Alter The Press!


Interview: Romesh Dodangoda (Long Wave Recording Studio)

Alter The Press! recently spoke with producer Romesh Dodangoda, who has worked with bands such as Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Attack! Attack!, The Blackout, Not Advised, Twin Atlantic and Save Your Breath. Romesh is based at the well-known Longwave Recording Studio in Cardiff, Wales.

Romesh discussed how he started producing bands, the history of Longwave Recording Studio, his role in the studio and more.

ATP: How did you become a producer? Was it something you had always wanted to do or was something you fell into?
Romesh: I've always played an instrument since I was 4, so I've been around music for pretty much all my childhood. When I got older, I started a band which was a lot of fun, but the more I went into studios to record with them, the more I realised that it was the producing and engineering I was more interested in.

ATP: What did you listen to when you were growing up and did this influence to become a producer?
R: I listened to a lot of pop music when i was younger, and then I discovered Oasis and started listening to a lot of guitar based bands. Oasis got me into bands like The Stone Roses, The Jam, The Beatles, etc. I started to appreciate how simple songwriting can really be effective and I guess this was how I started getting interested in production and song arrangements etc.

ATP: What is the history behind the Longwave Recording Studio?
R: It was a very gradual thing. I had a studio on the side of my house for a while until I couldn't fit any more gear in the place! It was a really nice place to work in. It was small, but it had a lot of vibe in there! We did some really cool records there, the two Dopamine records, the first Kids In Glass Houses EP, The Blackout EP all were done in there... in about 1000 degrees of heat from all the gear. I moved my studio into a bigger place after that, and have now got a brand new studio in Cardiff which is awesome!

ATP: Why should people come and work with you at Longwave?
R: I think its up to the artist to decide whether I am the right producer for the job. I'd like to think I'm pretty good at getting the most out of a band and the individual players, and making the most of the ideas in the songs, trying new ideas, etc. I think a lot of bands don't understand that working with a producer is not the same as just booking a typical studio. I like working with bands who have the hunger for making great music as I am the same really. I love making records!

ATP: What has been your dream band you have worked with?
R: Producing Funeral For A Friend was pretty awesome because they were a band I used to listen to when I was younger. When I got the phone call about producing their record, I was so chuffed!

ATP: Alternatively, Is there anyone you wish to work with?
R: There is definitely a big list, but I think I'll keep that to myself for now.

ATP: When bands ask you to produce for them. What do you look for in them?
R: I look for artists who are really passionate with what they are doing. The band need to be nice people too. That helps! I look for bands that I can maybe bring an extra dimension to, musically.

ATP: A lot of the bands you've worked with are Welsh. Do you feel Wales, at present, is an influential place with a thriving music scene?
R: I think Cardiff is an amazing area for music. All the bands here know each other, and everyone helps each other out. We all regularly go out in the week and meet up which I think is probably a big reason why theres such a good community here with the music scene.

ATP: What bands should be looking out for?
R: Not Advised are one of my favourite bands at the moment. Their record "Fight For This" is out on iTunes now and is 5 straight up awesome songs with big choruses. Save Your Breath are rad guys from Newport who are really starting to make a name for themselves and are getting better every tour. Me Vs Hero are doing a record with me soon, we've already done 4 tracks and its sounding amazing! There's a really great band from Wales called Town who have got a really cool indie vibe going on. There's so many great bands out there! If you go over to the Long Wave myspace, there is a jukebox with tons of songs on it. Have a listen.

ATP: Which records do you consider you're most proudest to work on and Is there any you want to forget about?
R: There's definitely no records I've made that I want to forget about. As a producer, my job is to make sure we end up with a great result that captures what we set out to do. If that's not done then we'll keep working till its right.

ATP: As a producer, what is your role in the studio? How much influence do you have on a band?
R: My role is to make sure the songs sound right, the parts and arrangements are the best they can be and that I capture the best out of the musicians. A lot of the time my job uses a lot of psychology where you have to work out the way that individual people like to work in order to get the most out of them. Some people need a bit of pressure to get their head in the right zone, some people need to work a bit slower to get the result. There's so many aspects to being a producer. Its also things like making sure the record gets done on budget, that it gets delivered to the label on time, making sure studios are booked if we're doing bits and pieces elsewhere, its a big task!

ATP: What upcoming releases are you currently working on?
R: Funeral For A Friend are back in the studio with me soon. We recently did 4 new tracks which appear on their Greatest Hits record. The band are on fire right now with their writing, I'm very excited to get back in with them.

I have a blog which is at which is probably the best place to see what bands I'm working with at the moment. There's some pretty cool photos on there from album sessions with bands like Kids In Glass Houses, Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout, Twin Atlantic, etc.

More information on Romesh and Long Wave Recording Studio can be found on Myspace and the latest news can be found at Romesh's Long Wave Recording Studio blog here.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!