It’s been 15 years since John Vanderslice opened Tiny Telephone, his indie recording studio where an impressive roster of musicians like Geographer, Magnetic Fields, Mike Watt, Deerhoof, and scores more have recorded albums.
What began as a comfortable space to record his own songs has turned into a world-class musical workshop with acclaimed session musicians (Magik*Magik Orchestra) and accomplished engineers. To celebrate another quinquennial and his clients, John has invited everyone over to the studio — a veritable museum of vintage mixers, tube amps, and reels of 2” tape — for a party this Thursday. We touched base with John to glean more details about the event and see what’s been going on at the studio.
The Bay Bridged: What are some of the more memorable Tiny Telephone moments since your last milestone anniversary five years ago?
John Vanderslice: Watching Avi Buffalo make a great record this month was pretty special. Also, producing Samantha Crain‘s record (which just came out) was very inspiring. I think that’s one of the best records to come out of the studio. Last month I bought a 64-channel Neve 8068 from The Plant in Sausalito, a classic console with tons of history, for our forthcoming C room. That might have been the most memorable.
TBB: What can attendees expect at the party?
JV: I think there will be DJs…I should really get on that! I think we’re all excited to NOT hear a band for a day in the studio. We will have really good beer, I’m thinking Racer 5 and one of the 21st Amendment ones. Also, Isabelle Fix, our accountant, is in charge of food and she has really good taste. The mirth will be a byproduct of the beer, the food, and the elevated company.
TBB: Your anniversary parties in the past have had covers. Why is this one free and open to the public?
JV: I’m a pretty democratic person, we have a lot of high school and college bands recording here and it didn’t feel fair to put the event in a club and exclude them. This party is really for our amazing clients. So I thought we’d give them access to a full keg and some medical marijuana as a thank you.
Thursday, February 28