Studio warehouse offers music alternative

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 1:00am

People looking for something other than a country music experience in the Nashville area can find an alternative at a unique studio warehouse in Franklin.

Founded in August and located off Mallory Station Road near Cool Springs Mall, the facility - named W274 - is a multipurpose production and recording studio that seeks a different type artist than Music City is used to seeing locally. And it markets those artists in its own unique style.

"Our focus is to build the growing underground rock scene in the region," said Justin Roddick, venue manager for W274. "Nashville is strategically positioned to lock up bands from outside of New York and the West Coast in areas like New Orleans and Minneapolis. We want to make this a regional hub."

According to Roddick, a lot of talent is overlooked because the market segment is so dramatically underserved. He is quick to point out that W274 also has interest in other genres such as the blues.

W274 has primarily sought talented groups through word of mouth within the music industry, but is planning to advertise in selected publications to find others.

"Our emphasis is talent and developing that talent," said Winn Elliott, production manager of W274.

Recently, the studio signed its first group, an alternative rock band called Auto Vaughn. More than 30 bands were auditioned to find this one group.

The studio is promoting the band through its management production division. This is done through various means including the facilities sound studios and state of the art video production facilities. It is capable of wide-screen or full-screen broadcast video production for DVD mastering, live Web streaming or live television broadcasts.

In addition, there is no charge to the band.

"What is great is they are building this scene in this part of the country," said Jeff Howard, booking agent for Nashville-based Agency For The Performing Arts. "Bands have the opportunity to have their live shows recorded just like in New York and broadcast in various ways with the multimedia services at W274's disposal."

When it is not accommodating new talent, W274's studio warehouse offers other services to the community.

For example, local artists can rent the studio facilities for practice or recording sessions. Many, including Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynard, have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

Corporate clients can utilize the accommodations for meetings requiring live recordings, video shoots, photo shoots or special events. Aim Health Care, Word Records and EMI Christian Music Group have thus far done so.

Once a week, W274 offers shows for local high school kids. Current pop dance hits are played by a DJ to provide fun and entertainment to a younger audience.

Instead of going to the movies or the mall, the teenagers have the alternative of visiting the facility for entertainment, Elliott said.

And soon, the studio is going to offer a regular live music event for adults between 35-55 with the support of a local restaurant. Each production is to have a popular theme such as Swing Night or Big Band Night. The first show is planned for Jan. 28.

"Adults need somewhere to go too," Elliott added.

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