Ryan Key, frontman for the band Yellowcard, launched a Kickstarter campaign on Friday, August 21, 2015. Already halfway to its goal to raise $75,000, the campaign is to help build The Lone Tree Recordings, a studio that he hopes will be the platform for the next step in his music career, as well as a place for other artists to start theirs. The link to the campaign can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lonetreerecordings/the-lone-tree-recordings
Key's beginnings in the music production business started with a simple email to the Yellowcard website in 2011. The email was from the band manager of Like Torches, an alternative rock band based in Sweden, looking to produce a new record and go on tour. Key and Yellowcard guitarist, Ryan Mendez, teamed up to produce the band's first record and that project ignited Key's passion for producing. In early 2015, Key recorded and produced the second Like Torches album on his own in Stockholm, Sweden. "Working with Ryan on our last two records has really helped us reach a new level," said Jonathan Kärn of Like Torches. "We feel like we've created a great sound that we are proud of and Ryan definitely helped us find it."
Key has had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the industry's best production talents, such as Neal Avron, Yellowcard's producer/mixer for more than a decade, and Erich Talaba, Yellowcard's Grammy winning engineer, both of whom have become mentors and supporters of this next pivotal step in Key's career and have the utmost confidence in his ability:
"After working on six Yellowcard albums, I can honestly say that Ryan Key is a true talent," said Avron (producer and mixer of Linkin Park, Weezer, Aerosmith, Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard). "I have watched Ryan successfully hone his techniques as a songwriter and now producer. Armed with these skills, Ryan truly has an innate sense for what a song needs."
"Ryan is an incredible talent that has cemented his status as a great artist, and now adds producer to his credits," adds Talaba (producer, mixer and engineer of Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, Sara Bareilles, Lost In Atlantis and Youmeatsix). "I have had the pleasure of working with him on many Yellowcard records as well as his own productions for other bands. The development of his production and engineering skills has made him an undeniable force in this industry. His ability to find the right path for a song and his production acumen helps create the best ideas to serve the song."
"Those guys [Avron and Talaba] are the inspiration for this project," said Key. "I learned everything I know about making records from them, so this is the first project I’m taking on as my own to inspire other artists like the two of them have inspired me."
The Lone Tree Recordings will be a professional studio in Nashville, with state-of-the-art equipment and hand-selected artists will get the chance to take their music to the next level. Once the studio is built, one of Key's goals is to bring his new musical side project, Will & The Whiskeymen, to life. The Lone Tree will be the place where their first Kickstarter, backer-exclusive EP is recorded. Every backer pledging $5 or more will receive a digital download of the first ever Will & The Whiskeymen song, “Wretched Heart.” Backers at the $30+ mark will receive an exclusive, backers-only EP from the band.
The funding sought for The Lone Tree will go solely towards the creation of The Lone Tree Recordings and the projects that the studio will produce. Key partnered with good friends at Adjective & Co., a branding and digital agency, on the other aspects of the project, including developing The Lone Tree brand, the Kickstarter campaign and an extensive range of rewards. There will be 19 different rewards, from a digital download of the first Will & The Whiskeymen track for $5 pledges, to having Key record an acoustic cover song of the backer's choice for a $1,000 pledge. Those who pledge $5,000 or more will have the chance to enjoy a 90-minute private acoustic set at the venue of their choice with up to 100 people. These rewards are all Key's way of saying thank you to those who are making The Lone Tree Recordings a reality.
"Having this studio will act as a classroom for me to continue learning and hopefully teaching others how to drive their career," Key said. "For over a decade, I've been lucky enough to learn music production from the best in the business. Now it's my turn to pay it forward and help other musicians who want to experience and enjoy the recording process as much as I do."
Go to thelonetreerecordings.com to back the project, or follow @thelonetreerecordings on Instagram and @thelonetreerec on Twitter to keep up with the Kickstarter's journey.