Las Vegas hasn’t always been considered an innovative center, however Zoe and Pat Thrall may inform you otherwise.
As the director of the Studio at the Palms, Zoe supervises all the magic that occurs inside those soundproofed walls, from sessions with Beyoncé and Lady Gaga to Lil Wayne and more. Her engineer husband, Pat– who has actually played guitar as part of rock band Asia and on trip with Meatloaf– has actually worked behind the scenes with pop titans like Britney Spears and The-Dream, and he scored credits on Frank Ocean’s Grammy Award-winning Channel Orange.
Exactly what does a common day at work appear like for you?
Zoe Thrall: The procedure starts on my side. The client calls me and requests for X amount of days in the future to record or mix, and I work out the offer and ask what the requirements are as far as devices and their plans. We anticipate whatever their requirements are as much as we can– exactly what the engineers require, the hospitality requirements, the devices– so as soon as they show up, all that stuff we understand in advance. The day or two prior to the session I speak closer to the manufacturer and engineer to make sure their exact details are prepared, then I pass the baton the day of the session which’s when the real work starts.
Pat Thrall: There are various kinds of sessions, so it depends on the kind of music they’re doing. I worked with Tricky [Stewart] and The-Dream, and they produce a lot of substantial R&B hits. I was with those men for almost seven years, and they had a really sophisticated setup that was not based upon a lot of acoustic instruments. You truly have to understand what you’re headed into. You cannot simply fake your method through. It takes a great deal of experience.
How does being a musician yourself aid with this job?
Zoe: Those abilities you find out being a classically qualified musician, those abilities use each day– just having the ability to talk the talk. You have to know music.
Pat: Zoe is uniquely qualified for her job, most likely like couple of on earth, because she’s operated professionally on all the levels that are required to do this. She began as an engineer at a well-known studio in New York called the Power Station, she played oboe [for Steve Van Zandt] and after that after that she moved into the studio management side. So she has experience on all the levels. It’s unusual when you’re talking to a studio manager who in fact has literal experience in all those aspects. Generally they feel in one’s bones it from being around it, but she’s in fact trained in all elements of it.
You’ve worked with a few of the world’s greatest artists. How do you keep things running efficiently?
Zoe: It is the imaginative process, so as soon as they’re in here and the innovative juices are streaming, anything is possible. The very best thing we can do is provide their personal privacy and just create the environment for all that innovative juice to come out. It’s my task to make sure that they’re as unwinded as possible.
Is Las Vegas an imaginative epicenter?
Zoe: Definitely. Take a look at the artists that have come out of here, firstly.
Pat: Due to the fact that studios have actually been diminishing over the last decade approximately, a lot of people that would’ve been studio artists in Los Angeles 10 or 15 years ago come out here to work on all these shows. There is something about all this, particularly if you’re a musician, that has an appeal. There’s truly distinct stuff that happens here.
How is the Studio at the Palms different from other recording studios?
Pat: With this studio, individuals were freaked out when we first came here. They were like, ‘This studio is going to be a disaster. Artists are going to come out there and they’re going to be doing too many drugs, and partying, they’re not getting any work done.” And after that what happened? The Killers did their album here, and their producers– Alan Moulder and Flood– they had actually done U2 and David Bowie and all these substantial artists.
They said it was the best thing that ever occurred due to the fact that they didn’t have to leave or go anywhere. Whatever was provided here and they got in this bubble. In other town, you work ’til 3, 4, 5 in the early morning and there’s no place to go. Here, they can just go downstairs, and the bar is open. They get up in the early morning, there ‘d be food right there. They can go to the swimming pool, and you can simply take an elevator and go to your room. They stated it was one of the best recording experiences they ‘d ever had. That type of changed the video game here.
Pat, you were an exploring guitar player with Meat Loaf in the ’90s. What made you choose to get behind the boards?
Pat: I always loved it. I had my own band at one point with Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple, and we got to work with this man called Andy Johns– he was Led Zeppelin’s producer. I found out as much as I could dealing with those type of guys.
By the mid ’90s I was exploring with Meat Loaf for his huge comeback, which was incredible, but I reached a point when we got married where– the road, I had my 20-year bachelor celebration, you know? It was truly beginning to feel creatively empty. I seemed like, alright, it’s excellent playing live and being a side man, but I required more, and I wished to be home with my other half.
At this time, she was running the Power Station … and I can be found in at a great time because Pro Tools was just beginning to progress into a usable and working tape-recording medium. So I accepted that early and learned it early, and I think had among the first Pro Tools suites in New York City at the Power Station. So I got to work with a great deal of incredible engineers and it just took off from there. And that’s exactly what I have actually been doing since.