Water. Water Everywhere.
2018 was shaping up to be a pretty good year. Work was busy. I had a string of songs to write for Mattel, I was producing five full length albums for songwriters, and directing a web-series that was starting to pick up steam. The rest of my life was moving right along too! The days before the ball drop were spent gorging on beignets and sipping sazeracs in New Orleans with my girlfriend as we negotiated a contract to buy a house in our hometown. Yep, 2018 was going to be one hell of a year.
It was January 2nd, I had dropped off a deposit for the new house and was excited to get back to work in the studio. On my way, I stopped at the local diner for a hot coffee and a bagel. I have a bad habit of sleeping in till the last minute. Breakfast suffers. My client was a few minutes early, so we met on the street and walked together.
Something didn’t feel right when I opened the door to the stairs. The air felt damp and musty, humid like the summers can be here. I hoped it was my imagination, but when I saw the foggy window of the studio door dripping with sweat I knew we had a big problem. A heating pipe burst and my studio, TribeSound Records, was completely destroyed. Water was everywhere. It was three inches deep on the floor, the ceiling had collapsed, and electricity was zapping out of the wet sizzling wall sockets. Over ten years of investing and building a business was gone overnight.
The plumber would later describe the burst as more of an explosion. The week leading up to that sopping morning was cold, bitterly cold. Temperatures barely rose above the teens with consistent lows hovering around 3 degrees Fahrenheit. But the temperature wasn’t the only problem. The heating system had an issue that week and was being repaired a few days before. As the circulator pump was being fixed, the pipes froze in the most remote part of the building. They split in three places. As the hot water circulated, it thawed the frozen pipes and water began to pour unnoticed through the three floors above the studio’s control room. The store closed early that day for New Years Eve and wouldn’t open again until January 2nd, the day I discovered the flood.
I turned to my client, her gaping eyes made their way to mine. I knew what she was thinking… Holy shit, my record! Luckily, I had a backup of my hard drive at my house. So her record, and my last ten years of work, were safe. The only thing I could do was eat my breakfast sandwich, roll up my sleeves, and call my insurance company. This was going to be a long day.
I’m writing this almost a year later and although 2018 wasn’t the best year on record, I’d have to say that thanks to patience of our clients and business insurance, everything turned out okay. The flood gave us an opportunity to rebuild. We opened up the old ceiling, exposing the beams and gaining height. It’s no 20 foot cathedral ceiling, but our space sounds much more open and we love it, especially when tracking drums! We also expanded the control room by adding a few more feet. Having that extra space has not only helped with critical listening, it’s also given us a little bit more elbow room.
One of the hardest things about the flood was replacing instruments I have collected over the years. It was heart wrenching to see the Martin HD28 as a piece of driftwood in the pond that was once the studio. But we upgraded, and even though no two guitars are the same, we are still very happy with the sound of the new Martin. And those of you who remember the love story between me and the Telefunken U47 from years back, I’ve found a replacement. What can I say? Love can be fickle. Watch this if you don’t know that love story!
In the end, we have rebuilt the studio to sound better than ever and we repaired or replaced nearly every piece of equipment in our space. It took almost a year to rebuild and I couldn’t have done it without the support of our community. I’d like to thank our clients for their patience and all the friends, loved ones, and colleagues who pitched in to help dry us out.
2018 has been one crazy year for TribeSound. We wish you a dry and happy 2019!
Schedule a session or studio tour to take a look at the new studio and to listen to what we’ve been up to!