Nick Kinnish

By Tom Aylott

PT recently caught up with Nick Kinnish from Serafina Studios to talk bands, labels and the UK scene. Nick’s worked with some of the finest bands in the UK, and if you’re into your post-hardcore/mathcore/BSM rock, you’ve likely heard some of the stuff he’s recorded….

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re doing:

Well for the last 5-6 years I’ve been recording and producing bands in various places but mostly out of Serafina Studios, which is a small independent recording studio in Eastbourne that I have more or less managed for the majority of that time.

You recently moved your studio a few miles across the South East from Eastbourne to Lewes. What were the reasons for the move?

Well the opportunity to work out of Harvest Hill came totally out of the blue. I got asked if I was interested in helping with the design and build of the place and couldn’t say no! It differs in a lot of ways from the other studio I use. I guess it’s more what you’d expect a professional recording studio to look like, in terms of space and the atmosphere of the whole place.

What really attracted me to it was having the chance to work without any time constraints or interruptions, being able to leave everything setup the whole time and having the space for the bands to be able to stay here the whole time and focus hard on the recording. On top of that the gear list of the place is just fantastic and should allow me to get the best out everything I do, without any battles with poor equipment.

What bands are you working with at the moment?

Over the last few weeks I’ve had Blakfish in demoing their new album, Bad For Lazarus doing a split EP with Rodeo Death Burger and my good pals Let’s Talk Daggers all trying out the new studio. Hopefully this year I will be doing a Throats album, and we’re in a few talks with various different people and bands about flying in from the states to do some work here, so pretty exciting right now.

Who have been your favourite bands that you’ve worked with so far, and why?

That’s tricky, I guess I’ve always enjoyed working with most of them, there’s certainly some bands I’ve vowed never to work with again though, but it’s usually nothing personal. It’s always good when you get along well with everyone, the ones that come to mind recently are Part Dinosaur, Run,walk and Throats. All are really nice guys to work with.

What bands and labels (apart from the ones you’ve worked with, are you excited about in the UK at the moment?

That’s kind of hard to think about, label-wise without sounding too ostentatious I’ve worked with a lot of UK labels and it’s hard to pick ones out that I haven’t done some kind of work with off the top of my head.

Band-wise I saw Hang The Bastard the other night and they where seriously punishing! Any band that screams off mic “Slaaaayyyeeeer” during a track gets a thumbs up from me. I’m also a fan of Lady and The Lost Boys, I listen ot their 1st EP a lot and it’s sublime.

As lots of bands, signed and unsigned, are releasing music in different ways at the moment- what do you think is the best way for a new band to get as many people listening to them as possible?

I’ve always felt that in all honesty that no matter what development there will be terms of how people get hold of music, the most sure-fire way of earning a dedicated fanbase is touring and doing it a lot. And I’m fairly sure it’s always going to be that way, I’m a firm believer that if you have to put the hard work in to achieve something, you can’t just sit there waiting for your songs to sell, you have to take to people, and network your ass off. And it clearly works, a prime example is Blakfish, I heard from someone they did something like 300 shows last year, and they seem to building a really strong following now, and you can’t help but agree they have definitely earned it!

What’s your opinion on the strength of the UK scene at the moment, and what can you see happening over the next few years? Do you see the role of the record label changing?

I think there’s a lot of really cool stuff happening over here, even if it is small scale. There’s been a huge change in the way that labels seem to be working now a days, I like that some of them are doing all they can to keep physical media sellable, doing short runs and limited editions of records/prints, that’s really cool and for me puts an added value to actually owning the vinyl or cd.

You have to admire the small labels in the UK; they’re real assets to our industry and work ceaselessly promoting their acts, then have to give them away to a multinational label with more money! It must be rewarding yet gutting all at the same time.

The thing that is great for me about the UK scene is it’s tightly knit, and everyone seems to know one another some how even if they don’t know it! It’s like an extended family if you want to put it more romantically.

What would be your advice to people that are interested in becoming producers?

I get asked this question a lot, and to be honest I myself still ask people the same thing. Ill try and keep it short though!

Start small – you can always go big later. Value your skills and don’t feel you have to be cheaper than anyone else, there’s a certain security in paying for something properly (for both you and your bands).

Try to do something new every day and try something that didn’t work before again. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with bands and tell them you want to work with them and talk to everyone you can and read everything you can, you can never stop learning!

For bookings contact –

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]