Local power trio Off Track recently paid for a recording session with A-list producer Ryan Greene (NOFX, Megadeth, Guitar Hero 3).
“We looked briefly at local studios and even thought about recording it ourselves,” says bassist Jimmy Zadai. “Money and availability were issues, but after a few emails with Ryan, we jumped into the deep end.”
Regarding Greene’s fee, Zadai says, “We’d rather not disclose the exact dollar amount, but it was ten times the amount we would have paid to do a local recording. Ryan was cool…he preferred that it be paid in advance, but he told us that if we needed to arrange the money another way, that would be fine too.”
To raise the money, the band spent several months selling firewood and recycling.
“We rented a log splitter, tuned up our chainsaws, and the three of us chopped, split, advertised, and hauled the wood to homes all over the county. We would sell a full cord of firewood for $200. A half a cord was $100, and we sold small bundles for $5. That helped us raise a large part of the money.
“For recycling, we would save and recycle bottles and cans from any of our shows. We stripped wire, cleaned aluminum, crushed cans; we even took people’s recycling that they put out on the street.”
The return on their investment?
“We were able to get one full month in the studio with Ryan. That included living in the studio, which had sleeping arrangements for four people, a full bathroom with shower, and a front room with wireless Internet, cable TV, and – most importantly – Guitar Hero III on XBox 360. We were able to record 11 full songs – fully recorded, produced, and engineered by Ryan. We worked from noon until two or three each morning.… We only took one day off during the entire process.”
The resultant album, Explode, was released this month.