Catherine Marks trained in one of the world's most demanding professions — then gave it all up to make tea in a studio...
"It feels like home, because I've been around this building for so long," says Catherine Marks of Assault & Battery Studio 2 in Willesden, North-West London. The facility has been her HQ since she joined as assistant to producer and co-owner Flood in 2005. In that time, she's engineered, produced and mixed dozens of projects in here, in her own small studio downstairs and in Assault & Battery 1, the SSL mix room down the hall. Her impressive list of credits to date includes records by Wolf Alice, the Killers, St Vincent, the Wombats and Foals.
Recently, Studio 2 has undergone a refurbishment, its Neve VR console replaced by a Cadac G-series. Flood and his business/production partner Alan Moulder bought the console from Radiohead, who first used it to record their 1997 landmark album OK Computer; prior to that, it had lived at Wessex Studios in North London, where it was employed on classic recordings by the likes of the Sex Pistols, Queen and the Clash.
"I've always loved the sound of that room," says Marks, gesturing towards Studio 2's live room. "But it was very wild, quite reflective. I always embraced that. But since the refurb, everything is a lot more controlled, 'cause there's big curtains at the back now and we've got curtains for all the windows. So you can still have the wildness, but I'm really starting to hear the sound of the room more. I like using a space and capturing the sound of the space, because that's sort of unique to the room that you're recording in. It becomes like another personality or another character for what you're recording."
Born in Melbourne, Catherine Marks studied piano from the age of four, and wrote and scored pieces for her school orchestra. "I don't know how I did that, because I would have no idea how to do that now!" she laughs. "I do...
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