More about James Pertusi
I’ve been recording since I was in grade school. I couldn’t play an instrument then but my best friend and I would record comedy/variety shows and sketch comedy… “Adventures of The Starship Enterpoop” and similar stuff. I wish i still had the cassettes. In junior high it turned into a band called the Shit Stains with our single “Earwax”. I wish I had that too.
I started playing bass seriously in High-school and in college I did as much live sound and home recording on a 4 track as I could (I was in architecture school so time was limited, but I snuck it in)
Out of College I joined Jenifer Convertible and between playing and trying to be an architect, I didn’t do much recording. I was learning to be a musician though and was always paying attention to sound. Next was my band FakeBrain. We did all our own recording in our 10’x10’ cube in Williamsburgh and that is where I got the bug to roll tape. We moved to a bigger space, began collecting gear and recording bands (Without Misty, Remenitia and Low Brau were the first ones I did). All the while recording our own records.
When that band dissolved, it was a huge fork in the road. I had the space and all the gear, but no money. I had to either quit and be an architect or leave architecture behind. I left architecture behind and I’ve always felt it was the right decision.
So we built The Kennel (the NEW Kennel to be precise!) and here we are…
I still play in a number of bands. My own band – The Ditty Committee and several others, The Sharp Things, Pal Shazar and Slow Children.
How do I work in the studio? It’s different every time and for every client. I listen to what the client wants. I always try to meet up first to have a beer and talk about what you’re trying to achieve. I like to get a list of songs for reference so I know sonically where you’re coming from. I’ll offer my opinion if I think you’re making a mistake but I won’t push it – its your music in the end. I try not to produce unless I’m asked. I’ll tell you when a take is awesome and I’ll tell you if you can do better. I try to listen to performances instead of single snare hits. I try not to look at waveforms. I try to listen with my ears, not my eyes and especially not with my brain. I like finger noise on guitars and hearing the inhale before a vocal, but I’ll edit them out if you insist. I think less is more. Sometimes though, more is awesome. I take my job very seriously, I take myself less seriously. I like the way 2” tape smells fresh out of the box.
“I always expect making a record in a real studio to be a nerve-wracking experience, but Jamie and Jim at the Kennel made me feel right at home, indulging my perfectionist tendencies and caring as much as I did about making my band’s record sound good. Their enthusiasm for their work was obvious. I really looked forward to going to the studio each day, and I’m extremely happy with the results. I’d recommend the Kennel to anyone.“
— Charlie Wilmoth of FOX Japan