Joe and Jonah have been friends since secondary school and often shared drum lessons, this soon prompted them to set up an indie/rock band. Joe played the drums, Jonah played bass and a friend of theirs played the guitar until he left the band a few years later. Harry had seen the band play before and knew of Joe and Jonah through music festivals and events. After overhearing the two discussing their need for a new guitarist, Harry gladly offered to join the band and their friendship flourished.
Their careers within the music industry were thriving; as sound engineers, music producers, lighting engineers and photographers until the beginning of the year 2020 when the pandemic hit the globe. Unfortunately, the music industry was the hardest hit and the last to recover which meant the three boys had to change direction. Joe and Harry are music producers so they could continue working on single-led projects but Jonah had to take a temporary job at the Covid Testing Centre to make ends meet. During this period of free time, Joe was pondering the idea of creating a music space in which he could produce music and the band could re-form again.
To create an idyllic recording studio, Joe had planned to invest his earnings as a reputable music producer to construct something meaningful within Plymouth, to help grow the city’s music scene as well as offer up a space to hang out with his fellow bandmates. Giving something back to the community that Joe, Harry and Jonah grew up in was always very close to their heart. Plymouth deserves to have a strong name as a music city and Shearwater Studios hopes to bring life into the city The Beatles once sat.
Finding the space was the easy part, constructing the space was the challenging bit. The boys found the idea of designing their own studio extremely exciting, ideas were bouncing back and forth and walls were being put up almost instantly. New build challenges were unfolding almost daily. From uneven and cracked concrete surfaces to dodgy electrics, they developed essential communication skills that were required to finish the job.
A few months into the build and the walls had been plastered and they heard themselves saying, ‘It’s really coming along now, I think we’re nearly there…’ Slightly ignorant to the fact that it would eventually take them 1 year and 9 months to complete. The boys took their time with the project and were very patient and attentive to every detail therefore they carried with them the mindset of ‘It will take however long it will take.’
Harry’s father has significant building and renovating experience and just so happens to have a lot of friends in the trades industry. He acted as the pool of knowledge for Harry, who spearheaded the entire project, to develop and refine his building skills.
Joe remembers coming back to the studio one evening after a few drinks and seeing Harry surrounded in wood and covered in wood chippings.
By carrying out most of the DIY themselves, they saved a lot of money that they were then able to invest in local, high-quality materials and later on, excellent music kit. The desk from which they make most of their music was crafted from Beechwood from a farm on Dartmoor and then placed upon an iron frame that was welded together by a friend.
As the three were working on this huge project together, they have grown closer as a team, as friends and now as business partners.
The space they have created can now be used for a variety of different uses but ultimately, it is a place to relax with like-minded individuals whilst creating works of art.
Shearwater Studios offers recording, mixing and mastering of audio as well as photography, videography and post-production for the visuals of your music. The studio can be turned into a photography studio with lighting and a backdrop, or Jonah can shoot on location for an additional charge. It’s important to note that the team are there for you to work with and ask for advice or assistance. They don’t expect you to know all of the software or know how to play every instrument, when you book Shearwater studios, you are getting everything that is under that roof.
They have a drum kit, electric and acoustic guitars, a piano and a few other instruments of which, Joe, Jonah and Harry can collectively all play if you require that specific sound.
Booking is essential to not only ensure that the studio is available but to ensure that the team have everything you need to make this experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. They are also happy to sub-contract, whether that be a violinist or a singer.
They charge from £40 per hour and offer larger packages at discounted rates to encourage people to take their time to enhance their creativity.
Shearwater Studios hopes to be working closely with schools, colleges and universities in the local area, offering students experience in a modern recording studio whilst learning how to use their equipment. Workshops and mini internships are just some of the things they can offer for educational purposes.
Their biggest achievement would be to have helped a band or an artist make it in the music industry and to watch their career flourish from Shearwater Studios. In a few years, they would love to take their studio and place it in a location that feels cut off from the world and surrounded by nature. But for now, it is perfect.
Joe, Jonah and Harry often look around in awe of what they have been able to create and they are excited to watch people feel the same way they do about the space and in turn, make some brilliant music.