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Live From Tacoma: The Cave Sessions

Posted by November 6th, 2014 No Comments » Interview – MountainHouse Recordings
Q&A with Jesse Goodrum

MountainHouse Recordings is a production company in Tacoma that produces a live music series called The Cave Sessions for their YouTube channel. I’m smitten with the notion of small groups of people recording and broadcasting emerging bands playing live – it’s one of my favorite formats to discover new music these days – so I dropped them a line to find out more about what they’re doing. Tell us a little about MountainHouse. 

Jesse Goodrum: We work with local bands and songwriters to help them get awesome sounding music without charging an arm and a leg. We operate out of the historic Sound West recording studio in Tacoma, which was built in 1972 and has seen bands like The Ventures, The Wailers and Seaweed. So the place has some mojo.

NM: Hey no shit? I love Seaweed. We even talked Wade (Neal, the band’s bass player) in to writing some articles for us. What can you tell us about The Cave Sessions?

JG: The Cave Sessions is our latest project – videos of live in-studio sessions with Northwest bands. So far we have Not From Brooklyn (currently called FLORIDA), Kyle Gootkin of Coma Figura, Oh Dear!, Fantastic Animals and a brand new one with Wow, Laura.

NM: I like the sessions you’ve posted so far, especially Kyle’s. How’s it work?

JG: The video shoot is set up like a show. There is a live audience watching and each band only gets one run through of their set. After the shoot the video is edited and then posted on our YouTube channel MountainHouse TV. We publish one set at the beginning of each month.

NM: I love that you have a live audience. That seems to give it more energy.

JG: Definitely. We did our first session with Not From Brooklyn without one, and although it turned out awesome, it was lacking some of the energy that a band gets from playing in front of a live audience. So the next time around we let the bands and crew invite about 30 people, threw out a red carpet and had Wingman Brewers bring the beer. The event turned out better than we could have imagined. We are planning on making it a regular thing at our studio and hosting some Cave Sessions at venues around town.

NM: With platforms like YouTube and Vimeo why aren’t more folks producing live video with good audio like this? It seems like we often have to wait until KEXP or the Current posts something to see emerging bands shot well.

JG: It’s not as easy as it looks, actually. Quality like this can’t be done by some dude and his iPad; it takes a team of talented people. What makes us different from KEXP is that we are all about live performances in front of an audience. And we are very willing to have a band in the studio that no one’s heard of, as long as we like their music.

NM: What are your plans for this venture? Do you have a goal for how many sessions you want to publish? 

JG: We want to get where we are filming sessions here and at other local venues and spaces and publishing new stuff every other week. To do that we are going we need to find sponsorship though. It would be nice to find different local sponsor for each episode and get more people involved with what we are doing.

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