“You want people to be comfortable, which is why my studio looks like my bedroom when I was seventeen,” says Joe Barresi.
Despite having nearly every piece of gear under the sun, there is little room for child’s play at Joe’s House of Compression. It’s strictly business. Even the fart mic. We’ll let “Evil” Joe explain:
I worked with this band called Parkway Drive . . . there’s also a gas mask over here because those guys farted quite a bit from eating two burritos a day. So, I actually brought out my cassette deck and I put a microphone ass-high - and this is pretty gnarly - any time somebody had to fart they’d go over, and un-pause it, and they’d fart in the microphone. At the end of the record, I handed them a CD of twenty-six minutes of dudes farting. I wrapped up the microphone in toilet paper and I gave it to them, because there was no way I was ever going to use that microphone again. And there’s your story.
Antics aside, J.H.O.C. is the center of the universe for making hard rock and heavy metal records. With clients like Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, the Melvins, Pallbearer, Kyuss, and Red Fang, Barresi’s resume reads like a mix between the modern rock Billboard charts and the heaviest music festival of all time.
What makes Barresi’s productions (and his studio) so unique is that no matter where you turn, there’s always a bit of intriguing gear just begging to be played. Joe’s amplifier collection is impressive, no doubt, but we were naturally drawn to the stranger things in his studio - a circuit bent Pikachu Theremin, the Marxophone, and his collection of autographed, new-in-box Spice Girls dolls.
When it comes to mixing, Barresi reaches for his Afterneath Otherworldly Ambient Reverb.
“I was just like, manipulating it [the Afterneath] on a vocal, and it was creating these crazy harmonies, ‘cuz it was delayed, but they were sorta not exactly perfect ‘cuz I’m manipulating it, and it was the eeriest shit ever, man. It’s always out when I’m mixing. It’s out right now.”
Extra special thanks to Annie the Dog.
For more Joe Barresi, check out our December 2016 interview.