Coast Records Voted Studio of the Year by Charleston City Paper

In a city where you can't seem to swing a bass guitar without hitting a great producer with a first-rate home studio, Matt Zutell has been making himself and his Coast Records studio stand out.

In the past year, he's worked with a plethora of local and regional bands in either a production, mixing, or engineering capacity, including Little Stranger, Brave Baby, Atlas Road Crew, Heyrocco, and She Returns From War. He's also handled sound for SUSTO's YouTube series, SUSTO Stories, which has been one of his more rewarding assignments.

"That's been a lot of fun," Zutell says. "We've done each episode in a unique location with a different setup for the band, and they did different acoustic renditions of their songs."

And how has he managed to get noticed in such a crowded field? Zutell says it's a combination of results and approach.

"I think a lot of it has to do with the end product," he says. "It's in the quality of the work. I don't have a million-dollar professional studio, but with the technology of today, you can make a lot happen without having that. And I grew up learning how to record that way."

As for the "approach" part, Zutell simply goes with the flow rather than trying to micromanage the bands he records.

"Sometimes they want me to be more of an engineer," he says. "And sometimes it's someone who comes to me with an acoustic guitar and a voice and they want a full-band arrangement around that. And I can dive on in and be a producer and add the elements they need, because I have a network of friends who are these great session players, and I can have them come play on the tracks.

"It's not about trying to get you in and get the song cranked out and getting the next person in," he adds. "It's more about trying to make each song really count." —Vincent Harris

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