What is Sound City?

This article was written by Phineas Upham

Sound City refers to one of two possible things. It could be a sound recording studio in LA, home to some of the greatest musical acts the world has ever seen. It could also be a reference to Dave Grohl’s sweeping documentary cataloguing those legendary recordings.

Grohl’s first experience with the studio was during the sessions recording “Nevermind” for Nirvana. He felt a deep connection to that place, and was inspired to direct a documentary about it after purchasing a sound console from the recording studio when it closed in 2011.

The studio was known for producing amazing recordings of drums, possibly thanks to the Neve console that Grohl would later purchase in 2011. He moved the console to his own private studio, and decided to film the history of the music that was made there. Bands like Slipknot, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fleetwood Mac all recorded tracks there.

The Neve console Grohl purchased was one of only four in the entire world. He even interviewed the console’s creator, Rupert Neve of England, for the film.

The documentary recalls the studio’s early days up until it shut its doors for good. It also features an original soundtrack recorded and performed by many of the bands that frequented Sound City. Dubbed the Sound City Players, the make-shift band has made a few public appearances to promote the release of the film.

The film was exhibited at Sundance, where it has since received overwhelmingly positive reviews and a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his LinedIn page.