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Logan studio Why Sound nurtures Cache Valley music scene

December 11th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

By David Bowman

LOGAN—Nestled on a small one-way street between a handicraft shop and an art studio sits a building that lies quiet and still during the day. When the night comes the place explodes with sounds of loud vocals and fast drum beats. There are enough people outside waiting to get in to make a passerby wonder if there’s a party going on.

Inside, the young man with long hair plays an electric guitar while screaming into the microphone. The crowd is jumping up and down. The building takes on a different personality from how it looks outside. The south end of the room has a lifted platform where the band is playing and on the wall behind them are stickers from other performing artists that have played on the same stage.

Toward the back of the room is a hallway that leads to the green room. The room is called the green room because of its green brick walls and is empty except for a back door and a staircase. The staircase leads to the second floor, were a custom built professional recording studio is setup. Welcome to Why Sound, Logan’s music hot spot at 30 Federal Ave.

Local music artists from Provo to Cache Valley come to Why Sound to put on a show. Most of the time, it’s friends of the performers that make up the audience, but there is usually more than one band playing each night, so each band has more than just their friends watching.

Tim Moes started Why Sound in 2007 after moving to Logan from New York City in 2006. Moes is a recording engineer/live engineer with six years of professional recording experience who worked in New York in a professional studio with a wide variety of bands from all music genres. When Moes moved to Logan he decided that he wanted to open a recording studio.

“I looked around, you know, and everything was right next to a doctor’s office or something like that, ” Moes said. “Knowing that you’re gonna make noise, you can’t really have a studio there.” He then found a building that worked great. The ground floor was open enough that it worked perfectly for a performance venue and the upstairs had enough room that he could build a recording studio.

One of Moes’ first artists was Robert Linton, a Logan-born singer/songwriter who has been playing the guitar for 16 years and recently started teaching. After Linton finished that first set, Moes asked him if he would like him to start a business together.

When Moes told Linton that he would like to build a recording studio on the second floor, Linton said, “Are you insane!?” Now two years and eight tons of sheetrock later, Why Sound now has a fully functional, professional recording studio.

Moes designed and built the studio mostly by himself. The studio consists of three rooms—the booth where Moes resides when he’s recording, a middle room for observers to watch the performers, and the recording room where the performers play. The walls of the studio are built to keep the music in and outside noises out; glass windows to allow people to see into the recording room are an inch thick.

While the studio was under construction, Linton and Moes decided to use Why Sound as a performance venue until the studio was done. Moes took over the engineering aspect of running the venue and Linton took care of booking performances. Over time, Why Sound has become more popular, and Linton continues to book shows. The difference now is that Linton no longer has to go out looking for bands—now they contact him to book a show at Why Sound.

Recently, Why Sound has been cutting back on touring bands and focused more on local performers.

“A lot of people claim there’s no [music] scene here,” Moes said, “but I think we’ve kind of brought a scene by giving people a regular place to play.”

Moes said that venues in Logan have come and gone, some not even lasting a year. But Why Sound has been going strong for three years now, and has helped develope the music scene in the Cache Valley.

Growing up in Logan, Linton has seen friends and other individuals form bands or start solo projects, and either move on to something else or continue their career over the years. The older bands that do fade away with time are replaced with new ones and the cycle continues.

Linton said that it makes him happy to see that bands that have played their first concert at Why Sound have been able to travel to places like Boise and Salt Lake City to play larger venues. It makes him proud to be able to say that they got their start at Why Sound.

“We’ll continue to do this as long as we can,” he said. “Provide a place for artists to play, hang out with friends, and just share music.”

With shows booked almost daily, Why Sound has a solid foot in the door to becoming a successful venue and recording studio. For information about upcoming shows and about Why Sound go to www.whysound.com. And if you’re ever in the area drop on by to Why Sound and see why people are calling it, Logan’s music hot spot.


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