Everyone had a life-changing moment at some point in 2020; for producer/engineer Jon Lundin, that instant came when $10,000 of concrete was dumped into his backyard. “That was the first step of the new studio—I poured all that concrete, so now I had to see it through,” he recalled with a chuckle.
For years, Lundin has steadily acquired new roles—frontman for alt-rock act Points North; recording engineer for 311, 5 Seconds of Summer, Atreyu and Good Charlotte; producer for acts like State Champs and Sleeping with Sirens; and co-writer with Against the Current and others. Now you can add “studio owner” to the list, thanks to his new facility, home to Pastel Recording Company, his production company since 2017.
After he bought a house in Van Nuys, CA, Lundin had studio plans drawn up in 2019, but the pandemic provided the extra push to finally bring the project to life. With Points North tours on hold, Lundin doubled down on everything else to pay the bills.
“I decided I had to drop every penny I got into this thing—because if I popped out the other side of the pandemic with the facility ready, I could come out swinging. I didn’t have money saved for it, but it didn’t stop me; my life’s creed is ‘If I can do something, I’m going to do it. I’ll figure it out.’ And I did.”
Lundin got hands-on with the building process, working with Christian Ustarroz, now of studio construction company Nyback Builds. Based around a 14×20-foot control room, similarly sized live room, hallway and bathroom (the latter of which he sold his car to pay for), the studio is outfitted with Argosy studio furniture; PMC twotwo8 and Yamaha NS10 studio monitors; a pair of UA Apollo 16 Thunderbolt 2 I/Os; and a rack island outfitted with tools like an SSL XLogic G Series Compressor; two Empirical Labs EL8 Distressors; a DW Fearn VT-1; units from BAE and more. An ample mic locker features usual suspects from AKG, Telefunken, Sennheiser and Neumann, and there’s plenty of respectable instruments on-hand as well.
Gearing up to return to the road with Points North, Lundin plans to book the studio in his absence, too, ensuring that the facility he put so much work into will stay busy: “Building it was stressful, especially when it’s 1 a.m., you haven’t eaten, you’re putting up insulation and have mineral wool raining down into your throat. There really is blood, sweat and tears in these walls!”