Fort Lean:
The TVD First Date

“For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated with sound itself, not just music.”

“I’d hang out under the piano while my dad would play, and I was amazed by the process of putting a record on and hearing bass or a band come out of speakers that were as big as I was (we didn’t have a crazy system, I was just 2 feet tall). I think this led to my choice to work as a recording engineer – sound is cool!

When I’m in the studio, if there’s a budget for it I always request that we at least mix down to tape, and if the band can handle it, to track to it as well. I still prefer working on a real console with real gear and real buttons with a good 1/2″ machine as opposed to in the box, and this philosophy is the same for me with listening to music.

I think vinyl does sound better than digital, just as tape can sound better than a crappy digital interface, but more importantly it makes listening to music more of a concerted ritual than just flipping through Spotify. You have to choose what you want to hear, and you’re going to have to choose again in a little bit when side A finishes—you’ll listen harder to whatever it is you put on and connect with the music in a different way.

I like the warbly or filtered sound of a crappy record player, and I love listening in the studio on huge main monitors. It’s a more fun way to LISTEN TO MUSIC as opposed to clean the kitchen while Fort Lean plays on your laptop while you’re fighting with your girlfriend. There’s some spice!

My first record – I inherited many (good) records from my parents, but the first one I actually purchased was an Operation Ivy 7″ at Newbury Comics in Boston. My taste has since grown, but I had tons of those guys!

As far as favorite record stores, in New York I’d say Other Music since they have a good selection and make the shopping easy (I’m not much of a crate digger), though the band is pretty broke right now so we haven’t done too much shopping as of late. Were I to buy an album a week, I could go to these guys for out-of-print Anthony Braxton record every single week!

My favorite record (as in piece of vinyl) is Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. That album sounds insane, I’m blown away every time I hear it. 70s West Coast production is IT as far as I’m concerned. The snare drums are miraculous! It helped me to bond with my girlfriend’s dad!

Otherwise, I’ve got some Glenn Gould records that are out of control!”
Jake Aron

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