Talk of the Town - Making the cut in Powder Springs August 19 2004

Music, games and business with Fuzzy Breakfast Productions

Sometimes the right lessons have to come from the wrong people. At least, that is what band member and recording director Eyal Levi believes. Levi has been working in the music industry since he was a teenager and roughly a decade later is recording between 10 and 15 bands a year from his basement studio. Despite having spent nearly a decade learning about and working with musicians, the most important lesson he ever learned is still the first he was ever taught.

"When I was 15, I went to my first studio and the engineer was a total cokehead — doing blow right in front of us and running the session in a totally unprofessional manner," Levi recalls.

Creative Loafing: Sounds like a difficult experience.

Levi: It was ridiculous, but he did do one thing right: He was really straightforward about our weaknesses. He said our drummer sucked and that we had to stop working with him. I hated how straightforward he was, but he was right.

How did your experience with him affect the way you handle your company, Fuzzy Breakfast Recordings?

I realized that space is very important. Lots of local studios tend to be the size of a small room. Band members don't have the chance to separate, and recording can be kind of tense. Here, I can work with one band member at a time and everyone else can be playing video games, sleeping or doing whatever they want to do.

Do you feel like that kind of division is important in making creative music?

Hugely important. Most recording studios are sterile and that doesn't contribute to creativity. My studio is a lot more comfortable; it helps people to make good music. I've also had a lot of bands from out of town that are really pleased at saving thousands on hotel fees and not having to cram in a crappy hotel room.

Where do the musicians sleep?

I have a sleeping area set up in the studio: three beds, two baths and an Internet connection. They feel really comfortable.

Where do you monitor the music?

This is the brain. [Levi takes me down a hallway to a room that houses three computers, a variety of instruments and accessory equipment.] Basically, I can have a guitar player in here and we'll have a chord connected to the amp, then connected back to my computers so we can monitor or tweak sounds as needed.

Is it expensive to operate all this equipment? The electric bill must be intimidating.

It's not too bad.