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Behind The Desk with Allianz Musical Insurance: Romesh Dodangoda

As part of our series of interviews with producers in partnership with Allianz Musical Insurance – sponsors of the HMA19 Best Producer category – we are discussing career highlights, studio set-up and great advice with some of the finest producers operating in rock and metal today.

First off, we’re talking to Romesh Dodangoda. Based at his own Long Wave Studios in Wales, Romesh has worked with artists as diverse as Motörhead, Bring Me The Horizon, Funeral For A Friend, Kids In Glass Houses, Twin Atlantic, Bullet For My Valentine and Lower Than Atlantis.


What studio are you based at?
I have my own private studio in Cardiff, Wales called Long Wave. The facility is set up just for me with all my equipment so I can work here whenever I want and have access to all of my gear. I do however travel around a lot to different studios to work on records, it depends on the project.

How did you get started in music production?
I started about 17 years ago now. I was in a band and really loved being creative in the studio rather than actually being part of a band so I focussed on production and mixing and over the years it became a reality!

Could you give us an overview of your career?
I’ve been producing and mixing records now for a long time, mainly in the rock/pop/metal genres. My career started working with a lot of bands from the South Wales area and gradually after a while my production/mixing seemed to get popular and I started working with artists from all over the place. I’ve been really fortunate to get to work with some amazing artists over the years!

What have you been working on recently?
Last year I flew out to Los Angeles to record a new album with Bring Me The Horizon. We spent two months out there recording ‘amo’ which was such a great experience and it’s been amazing to see the success the album has brought.

What has been the proudest moment of your career as a producer?
Working on an album with Motörhead is pretty up there I would say. They are a legendary band with so much history so it was an honour to be involved. Finding out that ‘Mantra’ by Bring Me The Horizon had got them a Grammy Nomination and also getting the Number 1 UK album was a very special moment too!

What would you say are the pros and cons of owning your own studio?
The pros of owning my own studio is I can get in there, work on what I want, when I want and not be paying every day to hire a big studio somewhere. Obviously owning the studio costs me money with all the overheads of equipment, building, staff, insurance, bills etc but having one allows me to work at my own pace without it costing a lot of money with paying a daily rate to another studio. The cons are it costs a lot of money to run and to maintain. There’s always gear that needs looking at and fixing those things costs money. Obviously the studio uses a lot of electricity so bills can be quite high there. You have to make sure it’s secure as well. These costs add up!

What do you see as the biggest pitfalls when starting out as a producer?
People buying lots of expensive equipment before learning how to really use it properly is a common problem I see. I think it’s way better to start with limited equipment and learn how to make that sound really good. I think a lot of people when starting out will also try and do everything where sometimes, it’s better to send the track to someone with more experience to mix it perhaps.

What has been the most important technological advance you’ve seen in production since you started out?
I think just how far plugins have come since I started is mind blowing. I still have a massive collection of analog equipment because I love the sound it brings but it’s been crazy to see how close some software companies have got lately. Also it’s amazing how accessible all the tools have become.

How important is it to insure your equipment? Have you ever had to deal with theft or damage that required an insurance claim?
It’s massively important. All my equipment is very important to me and some of my gear dates back to when I first started out so I would be so heartbroken if anything ever happened to it. If you don’t insure your equipment it will always be too late when you need to make a claim. It’s best to just make sure you’re covered for everything. I have high security with my alarm also connected to the police for monitoring and CCTV that’s viewable off-site which helps peace of mind.

What is the best piece of production advice anyone has ever given you?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific thing but I have learnt so much from other producers over the years. In November last year, I decided to start an audio community at www.control-room.net which is full of incredible producers and mixers and it’s been really amazing to share and exchange production advice and ideas in there daily.

Finally, what one prediction would you make for music production in the next 10 years?
I think the way it’s going there’s going to be even more accessible production tools available to almost everyone. It’s really interesting to see how some people are fusing different genres together so it’s going to be very interesting to see where music is in the future!


You can find Romesh’s official website here, or follow him on Instagram right here.

Heavy Music Awards 2019 Finalists Announced

The finalists for the third annual Heavy Music Awards have been announced.

Following nominations from almost 600 industry insiders representing hundreds of organisations, the shortlists represent a true cross-section of tastes across all corners of the heavy music world. The public will now vote to decide the winners at vote.heavymusicawards.com.

HMAs co-founder Dave Bradley said, “We’re overwhelmed by the support the HMAs have received from the industry at large, and excited that the many hundreds of individuals who nominated have once again produced shortlists that show the strength and diversity of the heavy music landscape in 2019.

“The Heavy Music Awards are built around a philosophy of inclusion and positivity – we’re incredibly proud to promote that message, and we can’t wait to celebrate once again at the biggest HMAs yet on 22 August.”

 

Click here to vote now

 

Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday 27 June 2019. Winners will be announced at the O2 Forum Kentish Town, London, on 22 August.

Tickets to the Heavy Music Awards are free of charge. Voters are automatically entered in the ballot to win tickets.

 

Heavy Music Awards 2019
The Finalists

 

BEST ALBUM – Presented by EMP
Architects – Holy Hell (Epitaph Records, Produced by Dan Searle & Josh Middleton)
Black Peaks – All That Divides (Rise Records, Produced by Adrian Bushby)
Ghost – Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings, Produced by Tom Dalgety)
IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan Records, Produced by Space)
Judas Priest – Firepower (Epic, Produced by Tom Allom & Andy Sneap)
Parkway Drive – Reverence (Epitaph Records, Produced by George Hadjichristou)
Turnstile – Time & Space (Roadrunner Records, Produced by Will Yip)

BEST UK BAND – Presented by Spotify
Architects (Epitaph Records)
Black Peaks (Rise Records)
Bring Me The Horizon (RCA)
Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
Iron Maiden (Parlophone)
Judas Priest (Epic)
While She Sleeps (Sleeps Brothers / Spinefarm Records)

BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND – Presented by The Pit
Beartooth (Red Bull Records)
Behemoth (Nuclear Blast)
Ghost (Loma Vista Recordings)
Halestorm (Atlantic Records)
Parkway Drive (Epitaph Records)
Turnstile (Roadrunner Records)
Twenty One Pilots (Fueled By Ramen)

BEST LIVE BAND – Presented by O2 Forum Kentish Town
Architects (Epitaph Records)
Bring Me The Horizon (RCA)
Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
Fever 333 (Roadrunner Records)
Ghost (Loma Vista Recordings)
Parkway Drive (Epitaph Records)
Slayer (Nuclear Blast)

BEST UK BREAKTHROUGH BAND – Presented by Believe
Conjurer (Holy Roar Records)
Dream State (UNFD)
Holding Absence (Sharptone Records)
Parting Gift (Fearless Records)
Puppy (Spinefarm Records)
Sleep Token (Spinefarm Records)
Yonaka (Asylum Records)

BEST INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH BAND – Presented by Fireball
Alien Weaponry (Napalm Records)
Bad Wolves (Eleven Seven Music)
Fever 333 (Roadrunner Records)
MØL (Holy Roar Records)
Pagan (Hassle Records)
The Faim (BMG)
Vein (Closed Casket Activities)

BEST PRODUCER – Presented by Allianz Musical Insurance
Tom Dalgety
Romesh Dodangoda
Lewis Johns
Nick Raskulinecz
Andy Sneap
Dan Weller
Will Yip

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER
Derek Bremner
Thomas Lisle Coe-Brooker
Corinne Cumming
Paul Harries
Jennifer McCord
Tom Pullen
Ester Segarra

BEST FESTIVAL
2000 Trees, UK
Arc Tan Gent, UK
Bloodstock Open Air, UK
Download Festival, UK
Hellfest, France
Slam Dunk Festival, UK
Wacken Open Air, Germany

BEST ALBUM ARTWORK
Architects – Holy Hell (Epitaph Records, Artwork by Dan Hillier)
Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest (Nuclear Blast, Artwork by Nicola Samori)
Boston Manor – Welcome To The Neighbourhood (Pure Noise Records, Artwork by Josh Halling & Martin Ruffin)
Bullet For My Valentine – Gravity (Spinefarm Records, Artwork by Daniel Holub)
Don Broco – Technology (Sharptone Records, Artwork by Charlotte Smith)
Ghost – Prequelle (Loma Vista Recordings, Artwork by Zbigniew M. Bielak)
Judas Priest – Firepower (Epic, Artwork by Claudio Bergamin)

 

Click here to vote now

Spotify Partner with Heavy Music Awards

Streaming giant Spotify are now confirmed to sponsor the Best UK Band category at the third annual Heavy Music Awards.

Since Spotify’s launch in 2008, the audio streaming platform has championed both emerging and established artists across all corners of the heavy music spectrum. The platform has helped to grow audiences for thousands of artists and sponsoring this category at the Heavy Music Awards further demonstrates their commitment to the genre.

Heavy Music Awards co-founders Dave Bradley and Andy Pritchard expressed their excitement for the partnership which adds significant distinction to the category.

Dave said, “Last year, it meant a lot to us that Spotify’s Global Head of Rock, Allison Hagendorf, was able to attend to present an award at HMA18. This year, to grow the relationship with an official category sponsorship is all the more exciting.”

Spotify’s Bryan Johnson, Lead, Artist & Industry Partnerships said, “We’re delighted to team up with the Heavy Music Awards this year and sponsor the Best UK Band category – our first official partnership with the awards. The UK scene is in an incredibly exciting place right now and we can’t wait to see who takes the prize on the night. Good luck to all nominees!”

The Best UK Band category has been one of the most fiercely contested since the Heavy Music Awards began. Previous winners have been Black Sabbath in 2017, and Architects in 2018.

Moshhh Becomes Official Content Partner for HMA19

Kent media studio Moshhh has signed up to become the Official Content Partner for the third annual Heavy Music Awards.

Having built a reputation for high quality output in recent years with sessions for the likes of While She Sleeps, Holding Absence, Chapter & Verse and Delaire, The Liar, the Margate-based team will now work closely with the HMAs to bring interviews and live footage to fans throughout the evening as part of the HMAs’ digital-first approach for 2019.

Moshhh founder Charlie Ryan said, “We’re super stoked to be working with the Heavy Music Awards to bring coverage of this year’s event to heavy music lovers all over the world! We’ve long admired their dedication to supporting and recognising the very best heavy artists, and it’s a real privilege to be working with the team.”

HMAs co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “We’ve been following Moshhh’s growth for a long time and seen them raise the bar consistently. They’re progressive, passionate and knowledgable, and together we’ll now be able to reach a far greater audience as we push content live almost immediately, all evening. Our intention has always been to make the HMAs as inclusive as possible, and with our audience spread across the whole world this is a great way for us to bring as many fans to the party as possible. This is a really important step in growing the HMAs’ global engagement and we’re very excited to be taking it with Moshhh.”

You can take a look at some of Moshhh’s work below, and find out more about them here.

 

HMA19 Young Photographer of the Year – The Winner Is…

The Heavy Music Awards Young Photographer of the Year competition has reached its climax – following a record number of entries, judging by hugely respected professionals Corinne Cumming and Jennifer McCord, and thousands of votes from the public, we are excited to reveal that the winner is… Dan Mills!

It was Dan’s photo of Enter Shikari at Nottingham Rock City that sealed the victory – and with Dan having now bagged his prize of a photo pass for Download Festival in June, he will have the chance to shoot the band once more when they headline the Avalanche Stage. The festival will be giving Dan access to shoot throughout the weekend alongside some of the industry’s biggest names.

Having judged the entries alongside Corinne Cumming, Jennifer McCord said, “It was a really great experience judging the shortlist, there’s so many talented young photographers and it’s really exciting. Dan’s photo stood out to me immediately because I felt it captured the quieter moments of a Shikari show. Your eye is drawn to Rou immediately but the framing also brings in the crowd and gives an intimate sense of the performance. Plus I love the tonality in the edit!”

Check out the winning photo below and make sure you follow Dan Mills on Instagram right here.

 

HMA19 Young Photographer of the Year - Enter Shikari by Dan Mills

 

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Corinne and Jennifer for their time and expertise, and to Download Festival for giving us this incredible prize.

Congratulations to Dan on winning, and to his fellow finalists Chloe Ring, Adam Chandler, Benny Brown, Murry Deaves, Fraser Kerr and Jacob Powney – and of course thank you to everyone who entered and voted. YPOTY will be back in 2020!

Young Photographer of the Year 2019 Finalists Revealed

The finalists for the third edition of the Heavy Music Awards Young Photographer of the Year have been announced, having been judged exclusively by professional snappers Corinne Cumming and Jennifer McCord. To qualify, entrants needed to be aged 16-21 when entry closed at the beginning of March.

Public voting is now open to determine the winner, who will be invited to shoot Download Festival at Donington Park in June.

This year, in line with the HMAs’ mission to push forward and engage audiences in new ways, voting is taking place exclusively through Facebook Messenger.

To take part, simply click here and follow the prompts. The voting process takes less than a minute and requires no sign-up. Voting closes 22 April 2019.


The finalists are:

Murry Deaves
(Photo of Architects at O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester)

Dan Mills
(Photo of Enter Shikari at Rock City, Nottingham)

Benny Brown
(Photo of Parkway Drive at O2 Apollo, Manchester)

Fraser Kerr
(Photo of Twenty One Pilots at O2 Academy Brixton, London)

Chloe Ring
(Photo of Parkway Drive at Alexandra Palace, London)

Jacob Powney
(Photo of Estate at O2 Academy, Birmingham)

Adam Chandler
(Photo of Turnstile at The Globe, Cardiff)

 

Fireball Join HMA19 as Best International Breakthrough Band Sponsor

“What you have here is a smooth liqueur with whisky and a fiery kick of red hot cinnamon. Forged during one of the coldest Canadian winters on record, it tastes like heaven, burns like hell. What happens next is up to you…”

Fireball has signed up for the Heavy Music Awards 2019 as sponsor of the Best International Breakthrough Band category.

Fireball UK Brand Manager James Pattinson said, “We’re delighted to be fuelling the Heavy Music Awards in 2019. We’re big fans of what the HMAs are achieving in the heavy music scene – a real awards event by and for the people who make the scene so great, and are very happy to be supporting them.

“Having worked in this space for the last few years we felt a real brand alignment, so I’m looking forward to enjoying a couple of ice cold shots of Fireball at their kick-ass event at the O2 Forum in August with some of the most engaged music fans around!”

HMAs co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “We’re so excited to have Fireball joining the party for 2019 – they’re a brand that has built an undeniably strong link with heavy music over many years, and their approach to engaging with music fans in a positive way sits perfectly alongside our own. This partnership is another huge step forward for the Heavy Music Awards.”

The Best International Breakthrough category was won by Knocked Loose in 2018.

Find out more about Fireball at their website here and from all of us – whether it’s at the HMAs or any other time, please drink responsibly.

The Pit Returns for Third Year to Present Best International Band Category

Hugely popular rock and metal portal The Pit has returned to partner with the Heavy Music Awards for a third consecutive year, supporting the Best International Band category.

The Pit’s Matt Alioto said, “The Pit always looks forward to the Heavy Music Awards; we are excited to be involved in a night of heavy performances and heavier awards.”

HMAs co-founder Dave Bradley said, “The Pit has become a genuine force in the last few years, building a hugely engaged audience around the globe – and the team have always been a pleasure to work alongside. We’re very excited to expand our partnership with The Pit for HMA19 as we go bigger and better on all fronts.”

Best International Band was won in 2018 by Metallica, following victory for Gojira at the inaugural Heavy Music Awards in 2017.

You can find out more about The Pit right here.

Safe Gigs For Women Partner with HMAs for Third Year

Safe Gigs For Women – an initiative established by regular gig goers with the aim of creating a safer environment for women at live events – has partnered with the Heavy Music Awards for a third consecutive year.

The organisation, which has grown in stature since its inception in 2015, has welcomed support from a number of artists from several genres, and is hugely active in promoting a positive and accepting environment at all live shows.

SGFW’s Sarah Claudine said, “Safe Gigs For Women are proud to be partnering for a third year with the Heavy Music Awards and applaud their continued dedication to promoting a safer environment at shows and in the industry as a whole.”

HMAs co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “We try very hard to ensure the HMAs are helping where possible to promote positive change across the entire heavy music landscape – and Safe Gigs For Women are a massively inspiring organisation which shares that philosophy.

“We are proud to have played a small part in connecting SGFW with artists at previous HMAs, introductions that have evolved into meaningful partnerships, and we hope that can continue at HMA19 and beyond.”

You can find out more about Safe Gigs For Women here.

HMA x BIMM Class of 2019: Meet the Students

With BIMM returning as our Education Partner for a third consecutive year, we’re excited to introduce the four students who will take this journey with us through to the HMAs at the O2 Forum Kentish Town on 22 August. The students, who all study at BIMM London, will spend the next few months meeting with a number of incredible individuals throughout the music industry, to help them build their experience and their contacts.

The students are pictured above alongside BIMM’s Leo Nicholas. From left to right, they are…

Roberta Montagna

What are you studying at BIMM? Music Business.
What are the best things about studying at BIMM? The best things about studying at BIMM are the experienced tutors and the fact that everyone here lives and breathe music so you feel in your element.
What made you want to be involved with the Heavy Music Awards for 2019? Metal in my opinion it’s such a creative environment because it has many subgenres. It’s fascinating how it’s in constant development and growth and having awards for that it’s so great, being a part of this it’s such an opportunity.
What are your career aspirations? I’m a prospective artist manager and my vision would be to make metal more visible as a genre because it really deserves more attention.
If you could have dinner with one musician (from any time in history), who would it be? I’d love to have dinner with Mozart and ask his opinion on heavy metal.


Ceara Connacher

What are you studying at BIMM? Music Business.
What are the best things about studying at BIMM? The access and support of those in the music industry, along with learning how to navigate it.
What made you want to be involved with the Heavy Music Awards for 2019? I love the idea of recognising and appreciating metal music while also gaining experience in the music industry.
What are your career aspirations? I would like to work as a tour manager and would like to get more experience to cement this.
If you could have dinner with one musician (from any time in history), who would it be? Tyler Joseph, as 21 Pilots have been a big influence in my life.


Chloe Berrell

What are you studying at BIMM? Events Management.
What are the best things about studying at BIMM? BIMM is definitely unique to any other university in the amount of opportunities it provides for its students. I have been able to work with some amazing companies and people through the relationships I have built at BIMM and I am looking forward to achieving more in the future.
What made you want to be involved with the Heavy Music Awards for 2019? Since a young age, I have always had a strong passion for the genres of rock and metal. The Heavy Music Awards is a company that celebrates this type of music, which is why I wanted to be involved this year. I was also involved with the company last year as well and really enjoyed my experience so decided to jump at the opportunity again.
What are your career aspirations? At the moment, I don’t have a clear understanding of a specific career path that I would like to go down. This is why I plan to try as many roles as possible in the next few years to find out what path makes me the happiest and to discover what I’m best at. Overall, my career aspirations are to find a job that makes happy but is also challenging.
If you could have dinner with one musician (from any time in history), who would it be? Even though this may be a ‘cringey’ choice to some people, I would have to chose Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy. Fall Out Boy were the first emo band I listened to as a teenager and they helped me discover my identity. It would be nice to meet him on a personal level.


Shane Giess

What are you studying at BIMM? Music Business.
What are the best things about studying at BIMM? The facilities!
What made you want to be involved with the Heavy Music Awards for 2019? I have an opportunity to work alongside other lovers and supporters of heavy music!
What are your career aspirations? I would personally like to continue my work with my label MSH music group and to be able to work alongside causes such as the Heavy Music Awards.
If you could have dinner with one musician (from any time in history), who would it be? King Diamond.


We’ll be posting regular updates on the HMA x BIMM programme on our Instagram.

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