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Get To Know Blank Studios, North-East UK

The Decent blog team spoke to singer-songwriter Conrad Ashton about his experience recording at Blank Studios.

Established in 2008 in the North East of England, as a partnership between four engineers/producers (Sam Grant, Chris McManus, John Martindale and Doug Redfern) Blank Studios was seen as an opportunity to further the growth of knowledge, and provisions of creativity, by working as a team under one roof. The studio is a 5-minute walk from the Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, and looks out over the City Stadium Park.

Conrad Ashton has been releasing back-to-back singles and an EP during 2020. Ashton's two singles 'Celebrate Life' and 'The Longest Night' were recorded and produced at Blank Studios. He explains his very positive experience working there:

"Blank was a game changer. I kept it as a small team with me, Chris and Mark and that's the team I'm using going forward.

I got landed with Chris McManus as engineer and producer and it couldn't have worked out better - he gives me this energy that he really cares and gives a shit and really wants to help me. He knows how hard I work and how much I kick my own arse anyway, and I think he just gets me and my work. He really pushes me too which is great - for example, I did some vocal takes for 'The Longest Night' and they felt good. I was like "we defo have enough" and he's like "come back another day it's not happening" and I needed that! 1 to keep me on track and keep the ego off and 2 just because he knew I had more in me to better it another day and guess what I did!

Secondly, working with Mark Johnson again has been great - I've known him 8 plus years and he drummed on my album 'One For The Road' years ago but my past releases and his schedule haven't aligned til recently and it's great to have him on bass and drums as well as percussion and he's even given some lush backing vocals. As well as been full of ideas and pushing me to be at my best.

He's the only one in my whole set of musicians I know I'd call a 'genius' - there's just something about him. I love his energy and creativity and I do think he believes in me too.

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