Musical Rooms

March 5, 2008

Musical Rooms Part 16: John Vanderslice

Filed under: Interviews,Music,Musical Rooms Series — by Sinéad Gleeson @ 12:03 am


“My favorite musical space is my recording studio, Tiny Telephone. I started it about 10 years ago and it’s been the focus of all my creative output since my first band. It’s about 600 square meters, and it’s filled with tons of old tube gear and tape decks (there are four) and – best of all – an old Neve console from 1976.

It’s located in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. It’s also the last all-analog recording studio in the Bay Area of the city and bands like Okkervil River, Death Cab For Cutie and Spoon have recorded here. All the guitar amps and keyboards are very special to me. I have a Hammond B3, a Yamaha grand piano and an old pump organ.

Timewise, I’m probably only a couple of days a month, because I don’t own it. As a result, it’s very expensive for me to book it out as it’s usually sold out. Everything I do in there, I have to schedule months in advance! That is the only drag of working in such a great space.

To write, isolation is very important. I am a loner and need to have a lot of quiet, dead time to write and record songs. If I had to sum up what I most love about being here, it’s that it feels like my heart and my blood are in the walls, the microphones, the wires…”

John Vanderslice is an ex-member of experimental pop band MK Ultra. His solo releases have also combined pop aesthetics with offbeat multi-instrumentalism. Vanderslice runs the all analog Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco and is signed to Barsuk, home to Menomena, Rilo Kiley, They Might Be Giants and Nada Surf. He plays Crawdaddy tonight at 8pm. For more information, gig dates and tracks, visit

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