Thursday, November 11, 2021

KEVIN ARMY on Recording Grimple " GUYA"

We interviewed Legendary East Bay Punk Recording Engineer Kevin Army about Recording GUYA on 11/10/21:

How did you get contacted to record Grimple?

Kevin: That I can't remember, Maybe the people doing their business, Murray or Eric Yee. Maybe Billie Joe.


How was Billie Joe involved with this?

Kevin: We worked on a few sessions together back then, He helped co-produce. He disappeared from the credits, I’ve never seen him on the credits for it have you?  He was there the whole session, we met with the band and I recorded them. One of my favorite Billie stories is visiting Grimple in their bedroom with him.


What happened?

Kevin: They all lived in a single bedroom, there’s like four mattresses on the floor in a room and then there's like pet mice running around everywhere, I'm a little freaked out by the mice and Billie just jumped right in and was totally at home. Total punk cred there. This was just before Dookie and so long ago. Maybe I'm dreaming all up, but it was super punk.


Where did you record this record?  

Kevin: Sound and Vision in San Francisco on Indiana Street, I believe that building is a bunch of condos now.  It was a nice small tight room with 16 tracks. This was the same place I recorded the Operation Ivy LP, Fifteen, Blatz, Filth. Tons of stuff. The go-to plan was: record at Sound and Vision, and then mix at Dancing Dog in Emeryville. Sound and vision was $18 an hour.


Dancing Dog in Emeryville had a better-equipped control room for mixing and was owned by Lydia Holly and Dave Bryson from Counting Crows. Dancing dog was one of the first victims of the first waves of dotcom gentrification. It was in a cool Giant warehouse complex in Emeryville with artists and bands. For what it was, it had nice equipment with good monitors and a nice neutral environment. Everyone left us alone at both studios.


 Most of the other Lookout and East Bay records I did were mixed at Dancing Dog.  I ended up working there because I realized after I sold my own studio, I could make the same amount of money just doing recording with no overhead. The studio was sliding scale, I could choose to have the band play $12 or $15 an hour for the studio and never charged us if we had to cancel last minute. It was the Go to thing for all those years until it shut down.


When I first brought bands there, Dave Bryson was really scared I was bringing punk rockers there. He thought they would trash the place. The first record I recorded there was the Stikky album for Lookout.  After the session was over, Stikky cleaned up everything they had left there and Dave was like " This is the cleanest any band has ever left the studio". They had learned from Gilman Street. The noisier, more aggressive bands were always nice people. The Grimple Guys were just nice too.


So you mastered this at K-Disc?

Kevin: Yeah, The other thing was I’d just get people to pay my gas to go master with John golden (Sr.) at K-Disc. He would teach you so much about engineering and mastering.  We’d stay up to 2-3 in the morning with him telling stories and giving advice.  John mentored. He sat me down and said “ you’re doing these things wrong, and you're doing these things right”. He was super supportive.


Where was K-disc?

Kevin: K-disc was right in the heart of everything in Hollywood.  They did all this huge stuff, but then treated everyone the same, You’d see all the tapes of famous stuff. The guy who worked on the rhino reissues would often do sessions right before John, so there would be tapes of all these major records there.


 Anything else about the record?

Kevin: It’s a shame Eric and Murray didn’t become one of the more successful labels but maybe they were too nice.  I guess I should've charged more back then..... But then I wouldn't have gotten all the work!


Kevin still mixes the occasional project and recently mixed an album for Kyushu, Japan's Born Shit Stirrers. He sells Vinyl and shit on EBay and dances with his cats to a combination of Harry Partch, Captain and Tennille and Blatz. 

GRIMPLE " UP YOUR ASS" has been Re-pressed and is available Now at