Ed Stasium is a man who can share some stories.
A music industry veteran for more than 40 years, Stasiums stellar résumé as a record producer includes the likes of The Ramones, Living Colour, Talking Heads and so many more. Its remarkable that such a luminary is now a Durango area resident, and many of the tales of what went on, inside and out of the studio during his heyday, are not fit for print.
However, for all of the unpredictable behavior hes witnessed over thousands of hours in the studio with well-known or up-and-coming bands, he hasnt been plagued with occurrences such as power outages, the birth of a grandchild or an emergency appendectomy. All those things happened to Stasium in October during his recording sessions with The Paceshifters, a young rock trio from the Netherlands recording their latest release at Stasiums in-home KozyTone Studio. Stasium is credited with producing, engineering, mixing and mastering the to-be-titled release, which is due out in 2012.
Formed in 2008, The Paceshifters are bassist/vocalist Paul Dokman, younger brother Seb Dokman on guitar and vocals, and Koen Klarenbeek on drums. It was the young musicians love of The Ramones that led the band to Stasium half a globe away.
We listened to lots of Ramones when we were young, and he is the fifth Ramone, thats the reason, Seb Dokman said last week during a recording session. We love his work.
Love being a two-way street, it wasnt enough to simply admire Stasiums work.
We started writing new songs, and we sent them to Ed, Paul said. He wanted to produce them and now were here.
Stasium is a producer who doesnt seek out the next hit. His formula for working with a band is as simple as finding something he likes. Unsolicited submissions come regularly, but hell work with you only if he likes it.
They contacted me and I heard some of their old material and listened to it, then I requested to hear some new material. I liked the old material, its really good, but when I heard the new material it knocked me out, Stasium said.
It was fresh rock n roll. Real rock n roll not this fake cookie cutter rock n roll but the real thing. Politically smart lyrics. Great players. Its lean, three of them, but theres a lot of meat there. No frills.
The young trios ambitions are high while maintaining a cool head for business. Profits from past records and shows are reinvested in future projects such as this one. Paying for it all by themselves ensures artistic freedom.
The enthusiasm in KozyTone is contagious. The recording sessions are actually rather casual, with band members spending down-time fishing or hiking around the neighborhood while Stasium sits at his console, bobbing his head to the power chords like an amped teenager.
I bring their vision to fruition, Stasium said.
I see what they want to do and what they want to sound like. Its not my record, its their record.
Eds résumé is seen in the stairwell that leads down to his recording studio; wall space is covered with awards and gold records. The Paceshifters want some space on those walls, too. They make a lot of sound for a three-piece, and Stasium is psyched about the product. And considering what hes seen and heard over the years, his praise is no small accord.
The Paceshifters are probably in the top three of the bands Ive ever worked with, he said.
The material is great, the band is great the personalities are great, and I think they have a huge future ahead of them.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at Liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.