Benny Grotto is a Boston-based producer and the co-owner of Mad Oak studios. Since opening in 2000 the studio has hosted artists including Aerosmith, Ben Folds, The Dresden Dolls, and Weird Al Yankovic among countless others.
We’re thrilled to have Benny on the podcast for a lengthy discussion on what it takes to be a partner in a studio, why client comfort is so crucial yet often overlooked, why unsigned bands are often more profitable than big name clients and many more insights from his lengthy career.
“When you get older and you start looking back over your career, you realize there were opportunities that you didn’t even know were there at the time. It’s all about having the right disposition to go for it and make it happen.” – Benny Grotto
ON THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
4:36 – How what Benny has going on in the studio is what others should strive to achieve and not having the next NRG studio
8:35 – What board and some of the gear that Benny has in the studio and what type of work is done in the studio
13:57 – How long ago Benny started working in studios and being in the right place at the right time
17:05 – Pouncing on an opportunity when one is presented to you
29:20 – Looking up to whoever you’re working with on any given day in the studio even if they aren’t the most famous person in their profession
36:34 – The importance of setting realistic goals when it comes to what success will mean to you and realizing that not every single day in the studio will be a fun one
45:41 – Getting a big paycheck from unsigned bands instead of from labels
48:54 – What Benny’s path was like from studio to studio and ending up being a partner at his current one
57:38 – Becoming indispensable so that a company will understand your worth to them and being consistent with your work
1:06:08 – What the term “punisher” really means and how it can apply in the studio
1:21:53 – How Benny goes about picking interns for the studio and if the studio hires new engineers
1:38:08 – How certain studios and engineers can thrive through the negativity of the internet and how things have changed since the 90s
1:50:26 – Not needing to be at the highest level to get your career going
1:55:04 – What Benny’s ultimate mixing technique is and the fact that you should just keep learning
2:01:17 – Different techniques and how they can become trendy at different times
2:05:50 – More often than not, sessions can be simple and the mixes won’t need a ton of plug-ins
2:08:16 – How Benny helped to get the studio back off of the ground after the hiatus
2:10:31 – How Benny went about managing Mad Oak Studios
2:11:38 – If there is anything Benny would have done differently when setting up the facilities and how he handles renting the studio
2:15:52 – What some of the more obvious obstacles are when running a business that can be overlooked
2:17:38 – The fact that Benny doesn’t reach out to bands very often
2:22:18 – What you should invest in when it comes to having a commercial studio
2:25:17 – The story about having cold brew on tap at Mad Oak and how client comfort matters
FIND BENNY GROTTO ONLINE:
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