Sphere Studios is leaving the UK for Los Angeles, Audio Pro International's sister title Music Week has reported.
Founder Francesco Cameli and his team have begun gutting the central London facility, which has attracted an array of big-name artists during its 13 years in business, including Queen, Genesis, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Mariah Carey and Muse. Adele’s record-breaking 21 was also recorded at Sphere.
“I’ve lived here for 33 years of my life now. I just find [the music industry in the UK] stale and stagnant,” Cameli told Music Week when asked about the move.
“A lot of what I enjoy doing – and a lot of what I built Sphere to do – is not really what the industry in this town [London] is interested in anymore, in so far as all the great organic recording seems to have moved elsewhere.
“It feels very much as though everything that comes through the door now needs to be as cheap as possible and people don’t really care whether it sounds any good because it doesn’t matter, almost.”
Cameli added that the decision was not for financial reasons, as the facility has performed very well in recent years, according to the studio's chief: “We’ve been busy. We have seven production rooms and they’ve been full 100 per cent of the time for 13 years,” he revealed.
The apparent lack of support available in the UK is another reason: “If you look at our client list, some of the biggest bands on the planet have been through here and yet in 13 years of trading we have not so much as once had a tip of the hat from the industry to say it’s a good place.”
Cameli will partner with a “big rock producer” in the US and will build the new Sphere from scratch. “We found a very nice, very big empty building and it’s perfect for shaping internally exactly as we want,” he stated.
The studios' founder did talk to several potential buyers in the UK but didn't receive a good enough offer.
“We’re a successful studio and we’re at the top of our game; we have been for a while,” he said. “I’m going to close the studio on my terms when we’re at the top of the curve rather than letting it rot. And the thought of handing it on to someone else and watching it rot from afar was not that appealing either.”
He has also not ruled out working with the UK music industry from LA in the future: “Anyone who wants to make a decent sounding record in a good room is more than welcome,” Cameli concluded.
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