One of the 90s most impressive new US rock production teams, Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade were pronounced ‘rulers of the underground’ by Billboard magazine in 1995. They had earned this description with a remorseless working schedule, which had seen them allied to Hole, Dinosaur Jr, Big Dipper, Radiohead, Juliana Hatfield, Uncle Tupelo, Tripmaster Monkey, Paw, Family Cat, Buffalo Tom, Atom Seed and others. Individually, Kolderie was responsible for production on work by Morphine, Connells, Firehose, Lemonheads, Pixies, 10, 000 Maniacs and Throwing Muses; while Slade has worked with Buffalo Tom, 360’s and Cold Water Flat. The latter were the first act signed in a new production deal between MCA Records and Fort Apache, the well-known label and studio complex in Boston, Massachusetts, founded by Kolderie and Slade in an abandoned laundry in 1986. They had met in the mid-70s when students at Yale University and formed the punk band Sexexecs, before drifting to Boston because of its music scene. There they soon became the only studio outlet for alternative bands, gradually attracting an increasing number of high profile clients. The secret of the duo’s success would seem to lie in their teamwork, as both are able to handle either the producer or engineer’s role. ‘The French word for producer is ‘‘réalisateur’’, and that’s a pretty good definition of what we do. We ‘‘realize’’ artist’s songs.’ Another important aspect of their approach is the use of vintage studio equipment. The complex is jointly owned nowadays by Juliana Hatfield’s manager Gary Smith and Billy Bragg, who obtained his stake from original proprietor Joe Harvard. Having sold their concern Kolderie And Slade are instead directors of a company entitled Prodco.
Share this page