Unlocking the mysteries of garage rock with producer mastermind Owen Penglis

“I just sat with an old 4-track in my house for weeks and figured it out. At first it sounded shitty, so I just figured out how to make it sound cool, you know – the right kind of blown out.”

owen penglis

Owen Penglis leads the way through the sunlit courtyard of a sandstone mansion in the heart of Potts Point, Sydney, with me trailing behind, commenting drily on how this was not where I expected his personal studio to be. We make our way through a spacious lounge room and down some stairs and things begin to feel a little grittier.

We pass a drum kit crammed into a dark room, encircled by a tangle of cables and microphones, and enter a cool, quiet control room crowded with vintage instruments and recording gear. There’s a tape machine in the corner, a battered mixing desk at which Penglis takes a seat; along the walls are stacks of vintage amplifiers and obscure Japanese guitars. I take seat on a comfortable couch and register, for a moment, that this is where some of the best garage rock recordings to come out of Sydney in recent years were birthed. It’s a pretty humbling thought…

I spent some time with Owen in his personal studio space and was allowed a rare peek into his world of tape machines, garage rock and complete disregard for modern recording. This is just a snippet, the full article will be in Happy Mag # 1 – due out in January 2016. Be sure to subscribe to read the whole thing; he’s a pretty incredible dude.