Robert Bush 3:31 p.m., June 17
RIYL: Sleep Lady, Hialeah, Immovable Objects, East of Sweden, D/wolves, Transfer, Modern Rifles, Japanese Sunday, Apes of Wrath, the Long and Short of It, the North Atlantic, Goodbye Blue Monday, Marasol, Sirhan Sirhan, A Scribe Amidst the Lions, Swim Party, Fever Sleeves, the Beautiful View, Great Like Cake
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- "Mario Quintero and Black Box Studio" · April 11, 2012
- "East of Sweden, Explained" · Jan. 16, 2012
- "Leaving San Diego" · May 12, 2010
- "Stealth Studio" · March 2, 2006
Influences: Jawbox, Goblin Cock, Ilya, Sleep Lady, the Zeros, Hialeah,
Even if you haven’t heard of Mario Quintero’s bands Sleep Lady (whose bassist is his wife, Sarah Quintero) and Hialeah, if you’re a San Diego music fan, you probably own something produced at Black Box Studio in Golden Hill, which he ran until Autumn 2012.
A partial list of his local clients includes Transfer, Modern Rifles, Japanese Sunday, Apes of Wrath, the Long and Short of It, the North Atlantic, Goodbye Blue Monday, Marasol, Sirhan Sirhan, A Scribe Amidst the Lions, Swim Party, and Fever Sleeves.
After studying jazz composition and arranging at Berklee College of Music (1998–2001), Quintero relocated to San Diego with fellow Miami transplant Mike Pereira and opened Black Box in late 2005.
“It was originally conceived as a wired concert venue, where we could record live performances,” says Quintero. “We had bands like Goblin Cock and Ilya come in to play shows, and all while we were building this maze of soundproof rooms and collecting equipment [to do] more sophisticated full-service recording.”
Plenty of national acts have come through the studio as well. “Greg Allman practiced at Black Box in 2009 before his show at Humphrey’s. He packed a bowl [with marijuana], so I couldn’t say no.”
Quintero feels it’s important to maintain his hand in at least one or two working bands. “The studio doesn’t leave me a lot of free time…with Sleep Lady, I mainly play guitar. I also play drums in a band called Great Like Cake, which is more of a post-punk-type thing. Much of what I do now, musically, is more on the recording and production side of things. I do a lot of session playing and arranging with the other bands.”
Quintero cites Jawbox as one of his main influences. “[I saw] Jawbox reunite for the first time in a dozen years to play on the Jimmy Fallon show in December 2009. It was great, because I never got to see them before they broke up and I was in New York City with my best friend, who’s now my wife, and it was fucking Jawbox!"
As for his listening pleasure, “I tend to use my phone as my main music-listening device, but it’s rare these days that I get a chance to listen to music because I’m usually too busy working with music. So mostly I’m listening to either demos of the bands I’m working with or playing rough mixes to get mixing and production ideas.”
In Autumn 2012, he sold his Black Box Studios, which was renamed Iacon Sound Studios.