It’s no secret that live music is practically nonexistent at the moment. That hasn’t stopped artists from creating though. In fact, it has helped provide motivation. This has been a time for bands to focus on writing new material, recording and getting it out to the world.
Schylar Woods is the founder of Wescott Pro Audio, a recording studio in Colorado Springs. He was worried about the effect that COVID would have on music and the industry he’s in. Yet, he was astounded at the number of bands wanting to record new material.
“I was worried no one was going to want to record, and it was the exact opposite of what I thought,” says Woods. “Bands were stuck at home writing a ton of music. I was getting call after call. The first week I opened back up, I already had four bands on my calendar.”
In many cases, the artists ended up writing more vulnerable and honest material. “Some of the records I’ve done this year are my all-time favorites,” he says. “I feel like all the music that has been coming in has been genuine and inspired. It has helped the artists to have a mandatory incubation period, to not worry about shows and just be an artist and write.”
Among those who’ve been recording with Woods during this time are indie/alt rockers Catch 86, Letters from the Sun and My Life as a Bear, which recorded two EPs. Woods has also been spicing it up with hard rockers Six of Crows, death metal/hardcore band Chain of Torment, and Matt Meehan’s solo emo album Gloomy.
Wescott Pro Audio, which Woods started in 2015, led him in a very different direction than he’d originally planned. “I was actually going to school for physical therapy, and then as a hobby, I was doing music on the side,” he says. “But you get carried away with things that you’re passionate about. The more I did it, the more I loved it.”
In 2017, Woods changed his major from physical therapy to work on a Bachelor of Innovation in the music business, so he could learn what he needed to know to get his studio off the ground.
You may also know Schylar as one half of the local music community podcast CO Local along with Ely Pierce. In addition to recording, they’ve been doing monthly band features online that have included a podcast, a livestream and a professionally made mini-documentary with songs and interviews.
“It’s about providing another outlet where artists can use our platform to get their music in front of more people,” he explains. “The amount of focus a band gets is so small and short that it feels insignificant. Doing a livestream, and then not talking about the band for the rest of the month, is just not the right way to do it. This way, if someone isn’t paying attention, maybe they’ll see it the second time or the third time.”
CO Local’s featured artist this month was My Life as a Bear. On Nov. 1, they’ll do a band spotlight with Catch 86. You can find the livestreams and features on the CO Local Facebook page.
In other recording news, goth rockers WitchHands are putting out a new self-recorded, four-song EP called Unto Death. It will be released on Halloween on all streaming platforms, because that’s naturally the spooky thing to do! The band debuted the album, along with spinning other goth and death rock favorites, at The Black Sheep last Saturday.
Music videos have also been a great outlet to get new music and creativity out to audiences at home. Colorado Springs emcee Ibe Hustles just released a video for his new song with DJ Prominent entitled “2020 Code of the Streets.”
“The song was an homage to Gang Starr,”says Hustles. “DJ Prominent remade that old ‘Code of the Streets’ beat, and the video was kinda similar to the original.” Look for the single on all platforms Oct. 31 under the name Working Class.