Ed Hall: Grafting To Make Your Dreams A Reality [Interview]

All Silk Mastering House has been Ed’s dream project. He got an insight into how he’s made that dream a reality.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

What’s your dream project? Each and every one of us has that fantasy in our heads: a vocation, a band or a goal that we hope we’ll one day be able to make real.

Well, Ed Hall’s dream is All Silk Mastering House and, through hard graft and dedication, he’s made it a reality. You may know Ed from Egos At The Door, but nowadays he’s probably better known for his talented ear and knack for exceptional audio production.

This year he’s finally been able to realise his dreams, by building a bespoke space for mixing and mastering, now offering quality and attention to detail at competitive rates. We spoke to Ed about his love for all things audio and all the hard work and emotional investment that’s gone into to this.

Firstly, give us a little overview of what you do at All Silk Mastering House – explain to us laymen what do you get up to?

For sure! A mastering house is an audio suite (which is more or less a control room, minus being attached to a live room) geared towards mastering as opposed to, say, mixing or recording. An engineer who specialises in mastering takes the final mixes which are often years in the making and analyses their objective traits. Every final mix will have strengths and weaknesses so the processes play to and accentuate or diminish these traits with the end goal of making a competitively loud and tonally pleasing track.

There is more or less a standard intrinsic loudness to most music, especially now, so that it can play amongst thousands of other tracks on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, CD players, iPods and not sound out of place, quieter, uncomfortably distorted/louder or at all noticeably off in comparison to the average.

It’s a mastering engineer’s job to deliver the best version they can of the audio they are provided while ticking these boxes. Of course in the real world it is much more subjective and subtle than this with sympathy to the art/the vision/taste…

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What was your vision for All Silk when you first started out?

I think I had made a decision to push toward mastering maybe 4-5 years ago. I was much more of an all round audio guy at the time, which meant every couple of months a DIY band would need mastering done and I’d just do it! Continue reading “Ed Hall: Grafting To Make Your Dreams A Reality [Interview]”

A ‘Brief’ History of Lockjaw Records : Interview with Rob Piper

Head honcho Rob Piper gives an in-depth insight into the background of independent punk and hardcore label, Lockjaw Records.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Lockjaw Records is an independent punk and hardcore label, known for being at the forefront of UK skate-punk and melodic hardcore. Whether it’s releasing records from bands like Belvedere, Drones and Fair Do’s, providing distribution for myriad other underground bands, or booking shows  that introduce UK audiences to some incredible international acts, Lockjaw Records is one of the most hard-working labels the UK punk scene has to offer.

Lockjaw Records Logo

Lockjaw Records have recently announced some major changes to their team: moving from a two-person operation to a more community-based approach, now involving Sarah and Joëlle from the Shout Louder Team alongside Cedric Degruyter of The Affect Heuristic. This international expansion is accompanied by a new logo, a fresh website and renewed hunger for sharing the music we love with the world.

To understand more about how the label reached this milestone on it’s 20+ year journey, we spoke to Rob Piper, who’s run the label since 2011. Also known for playing guitar in Darko, he’s a linchpin in the UK punk scene, who kindly took the time to share the label’s backstory with us.

N.B. This isn’t an exhaustive list of Lockjaw releases and there are plenty of other amazing bands that have been part of the label’s history.

Lockjaw’s been established as a label for a long time, although it’s undergone a lot of changes. It started in 1997, right?

It was Jim, Ben and Sam Turner, three brothers who all played in the band Tribute to Nothing from Worcester. I assume it was an outlet to release their records, as most small labels are – somebody who’s been in a band and wants to do it themselves. Tribute to Nothing were well known early 2000s as a hardworking, touring post-hardcore band.

Do you know what sort of bands they had at the time?

Lockjaw had the first ever Muse track Balloonatic included on a compilation they released right at the beginning of the label. At the time, Muse hadn’t really gotten stated yet. They asked Lockjaw if they would like to put out their first record, but the label turned it down. And, as you know, Muse got a lot bigger!

Where did you first hear about Lockjaw Records, then?

In around 2009/2010 I started Darko in Guildford with a Dan and Chris and we’d started getting shows out of town and gigging around. John from Disconnect Disconnect put us on in Croydon with Company L and Laughing In The Face Of. We got on really well with with LITFO and they later took us on a UK tour, introducing us to bands like Fair Do’s and Almeida.

LITFO were just signing with Lockjaw Records at the time, to release Lubrication of Social Anxiety. That was probably my first introduction to Lockjaw – I think I’d looked at Lockjaw Records for Darko’s first EP but I wasn’t really following that scene at the time. That was the starting point. Continue reading “A ‘Brief’ History of Lockjaw Records : Interview with Rob Piper”