Housed in the basement of Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA, is Armory Sound. The recording studio has been through many different incarnations and owners, creating a rich history behind the records produced there. Jeff Gallagher, the newest owner and operator, promises to add great things to that history.
At 29 years old, Gallagher has been recording music for 20 years. His learned demeanor hints at his experience, and is in part the product of five years tall ship sailing. From 2006 to 2011 Gallagher sailed on the US Brig Niagara, based out of his hometown Erie, PA. Now settled in the Boston area, Gallagher says his years of sailing inform his style of engineering and business ownership.
“It’s the only two things I’ve been good at,” Gallagher claims, stating that both sailing and recording are “sociological” by nature. “You’re in an environment that’s foreign to you. No matter if you’ve done it for 20 years or 30 years, every day is different…You might work with a band five days in a row. And one day they’re in good moods, and one day they’re in a bad mood. Or you might have a day where you’re sailing with everybody that you care about. And the next day they’re really hard to deal with and the next day they’re the most wonderful. It’s very similar projects.”
Taking over Armory Sound Studio means adding another line to its rich musical history. Originally known as High-n-Dry, the studio was started in the 1990’s by Mark Sandman, the singer and bassist from Cambridge-based rock band Morphine. After Sandman’s death in 1999, primary operation responsibilities fell to Morphine’s good friend Andrew Mazzone. In December 2007, High-n-Dry relocated from Sandman’s apartment to its current home at Arts at the Armory. In January 2013, Mazzone passed away, and the studio was sold to long-time recording engineer Pete Weiss. It was renamed Armory Sound, indicating a new beginning for the business. Weiss brought Gallagher into the project to record local bands and assist with studio operations. After more than a year of ownership, Weiss sold Armory Sound LLC to Jeff Gallagher on June 20, 2014.
The relationship between Weiss and Gallagher has been one of learning and respect. “He’s a pioneer really,” Gallagher said of Weiss, who is a veteran in the recording industry. “He watched me [work]…It probably reminded him of himself.”
Currently Gallagher is working on a large-scale construction project for the studio. Armory Sound will be back to full-scale operation in August. With big changes in place, Gallagher hopes that Armory Sound can make people feel at home and give musicians and other recording artists a place to be themselves.
For more information on Armory Sound studio and recording opportunities, visit facebook.com/ArmorySound.