27 – Matt Allison of ATLAS STUDIOS (Alkaline Trio, Lawrence Arms, Menzingers, The Arrivals!)

Matt Allison of Atlas Studios is Camera shy… Why not look at a hot photo of his boards instead! If this was MTV Cribs, this would be where the magic happens!


Buddies! I’ve never had as magical a time as I’ve had in Chicago for Riot Fest 2012. But today’s episode is not about the adventure I had, but one of the Chicago specific heroes I met on my adventure.

I’ve been following the works of Matt Allison since I was 16 or 17 years old. It all started when I picked up a copy of BEN IS DEAD magazine or FLIPSIDE, don’t ask me which, because I do not remember now, in my early 30’s. I ordered a record by a then little known band called THE BROADWAYS. The Broadways would break up and soon spawn The Lawrence Arms, but not before introducing me to SLAPSTICK, TUESDAY, and ALKALINE TRIO.

Matt Allison at the time was just a young hungry music producer/engineer, but of my youth and many like my own, he was the man behind some of my favorite records. He was the man who recorded Alkaline Trio’s Goddammit. He recorded The Lawrence Arms “Apathy and Exhaustion.” He is responsible for such modern day miracles such as Smoke Or Fire’s “This Sinking Ship” to The Menzingers’ “Chamberlain Waits” and “On The Impossible Past.”

Matt Allison is the Duke of Chicago Punk Rock Royalty and he let me into his Kingdom. He let me walk around the place that he holds court and allowed a little man like me access to the man that would be king.

Of course I am over selling it all. Allison is only responsible for some of the most influential punk rock records of the last 15-20 years, but he’s humble, and awestruck with his success.

I have never been luckier than I was the day that Matt Allison allowed me to join him inside Atlas Studios. I had gotten lost, I was sweating profusely, I was loosing my voice, and I was in my own punk rock Mecca. Matt took me in and comforted me, welcomed me into his home. He was quiet and reserved, but not shy. He’s just not use to being the center of attention. He’s normally the guy who takes the attention and accents it with his magical tools.

We sat in the lounge of ATLAS STUDIOS and talked of many things. Among those things we talked about, we touched on mostly the following subjects:

  • What Matt Allison wanted to be when he grew up.
  • How he went from being a Guitar player to engineer.
  • Recording Uncle Tupelo’s FIRST Demo and setting them on the path to stardom with Wilco.
  • Opening up his own studio and why ATLAS.
  • How one hears music after recording it for so long.
  • How much music does one listen to after recording all day long.
  • The art of getting bands to play their best
  • How he feels about his mark on modern day punk rock
  • His favorite recordings of the year
  • Where does Atlas go from here!

For more information on Matt Allison and Atlas Studios please visit:

Today’s episode includes music from:
Masked Intruder – Self titled. Available now on Red Scare Records. 

The Broadways (Featuring Brendan Kelly of Lawrence Arms) – Broken Star. Available on Asian Man Records.

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