Over its past four decades in Redondo Beach, Total Access Recording Studios has kept pace with the changing music industry.
The foundation of the one-room studio began with punk bands Black Flag and Pennywise. Then hair metal bands such as Dokken and Guns N’ Roses called the studio home. Finally came post punk bands such as Sublime and No Doubt.
And the local studio is still going strong. The studio is now gearing up to record the former Panic! to Disco bassist Jon Walker.
“Technology and the industry have changed, but we’re still here,” said owner Wyn Davis, during the studio’s 40th anniversary celebration on Sunday, November 11.
Davis took over what was the Redondo Pacific studio in 1980. After two years in business, Redondo Pacific went into receivership and Davis was able to take over.
In the late 1970s, Media Art Recording Studio on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, where many early punk bands made their first recordings, was on the verge of closing. But Davis struck a deal with Black Flag and SST Records founder Greg Ginn to bring his bands to Total Access.
The deal gave him working capital and a foothold in the recording industry.
“‘I’m going to give you that much time for that set amount of money,'” Davis said of Ginn, “and he used that to figure out that he could…make these records for Black Flag, Husker Du and the Minutemen here.”
Jackson Browne drummer Fritz Lewak, a Redondo Beach resident, recorded at Total Access.
“I’m just excited that he’s been here for so long,” said Lewak, who attended the 40th celebration. “The doors are always open… there just aren’t many places set up for people to come in and make music in one room because we live in such a digital age. It’s done in their home studio.
Word of mouth has helped Total Access continue to thrive for decades, Davis said.
He said the biggest album recorded at Total Access is probably Sublime’s third and final self-titled album. It was recorded before the band’s lead singer, Bradley Nowell, died of an overdose. The album has sold over 5 million copies in the United States alone.
“Bradley was such a nice person, it was terrible to lose him that way,” Davis said.
Davis has worked with a slew of legacy acts, including Van Morrison, Black Sabbath, Dio and most recently Foreigner. He traveled to Switzerland in 2017 to record Foreigner with a full orchestra. He then brought the recording back and mixed the project at Total Access. The album, “Foreigner with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus”, reached No. 1 on the classical music charts.
Total Access offers vintage and state-of-the-art equipment, as well as a team of producers, engineers and assistants.
Total Access is located at 612 Meyer Lane, #18, Redondo Beach.
Information: 310-376-0404 or tarecording.com.