Sound Farm Studio & Recording Environment is a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) full-service recording studio and production facility with an attached residence located in Jamaica, Iowa. The owner, Matt Sepanic, who is also a producer and engineer worked with Slipknot
In the first half of 2008, the heavy metal band Slipknot spent four months recording their fourth album, All Hope Is Gone, at the Sound Farm in Jamaica, Iowa. The album was largely produced and engineered by Dave Fortman (Evanescence , Mudvayne), but Matt Sepanic was at the helm for a few tracks. The band also filmed the video for their first single off the album, Psychosocial (song), at Sound Farm…
Here’s what Clown said about Sound Farm:
“We have a good friend who owns some land, just under eight acres,” Crahan says. “His place is called Sound Farm.
“It’s about 40 minutes from home. It was a pleasure. I would leave and come back and sleep next to my wife. The vibe that I had to leave and go to L.A. and do this thing called ‘record making’ because that’s supposedly where we’re suppose to do it, and pay my mortgage while I’m sitting in an apartment waiting to do my parts — are you fucking kidding me? If I had to do another record in L.A…. fuck, man, I don’t know. I probably just would have left because I’m tired of it. I don’t need it. I don’t need what comes with it.
“Now when it came down to business, it was like, ‘I’m getting up at 10 a.m., I’m getting in the shower, I’m driving out to the farm, I’m laying down some parts, I’m getting on my RM250, I’m riding around, I’m looking at cows, I’m fishing, I’m shooting bottle rockets, I got my kids out and I’m back home in my own bed.’ It was the shit. I just lived it up, bro. I had the best time, and it was so close to home.”
Sound Farm Promo Video
Excerpt from Revolver Magazine
Revolver arrives at Sound Farm to find the main studio building humming like a beehive. Jones, silent and self-contained as ever, is locked away in an upstairs room creating new samples; downstairs, Crahan is busily typing away on a computer, while the band’s onsite crew is cooking up a feast of grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and corn on the cob. “This is why I’ve probably gained 10 pounds since we started working here,” laughs Root, as he digs into the main course. Upon finishing his repast, the affable guitarist heads to the control room, where he joins Gray and Fortman to work on “Dead Memories,” a track whose soaring chorus rivals Vol. 3’s “Duality” for sheer anthemic brilliance. Gray, who’s apparently written the bulk of the song’s music, wants Root to add a guitar filigree to a passage before the final chorus, though he’s not entirely sure what exactly he wants Root to play. The bassist and guitarist trade ideas for over an hour, while Fortman looks on patiently.
“You can’t rush genius,” the producer laughs, as Gray and Root finally head to the isolation booth to mess around with some amp settings. “If it was anyone else telling Jim what to play, I would have shut this down awhile ago. But this one is kind of Paul’s baby, and it’s the first time they’ve ever come up with a song with one of those classic four-chord choruses. That’s what it takes, man—someone to write things that you can grab on to. The history of music is built on simple things that people can understand, stuff that’s straight, easy to remember, and then will bash you in the face. And these dudes are just incredible at doing that.”
As Gray and Root try out several different guitar pedals, Crahan suddenly appears at Revolver’s side and motions for us to come with him. Crahan, in his inimitable fashion, has refused to be interviewed about the new album (“It’s not time yet for the Clown to talk,” is all he’ll say into our tape recorder), but there’s still something he wants us to know about. After leading the way along the muddy path from the main studio building to the home of Sound Farm proprietor Matt Sepanic, Crahan sits us down in front of a ProTools rig and proceeds to play us a number of jaw-dropping tracks. Some, like “Dirge” and the tentatively titled “Moth,” are beautifully rendered, deeply disturbing works that fall somewhere in the cosmic canon between Radiohead, early-’70s Pink Floyd, and The Silence of the Lambs; others, like “Chapter One, The Eleventh March,” are more fragmentary but equally creepy—basically, it’s the stuff of cough syrup nightmares.
As it turns out, the entire time the band has been recording brutal, state-of-the-art Slipknot music in the main studio with Fortman, a satellite group—comprising Taylor, Root, Wilson on keyboards, and Crahan on full drum kit—has been working with Sepanic to create these arty, more oblique pieces. One sonic experiment even involved sticking Taylor halfway down an old well on the Sound Farm property. (“There was this gnarly fucking natural reverb to it that was just intense,” Taylor enthuses.) “I’ve been in here almost every day,” says Root of Sepanic’s home studio. “I’ve always wanted to make music like this.”