20 for '16 in the Year of Music
Our very sincere thank you goes out to Mike Bell of the Calgary Herald today for including Dan and OCL Studios in his 20 for '16 in the Year of Music series. He profiled some truly influential members of Calgary's music scene, and Dan feels very honoured to be in such fantastic company. Copied below is the full article, as well as a link to the original story.
It has become something of a hub for the Calgary music scene.
Or perhaps hive is a better term, a busy place where magic happens and many musical things get done.
And that’s exactly how Dan Owen envisioned it when he opened his state-of-the art OCL Studios just east of the city a few years ago.
“On any given day there’s typically two or three things happening here,” Owen says. “Sometimes it’s not even recording: it’s writing, rehearsing up in the hall upstairs, for sure, and even just several musicians hanging out.”
Again, OCL is a world-class place — from the gorgeous hall with high ceilings that bands get their sonics straight in, to the studio, itself, which has all of the bells and whistles any producer would drool over, to the soon-to-be famous Egg Room, which musicians chill in and which features one of those old ’70s-style speaker chairs you can listen to rough mixes in.
“If it sounds good in the egg, it’s going to sound good on your stereo,” Owen says with a laugh.
The reputation of OCL, and the fact that it can meet any number of different needs, is something that more and more artists in town and across the country are figuring out, usually by word of mouth or through discovering it themselves as part of another project they were a part of.
“It’s totally organic,” says the owner, a self-described old ’80s rocker, who built his fortune and the studio on the back of a thriving asbestos removal business. “We’re spreading it organically.”
The list of acts that have already utilized one or more of what the place has to offer is a varied and impressive one and includes such names as Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Reuben and the Dark, Lindsay Ell, Maddison Krebs, Kodi Hutchinson, Johnny Summers, Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, and Prairie Bible College.
“It’s all of these different worlds converging here, which is really, really neat,” Owen says.
It’s also home base for The Prophets of Music, the not-for-profit society that was formed to honour the memories of Joshua Hunter and Zackariah Rathwell, the two members of local band Zackariah and the Prophets who died tragically in 2014.
The society is just about ready to do its good work, which will see local musicians who need a hand up, be it through business training or musical mentoring, get the tools they need.
It’s yet another great addition to the Calgary music scene and should hopefully have as much impact on things as OCL Studios and its owner have already had and will have in the year ahead.
“There’s so much encouraging stuff,” Owen says, pointing to the Music Mile in Inglewood, the upcoming Juno Awards and the opening of the National Music Centre’s Studio Bell.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun this year, for sure. And I’m glad to be a part of it all.”