Matt Ross Spang, Engineer, Sun Studio, Memphis TN
Image caption: Matt Ross Spang, engineer on The Fluffy Jackets' Fighting Demons (2014). Copyright: Image can be used for FREE if the following caption is clearly displayed: "Image courtesy of The Fluffy Jackets".
Matt Ross Spang - Grammy Award winning engineer on The Fluffy Jackets debut
In 2011, Matt Ross Spang worked the engineer at the famous 1950’s Sun Studio in Memphis. He engineered The Fluffy Jackets recording, which featured vocalist/guitarist Helge Rognstad, guitarist Manny Charlton (Nazareth), bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake) and drummer Robert Hall (Jerry Lee Lewis & his Killer band). The Sun Studio sessions appeared on the award-winning Fluffy Jackets' album Fighting Demons (2014)
For six years Ross Spang got trained in the trade by the legendary James Lott, who was the chief engineer for Sun Studio for over twenty years. James Lott described Matt as “my right arm, the future of Sun, and a sponge who learns everything I know”.
Despite his young age and boyish looks, Matt has the know-how and experience of people many years his senior. He has already recorded with great artists including James Burton (the guitar player with Elvis Presley), Hubert Sumlin (guitar player of Muddy Waters) and Chris Isaak to mention a few. Matt has also worked with a number of top producers including the 12-time Grammy award winner T-Bone Burnett, Mark Needham, Jack Clement, JB Meijers and Jeff Powell.
Matt comments “Engineering at Sun Studio has had a considerable effect on the way I approach recording. Such a wide array of bands come to Sun looking for that special sound that I have, over time, learned how to tailor different styles and techniques to achieve what the artist and I agree as a "unique" sound. I find that a lot of the recordings you hear now lack "soul" and instead shoot for sterile perfectly in time/pitch record. I enjoy all types of music and like to use vintage gear and recording techniques which have limitations that I think help the artist pull more out of themselves than relying on todays computers to do it for them.
Talking about Sun Studio, Matt says “The room is unchanged from the fifties. This is the magic of the studio. It’s the same tile on the floor and same acoustic tile on the walls as when Elvis and Carl were here. It’s where Rock’n’Roll was created,” says Ross-Spang. “It looks old, it smells old and the room sounds fantastic.”
Image caption: Engineer Matt Ross Spang in conversation with Helge Rognstad (The Fluffy Jackets) at Sun Studio, Memphis TN, 2011. Copyright: Image can be used for FREE if the following caption is clearly displayed: "Image courtesy of The Fluffy Jackets".
Awards and recognition
Matt Ross Spang won his first award with The Fluffy Jackets, when their debut Fighting Demons was voted "Best Studio Album of the Year" by the listeners of the Blues Hour Radio show in UK and France in 2014. One year later, Ross Spang won a Grammy for Jason Isbell's "Something more than Fire" (2015), and in 2016 he was awarded the keys to the city of Memphis. He has since gone on to record many well known artists including Chris Isaak and The Rival Sons.
CLICK HERE to see a video of Matt Ross Spang – talking you trough the equipment he is using at Sun Studio.