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Kingston’s newest music studio ready to welcome artists

A new music studio in the Kingston area owned and operated by one of the city’s biggest emerging bands is ready to open its doors to artists from within and beyond Kingston.

After renting a space on Howe Island for the better part of six months to create an album from start to finish, Kingston based band ‘The Wilderness’ fell in love with the idea of having a space that they could really live and work out of and allow the creative process to be fluid.

Jonas Lewis-Anthony, the band’s lead singer, said he’s long wanted to have a space like that which the band can call their own, and after getting a taste they started pursuing options.

He says it was clear that it could provide an opportunity for more than just his own band, and so the pursuit of a home for Evergreen Recording Studio began.

“I was really desperate to start something like this and keep that Howe Island sort of vibe somewhere that we could offer it to other people,” Lewis-Anthony said.

“It was clear just from our time there that there was a need for that kind of space around here.”

A Kijiji ad connected Lewis-Anthony and the band with a property owner who had a location about 15 minutes from Kingston in Inverary available that she thought could work, and was willing to allow whatever alterations were needed.

It was far from ready made for studio recording, however, and Lewis-Anthony says the band members were consistently working on the space for roughly six months starting from August 2023.

They’ve welcomed a few local bands into the space since the bulk of the labour work was completed to make sure it’s ready to bring in clients on a consistent basis, and feel that it’s now reached that point.

The band plans to operate the studio themselves, with Lewis-Anthony and guitarist Max Tinline sharing the bulk of engineering duties but with other band members expecting to often be involved in projects, whether that be creatively or with equipment contributions.

There will be a huge weight lifted off the band now that the space is ready to be open for business, after what Lewis-Anthony says felt like endless surprises and challenges in the process of getting it ready.

“There was so many challenges with figuring out how to soundproof things or how to acoustically treat things… building a vocal booth,” Lewis-Anthony said.

“None of us are really even tradespeople but we learned a lot about using power tools.”

The band sees the space as diverse enough to be able to fill a variety of needs for bands, whether that be as a rehearsal space or for digging in and creating commercial ready music, and as somewhere that can bridge the gap between a good home studio and higher end recording studios that come with a bigger cost.

While they hope it provides a needed service for other bands in and out of Kingston, Lewis-Anthony says for him and the band, this new studio also brings them closer to being able to call music a career all the time, whether on tour or not.

On a personal level, that may be the biggest benefit.

“Touring is great and it’s been our bread and butter for so long, but it’s tough to come back off a tour and then go back to your day job,” Lewis-Anthony said.

“I love doing it so much, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. So it means that if I’m not touring, I’m still working on musical stuff, and that’s super important to me.”

So far, Lewis-Anthony says the support from both the local music community and nearby neighbours in the area has been overwhelmingly positive.

Seeing such a good response has almost validated the project already, and the investment of both time and money.

“It’s great that there’s been such a huge response because, I mean, it means that we haven’t just wasted a ton of money doing this,” Lewis-Anthony said.

“But it also means that there is a market that needs to be served with what we can offer, which is also really exciting.”

He says the process of slotting in projects has begun, and it’s looking like it will prove to be a busy summer.

Booking inquiries are fielded by email at evergreen@thewildernessband.com.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporterhttp://ygknews.ca
Born and raised in Whitby, Ontario, Owen has been living in Kingston for about three years after starting the band Willy Nilly. Prior to that he worked at CKLB radio in Yellowknife and completed studies in Niagara College's Broadcasting program.

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