Eric Westfall

Recording Engineer / Producer / Mixer

Eric Westfall began his recording career in 1980, starting out, actually, working as an intern doing construction at a not-yet-openned studio in Hollywood, CA, City Recorders.  The "pro-bono" work paid off however, by the time the studio was finished nearly every other intern had quit.  Eric was now a recording engineer.

Eric was soon recording demos for the likes of Moon Calhoun (Rufus) and records for a number of punk bands including the Angry Samoans.  City Recorders' business model (trading studio time for cocaine) was a bit flawed, and within two years the studio closed.  Eric then began a stint as an assistant at Mad Hatter, a semi-private studio owned by Chick Corea.  The bright spot for him during this period was a chance to work with David Lindley and El Rayo X under the tutelage of engineer Carl Peterson, 'the grandfather of dub.'  In '84, when offered a chance to record with Christian Death and accompany them on a European tour, Eric left his assisting gig and jumped into the Goth scene.  The two records he recorded and co-produced with the group, 'Catastophe Ballet' and 'Ashes,' were the last "authentic" Christian Death recordings, as Rozz Williams, the singer and only original member in that line-up, left the band following the L.A. 'Ashes' recordings.

Eric subsequently took a seat behind the board at Mad Dog Studios, owned by friend and fellow engineer Dusty Wakeman.  This was 1986 and the alternative movement was heating up.  Previously a live-house where the Doors often played in the 60's, Mad Dog (at its original Venice, CA location) was a funky little joint that attracted bands working on low budgets.  Eric worked furiously pumping out records for the indy-labels, notably 'Kill Tunes' by the Leaving Trains and a few early Giant Sand records.  Two of the three records that appeared on Spin Magazine's 'Top 80 Records of the 80s' list that were recorded and produced (or co-produced) by Eric were done at Mad Dog -- 'Kill Tunes' by the LeavingTrains and 'Storm' by Giant Sand.  (The third was the much heralded 'Lambent Flame' by Black Sun Ensemble, recorded at Control Center in L.A.'s Korea-town.)

Hooking up with Howe Gelb, singer-songwriter and center-piece of Giant Sand, drew Eric to the desert.  While commuting to L.A. from his new base in Tucson, Eric fell into projects with Arizona artists the Sidewinders (mixing 'Witchdoctor' and recording, mixing and co-producing 'Aunti Ramos' Pool Hall'), the Gin Blossoms ('Dusted'), more records with Giant Sand (and its alter ego, the Band of Blacky Ranchette) as well as hosting a blistering pair of weekends during which he recorded and mixed (actually, most of the tracks went direct to 2-track so the recording and mixing were done simultaneously) 30-plus songs with the late blues-genius Rainer Ptacek, half of them with his band, Das Combo, and the rest solo material.  One album's worth of those sessions, titled 'the Westwood Sessions,' was finally released in 2007.

In '89 Eric moved to New York and began working with David Frank as his staff engineer at Science Lab Studios in New York.  The following year found him in Tokyo, working under contract for the Japanese hit-maker, Being Co., during which time he recorded an album for Loudness.  When his contract ran out Eric returned to L.A. and, while working with producer Albhy Galuten (Bee Gees, Jellyfish), began building a studio east of downtown, 'the Chili Factory.'  Armed with a classic Trident A-Range, Eric produced several records that included 'California Police State' (Sexy Death Soda) inhouse, while elsewhere he produced and recorded 'Dwarf Star' and 'New Improved Pain' with Chris Cacavas and the well received 'Homemade Blood' with Chuck Prophet.

Eric's Japan experience wasn't over.  He got a call and did some recording and mixing in Los Angeles for hide (pronounced hee-day), a guitarist in the band X who was launching a solo career and who would quickly become one of the top-selling artists in Japan.  Eric recorded hide's 2nd and 3rd records ('Psyence' and 'Ja, Zoo') as well as numerous singles, most of which reached Oricon Magazine's top-ten (if not #1 spot).  Suddenly Eric was "in demand" in Japan.

This turn of events eventually led to Eric to (with reluctance) close his studio, pack his things and move to Japan.  Between 2001 and 2010 he recorded and/or mixed a boatload of records, many of which charted high there and which included a number of recordings with Kimura Kaela, all of which charted in the Oricon top-ten.  He is also proud of the mixing he did for Olivia Lufkin.

Eric returned to the states late in 2010.  He currently resides in Tucson, Arizona and of late has been working with local singer-songwriters Chris Burroughs, Gabrielle Rubin, Chris Holiman and Joe Peña, while continuing to mix for Japanese clients as well at his new location on E. Grant Road.

© Eric Westfall 2018