Random acts

They say it’s their birthday

What separates the “Be My” Babies from the “Hit Me (One More Time)” Babies?

Depends on whom you ask.

The ins and outs of recognizing a good pop song “is all subjective,” declares multi-instrumentalist Aaron Price, who’s one-half of local production company Collapseable Studios, along with bassist Bill Reynolds (of bands DrugMoney and Robot). Yet Price notes that local musicians “value our opinion — they ask us which of their songs we like, which is flattering.”

It’s also essential for their relationship with the musicians they produce. As Reynolds explains, the pair must often “sort through people’s songs.

“They’ll bring in 30 songs,” he elaborates, “and you can only put 15 on a record, so you gotta be able to know: That’s a good song.”

Price and Reynolds have been sharing music for more than a decade now, first playing together at Appalachian State University in Boone, and later, in Asheville (where they became “serious,” they say, about producing).

Initial incarnations of the studio involved the frequent transportation of recording equipment from venue to venue, which often meant people’s living rooms. This early mobility inspired the studio’s name, which remains — and remains misspelled — even though Collapseable now enjoys a stable home in west Asheville.

The guys are happy about now having their equipment in a permanent space where the sonic atmosphere better suits their pop-loving aesthetics, rather than bouncing around to different living rooms, though Reynolds admits, “The houses were a lot of fun.”

For his part, Price mourns the absence of a kitchen, recalling the times they used “to make a really spicy stir fry in the middle of a session to get everybody’s blood flowing.”

Collapseable as it exists today was put together three years ago. Since then, Reynolds and Price have produced a wide range of local acts, from the thrashy pop grunge of DrugMoney to Smush Factor‘s hip-hop and The Unholy Trio‘s debauched honky-tonk, as well as a soundtrack to The Rebelles‘ burlesque-theater show.

Reynolds credits “the arsenal of songwriters in this town, the arsenal of awesome musicians and stuff” for inspiring the company’s creation.

“We kind of modeled ourself after Sun Records,” he claims, though he also admits that “there’s a lot of people behind us.

“It’s not just Aaron and I,” Reynolds declares. “There’s a lot of people helping us out, trying to make this thing happen.”

Frequently, he explains, “People will just come in with a guitar and a song, and then we’ll kind of conceptualize where it should go. We have a nice Rolodex of people we can just call up and say, ‘Come over here and play these drum parts.'”

For their upcoming anniversary show at The Grey Eagle on Wednesday, Oct. 8, Price says, “We want to … throw a party for everybody that’s helped us and put their trust in us, and also help out the artists by [promoting] their CDs they trusted us to help them make.”

Collapseable is also planning to debut a sampler of highlights from the studio’s archives.

“It’s been a crazy ride,” Price muses.

“There’s no stability to it,” he insists, the studio’s three years in one place notwithstanding. “Except [that] people just like the records.”

Collapseable Studios’ anniversary party happens at The Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave.; 232-5800) on Wednesday, Oct. 8. Admission is $5; showtime is 9:30 p.m. The evening will feature Collapseable recording veterans Menage, Dirt Merchants, Strut, DrugMoney, Robot, Boomerang, Gavra Lynn, Mad Tea Party, Ville Boyz, Hollywood Red, and Vendetta Cream.


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