend recording in their professional studio:

The Set Up.

The Madison studio was built with live music and recording in mind. The ceiling height and wall angles are designed for optimum acoustics, and the balanced sound-proofing keeps the sounds clear and crisp, bringing out the warmth and pureness of the music.

The Equipment.

Madison Studios has some of the highest standard recording equipment available. Along with top of the line Ausburger Speakers and state of the art outboard gear and equipment, the studio features the world famous Southern Tracks SSL mixing board. The board was originally used for two decades at Southern Tracks studios where producer Brendon Obrien recorded Bruce Springsteen, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Black Crowes, to name a few.

Experienced People.

At Madison studios, you get a team of experienced producers to professionally help shape your music. They can help create an atmosphere that fully allows you to let loose and bring out the emotion of a song, providing inspiration to spark creativity. The team at Madison provides that valuable experience in mixing, whether it’s a solo artist or a band.

Freedom to Let Loose.

As mentioned above, working in Madison Studio’s enables you to have a team of professionals helping run the equipment. Their focus is to create a superb studio experience, with focus on providing a wide array of options across the board to accommodate every scenario from producing the A list artist to the new and developing artist. That lets you, the artist, focus on your music and leave all the worry about the technical side of things to them. All you have to do is play or sing, and not worry about the engineering side of things.

Recording at Madison Studios is well worth the investment of both time and money. It will allow you to have a competitive product that really showcases your talent, and put you on a higher level than most other records.

Interested in learning more about Madison Studios and our expertise? Contact us, or call us at (770) 674-7636.

History In The Making

History In The Making

Creating an atmosphere where artists feel comfortable and able to let their creativity flow is one of the main goals of Madison Records. Our studio reflects the personality of the owners and producers, Tanner Hendon and Wyatt Oates “I believe in working hard, but feel you have to be relaxed to be in your best creative state, and that’s what I wanted out of this studio,” Tanner said. Big couches, warm hardwood floors and soft tapestries help make the studio an inviting place for musicians to come work on their craft.

A Building with Purpose

Madison Records’ studio is about more than just the furniture and décor. It is a place full of history. The building itself has been a studio for over 30 years, with various owners and many different artists coming through to record their music. “I just sort of stumbled on this building when I was looking for a place for my own band to record,” Tanner said. The building had been foreclosed, and while it was pretty much an empty shell, it was exactly what Tanner was looking for. The recording suites were the perfect size to give bands space to play and create, walls were angled for good acoustics, and the sound-proofing was already in place.

From Southern Tracks to Madison Records

It’s not just the building that has a history in music in Atlanta. The main sound board comes from another well-respected Atlanta production studio, Southern Tracks. Brendan O’Brian worked out of that studio, where he produced music for some of the biggest names in the 90s alternative rock scene, including Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Incubus, and Rage Against the Machine. The studio was shutting down about the time Madison Records was starting up, making that sound board available for the new venture. “I grew up listening to all those records, and they’re really what inspired me to go into music,” Tanner said. “Some really big records were created on that board, and it’s just cool that we’re able to keep the tradition going.”

A New Generation

With a studio that’s been home to artists for decades and a sound board with a famous past, Madison Records is firmly set in the foundation of the Atlanta music scene. But Tanner and Wyatt are bringing their own unique style to life in this great space. “I think there are a lot of really cool bands and untapped talent out there that doesn’t have the resources to put together good records that will push their career to the next level,” Tanner said. “We’re interested in working with those guys to build up a new sound, something that’s new and exciting.”

If you’re looking for a space to bring your music to life, check out Madison Records’ studio. We’re always glad to meet new people and share our space.

65Amps: Modern Equipment with Vintage Flavor

65Amps: Modern Equipment with Vintage Flavor

One of the things that helps make a great recording studio is the equipment. Sure, the talent is important, from the recording artists to the producers. But having a great space with high-quality equipment helps ensure the final product is something to be proud of.

We put an emphasis on providing artists with the best available space and equipment at Madison Records, and that includes amps by 65Amps. This company, founded by our friends Peter Stroud and Dan Boul, manufactures amps that provide a clean, clear, vintage sound with the quality and versatility today’s artists want.

65Amps was born from necessity. Peter, a professional guitarist who has played with Sheryl Crow for about 17 years and has also played with Don Henley and Sarah McLachlan, was looking for an amp that would sound great at a lower volume. “Loud amps tend to interfere with the front-of- house sound, making it hard for the guy who is mixing out front to have control of the overall sound,” Peter said.

He teamed up with Dan, a trained musician who also brings business experience from years in the IT industry, and they designed and built a tube amp that would provide the vintage sound Peter was looking for in a reliable, versatile product.

“Dan and I were inspired by the guitar tones of bands from the mid-60s, The Who, the Beatles, and the Kinks,” Peter said. “There were already amp companies who focused on the sound from the later 60s, that overly distorted sound, but we wanted something clear and bright.”

Rather than copying what was already on the market, the pair came up with their own design, based on the amps they loved: big box, Marshall and Fender. “When Dan and I get inspired, we come up with a design and have a team that helps flesh it out and build it. We really worked together hand in hand at the beginning,” Peter said.

In our studio we are using some of the amps made by 65Amps, including a 65 Empire, one that Peter helped design. Not only are we glad to have the equipment, it’s nice to have Peter around as a friend and mentor, with his years in the industry and vast experience. And from what Peter says, the admiration is mutual. “I really admire how Tanner and Wyatt have launched this studio,” Peter says. “These kind of studios are rare these days, with so many people recording on apps at home, but it’s nice to have a studio designed with acoustics in mind, with a nice console, good equipment, and talented engineers.”

The Fun of Producing Chelsea Shag’s New Album, Colours

The Fun of Producing Chelsea Shag’s New Album, Colours

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with amazingly talented young artists in our work as producers here at Madison Records. One of our goals in creating the studio was to provide a place for musicians to create, record, and build an entire experience. We recently had the opportunity see this happen with Chelsea Shag, as we worked with her to produce her first EP, Colours, which came out in April and is making waves in the music industry. Here Chelsea describes in her own words the process of working with Madison Records to produce her first album.

"First of all, I just have to say it was so much fun working with the team at Madison. Tanner and Wyatt had so many great ideas and feedback, and I felt like they helped me not only with polishing my songs but also in getting everything organized and put together. They really have a way of seeing the big picture."

"I’m excited about how Colours turned out. A lot of people ask how long it takes to make an album, and they say with your first album it takes a lifetime. That’s how I feel about Colours, because I was able to go back through all my music, to look at what I had written and what would be worthy of an album. Going through the process was a lot of fun, and even sometimes suprising. “A is for Alpha”, one of the songs that ended up on the album, was one I never would have thought to include without the prompting of Tanner and Wyatt. It was a song I wrote on piano years ago, but we got the band together and jammed it out, and it sounded great."

"Then there’s “New Perfume,” which was written while we were recording the album. I was just driving around in my van when the idea came in my head, so I brought it to the studio and before I knew it, we had fleshed it out into a song that ended up on the album."

"I’m excited to be working with Madison Records because not only did they provide a great studio recording experience, with a lot of collaboration and support, but as my record label they’re helping with the marketing and business end of music production. This is great for me because it gives me more time to focus on my music. I’m already working on recording songs for my next album. The songs we’ve done so far are more polished yet more simplistic. You really hear my voice stand out, which is where I want to go as I dig into more jam-like songs and deeper lyrics."

There are lots of things happening with this girl! Check her out! Chelsea Shag’s music is available on iTunes and Spotify. Her singles “Us Kids” and “New Perfume” are in regular rotation on Atlanta’s 99X radio station. She has appeared on 11 Alive’s talk show Atlanta & Co. She also just released her new video for her single “New Perfume.” And of course, nothing beats seeing Chelsea Shag perform live. You can catch her at performances around Atlanta this summer, and in September she will begin an East Coast tour to bring her music to more people.

 

 

Meet Zale!

Meet Zale!

Here at Madison Records, we are lucky to work with a lot of talented musicians, each with their own unique personalities. To start off our new blog, we wanted to introduce you to one of the newest members of our group of artists, Zale.

MR: How did you start out in music, and what led to it becoming your career?

ZALE: I have a very different background than a lot of artists I know. A lot of times people will say they grew up in households where their parents were always playing instruments, or friends would come over and jam. I grew up in a family of doctors, lawyers, and accountants. They appreciated music, but it wasn’t a career option. But then I got involved in musical theater when I was in middle school, and fell in love with the idea that you could tell a story through song. That’s when I started taking voice lessons, and I was classically trained in opera since I was eleven years old.

MR: Your style today isn’t at all operatic. When did that change?

ZALE: When I got to college at the University of Georgia, I started listening to a lot of rock music, especially the grunge rock of the 90s, and I became obsessed. It was so raw and so real. It was just me. Then I found a flyer advertising for a female rock lead, and I auditioned and made it. So that’s where I got my start. As I child I never thought I could have a career in music, but I realized in college that it was a real possibility. I’m so lucky to be doing what I love.

MR: Speaking of a love for music, what about it do you love?

ZALE: I’ve broken down my love of music to three main things. It’s something I think about a lot, because sometimes this job is hard, and remembering what I love about it is what keeps me going. First, I love that music is a universal language. I’m able to speak to people through my songs in a way they maybe haven’t be spoken to before, and communicate with people I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Second, it brings me joy to know that music is the ultimate healer. Sharing my vulnerability and pain with others in an original way can be cathartic, for me and the people listening. And finally, music brings me ultimate satisfaction. There’s nothing else I can do that leaves me feeling as completely satisfied. When I’m done singing a song I wrote, I breathe the last breath and the microphone hits back to my side, I feel totally at peace.

Zale’s love for music is obvious once you see how hard she works. She has one EP, Pussywillows, coming out in September 2016 with collaborator Carly Gibson. She is also hard at work on her second EP as Zale, one she is working on here in our studios. We are excited to be working with this talented musician, helping her second album with Zale take shape.