ARC owner/producer Jon Mattingly had the pleasure speaking with a student Journalist from Western Kentucky University the other day. They talked about the local music scene, what ARC does to help local artists and current obstacles that both artists and local recording studios may face. We would like to thank Jocelyn Porter for her time and interest in hearing what ARC had to say. Check out the write up below!
American Recording Company
By: Jocelyn Porter
There are many local recording studios in Louisville, Kentucky that have a strong clientele of artists who are trying to get their music out to people in the community. American Recording Company is a private independently owned company that does have relationships with people in the record label industry although it focuses on the production aspect of the music. This recording studio works with artists from a wide variety of genres due to the vast experience of the lead producer, but many of the artists are usually recording country, rock, and contemporary Christian music because these are the genres that are popular in the Louisville area.
The locality of the American Recording Company allows it to form close relationship with its artists and even though the company just focuses on production the staff do have some knowledge about distribution and the music industry. It is unique that the record studio gives the artist advice and assistance not only about distribution, but also about the importance of performing. The staff at the studio help the artists find opportunities to perform in local venues through partnerships with “local promoters”. Distribution of music is a good way for artists to get their music out, but being able to perform in front of an engaged audience can also do a lot to help a local artist starting his/her career. Jon Mattingly, President and Lead Engineer of the American Recording Company says that, “Bands need to play out as much as possible to get their "face" in front of as many people as possible to grow a fan base,” which is why the studio also holds shows to let the artists who have been recording at the studio play.
Today with sites like YouTube and SoundCloud artists and smaller labels seem to put a lot of focus on the distribution aspect of the music industry because it is cheaper to do now, but I agree with Mattingly that having a fan base is really important. An artist can put his/her music videos and songs on YouTube, but unless people know to look for them they won’t get as many views so I think this method of performing along with handing out CDs or putting the music online is very effective. However, distribution is still important so American Recording Company does give its artists promotions every once in a while by mentioning their new projects on the studio website or in commercials.
Mattingly also discussed problems that local bands and recording studios are facing as they try to compete in the music industry. As mentioned before, performances are a major way that bands can get their music out and get exposure, but people don’t go out to concerts as much anymore. Also they aren’t buying albums, as much so that source of revenue and distribution for local bands and artists isn’t really available. Concerts are really important to the artists, but also benefit recording studios that continue to record for the same local bands as they become more successful and decide to pursue other projects.
Overall I don’t think the competitiveness of the music industry today has limited the creativity or efforts of the American Recording Company. The recording studio likes to work with local artists and uses its own contacts in the promotion industry to help them get shows so they can get their music out. Distribution is important, but so is having a dedicated fan base to follow you and I think American Recording Company gets this message across to their artists helping them to become more successful.