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Allowing Drugs In the Studio
Old 13th January 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
noah nelson's Avatar
 

Allowing Drugs In the Studio

As artists many of you have run into people who use drugs/ alcohol in and out of the studio and many of you probably use drugs.
I am a drinker, 23, I do not do smoke or do other drugs but many of my friends and family do. I have a personal "vendeta" where I do not do drugs because of the loss of a family member. I do not have anything against marijuana, shrooms, thizz cocaine or any other drug for a once in a while, i just choose not to do it.
Many of my clients smoke weed openly (and probably other drugs a bit more on the down) and frankly I dont care if they roll up in my room as long as they step outside to smoke so they dont **** up my mic!
My problem is that because many new clients smoke the first things they ask when recording is if I smoke and want to blow with me. When I politely tell them no, they "back off" and this is terrible. for recording. Vibe is such a crucial issue for me in the studio-I know it makes a track better having guys comfortable and I'd rather have them have everything go there way before performing.
I was wondering if anybody has any "life advice" on how to make people more comfortable or if I should just tell people no.
Or on the flip side just smoke the blunt when people offer it and shuttup lol
/

+If anybody has any funny stories about people getting on i i always enjoy stories
Old 13th January 2015
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
noah nelson's Avatar
 

lolol i feel like such a weenie posting this
Old 13th January 2015
  #3
RTR
Lives for gear
 
RTR's Avatar
don't feel like that... I have not drank or done any drugs in 11 years, and I don't care to deal with drunk people, or smell nasty weed in my spot...so I don't allow it...but I am a heavy cigarette smoker!

want a funny story?

My friend was in my studio to record a rap, he was complaining he was out of weed...and took a friendly shot at me because i DON'T smoke...so I offered him a suboxone, which i take because I am a recovering opiate addict after a car crash,..anyway...he says he wants one and thinks since his bomb weed is the **** he can handle anything...10 minutes after taking it I look over, his head is down, the pad of paper falls out of his hands, he CRAWLS to the bathroom and pukes for 20 minutes, my wife had to drive him home and he was in bed sick for 3 days...lol...so much for his strong chronic bull****....bwahahahahaa. had to tell his wife he had the flu...lol

Last edited by RTR; 13th January 2015 at 01:50 PM..
Old 13th January 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
First, you have an obligation to your family, yourself, and your livelihood. Protect your interests first and foremost. Be a man. Laydown the law, and let your clients know up front they are to respect your space, time, and home. That studio space is part of your home. You don’t have to explain or apologize for anything. At most tell them you don’t care what they do in their homes on their own time. You’re not judging, but having that **** in your space is a liability for you. You’re not going to their house and pushing whatever vices you have on them; so, why should you feel bad for having values and protecting your interests?

I don’t have a problem with guys smoking cigarettes on the back side of my house (not in the studio of course). However, I do not allow drugs of any type whatsoever. Because I have three small children and a wife to protect I also vet people before inviting them over.

Again, I have no personal or moral hang up with people smoking pot. Personally, I think it should all be legalized, but the sad reality is that it’s illegal in all but a couple states. It can be indicative of a bad element, and it can also put you at risk for criminal charges. You’re doing the right thing but in a bit of the wrong way. Stand your ground, and don’t be apologetic.

Chris
Old 13th January 2015
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Just say you need to concentrate on what your doing to make them sound the best you can and save time.
Old 13th January 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
big yes !

I always go for the leftovers of my clients !
Old 13th January 2015
  #7
FYI: Alcohol is considered a harddrug, because of it's addictive and destructive properties. Withdrawal symptomes are worse than those of heroïne.

Of course it's anyone's prerogative to decide what goes and doesn't in their studio. I see a studio as a place where creative work is being done.
If a singer can relax smoking a little spliff, I'd ask her politely to do that outside, not next to the microphone. heh
Same goes for the idiot that parks a half full glass of beer on the modular synth. It's not a table!
For the rest it's anyone else's business. heh
That's my personal view, of course.
Tales? Hazy man.... hazy memories
Old 13th January 2015
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Sounds like he's not against them doing it, just that it ruins the vibe if he declines.

Personally, just decline politely and say something like "Oh no thanks, I don't hear **** right when I'm baked" or something like that, or even offer up an after-session drink, "Oh no thanks, go right ahead, but I'll have a drink with you after we wrap up!" or something like that.

Bet producer I worked with would only smash coffee and pizza while we were tracking/ mixing, but after each session we'd share in another type of session or a drink or two to wind down. Never gave a bad vibe.

I wonder if the 'stigma' in your location has anything to do with it? ie. Up here in Canada where I am it's more accepted by non-users than other placed I've been, so maybe they are seeing your 'no' almost like a threat or judgement?
Old 13th January 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I wouldn't want them smoking (anything) around the equipment, or using the console as a cupholder…or doing lines off the console, or whatever imaginative drug scenario you can come up with. And forgive me for being a square, but I generally can't stand it if I'm in the same room as someone smoking/burning incense/etc, it gives me a headache.

But, I have no problem with them doing it outside or in a separate room, so long as they aren't bringing any trouble with it (dumb buddies that have nothing to do with the session, acting crazy, attracting police…)…just can't expect me to participate. I've never had anyone lose their vibe or whatever because I won't smoke with them.

I would assume that any reasonable client should understand and I don't know why any of them would show up expecting to treat you and the studio with anything less than at least respecting your house rules. I wouldn't expect to be able to show up at someone's house and just smoke anywhere I want, do lines in their kid's bedroom…etc…being a paying client doesn't give them the right to do whatever they want.
Old 13th January 2015
  #10
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steveswisher's Avatar
 

A handjob might help them to relax and feel more comfortable.heh
Old 13th January 2015
  #11
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Silent Sound's Avatar
Just tell them you don't smoke before a session because it messes with your ears. Then tell them "maybe later, when we're done". By then, if they ask you again, come up with another excuse. That way, it seems like you do get high, but you're just not doing it right now. Sometimes potheads get paranoid about stupid stuff. I've got a friend with a studio who does this. He actually has a bag of pot in his studio for clients who like to smoke, but didn't bring any. He, however, doesn't do any drugs harder than caffeine.

Of course, it is your studio. You make the rules.
Old 13th January 2015
  #12
Pot smoking is illegal in NY, so I don't allow it. If someone want's to drink, I won't stop them, fortunately most people who record here get that it's hard to do your best work stoned.
Old 13th January 2015
  #13
You can allow drugs if you want to loose everything. A guy in the Twin Cities a few years back had cops come storming in his studio where clients had drugs in their possession. The cops proceeded to rip out gear, take mics, anything they could get loose easily and carted it away. All legal for them to do under draconian drug war laws still on the books. They can "presume" the studio gear was acquired from drug money. They don't have to prove that either. Oh, and if anyone has any cash in their pockets or in the studio anywhere, they can and probably will take that as well.
Old 13th January 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
boombapdame's Avatar
 

Tell them outright that if they want to do drugs, there's no shortage of dens of ill repute and a studio is not, should not be, and will not be turned into such.
Old 13th January 2015
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
First, you have an obligation to your family, yourself, and your livelihood. Protect your interests first and foremost. Be a man. Laydown the law, and let your clients know up front they are to respect your space, time, and home. That studio space is part of your home. You don’t have to explain or apologize for anything. At most tell them you don’t care what they do in their homes on their own time. You’re not judging, but having that **** in your space is a liability for you. You’re not going to their house and pushing whatever vices you have on them; so, why should you feel bad for having values and protecting your interests?

I don’t have a problem with guys smoking cigarettes on the back side of my house (not in the studio of course). However, I do not allow drugs of any type whatsoever. Because I have three small children and a wife to protect I also vet people before inviting them over.

Again, I have no personal or moral hang up with people smoking pot. Personally, I think it should all be legalized, but the sad reality is that it’s illegal in all but a couple states. It can be indicative of a bad element, and it can also put you at risk for criminal charges. You’re doing the right thing but in a bit of the wrong way. Stand your ground, and don’t be apologetic.

Chris
Totally with you here. My studio is in my basement and I have three small kids too. The ironic part is I live in Colorado where weed is legal and I specialize in Reggae production. But get this, I don't smoke! And have never done drugs or been a drinker outside of the occasional glass of wine. How's that for uncomfortable vibes? Lol. But I've learned how to not be judgemental. I don't mind folks coming to sessions high as long as they don't waste my time. It's the norm in my genre. I do stand firm that there is no smoking in my house and I think the fact that I have three kids and the studio is in the house lends a sense of seriousness to my request. One interesting thing I've noticed though. I've never met a musician who could play better high than sober. Even though they ALL "think" they can. But my experience says it's a myth. I guess I'm a bit of a "buzzkill". See what I did there? ;0)
Old 13th January 2015
  #16
Gear Addict
 
T.V. Eye's Avatar
 

In the end it´s a totally personal decision you have to take there. But what I think is:

- If you don´t want drugs in your place, make it clear to them without a doubt, even if you risk to loose a client now and than.

- If you don´t mind drugs in general but don´t want to be involved at all, just tell them what´s OK for you and what not (like "no beer on the console" or "no smoking in front of the expensive mic" or whatever"). It´s not like in the old day where at least "legal drugs" - alcohol and cigarettes - have been consumed nearly everywhere by everyone and his dog. On the streets, in club, restaurants, bars, on the train, in the office, on tv-shows, you name it. So if the musicians are not total freaks, I guess they will already appreciate if it´s not forbidden completely at your place.

And if you worry you could destroy a good "vibe", you could even join them outside when they smoke for a chat now and then. Just tell them you don´t do it yourself - or at least not when you have to work because the the results would suffer. I guess that will give them the feeling that it´s cool with you, and the "vibe" should be fine.
Old 13th January 2015
  #17
Clients imbibing has never bothered me. Provided they keep it out of the control room. No smoking in the studio rule still applies.

It's their session. Hopefully it enhances, rather than damages, what they are attempting to accomplish musically.
Old 13th January 2015
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah nelson View Post
...I was wondering if anybody has any "life advice" on how to make people more comfortable or if I should just tell people no....
I think 'sharing with the group' is the key here...partaking in the circle; it's an age-old ritual that bonds men together...smoking the peace pipe. Given what you've outlined I'd thank the offerer of said herb and explain that being straight is an important part of the recording 'ritual' and it shows respect for the clients music tradition (or words to that effect).
Old 13th January 2015
  #19
Gear Addict
If it's your studio, you are the boss.

Normally, casually declining and being cool about it helps with the vibe. I wouldn't mind people smoking weed out in the garden, but I just won't allow hard drugs anywhere near my house. So if they want to get buzzed, they can do it elsewhere. I just don't have the patience for someone jacked up on blow.
Old 13th January 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
 
guitarboy94's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame View Post
Tell them outright that if they want to do drugs, there's no shortage of dens of ill repute and a studio is not, should not be, and will not be turned into such.
What she said. I think it's ridiculous to allow a client to pressure you into illegal activity in YOUR studio. I"d tell them to take a hike if they're coming to the studio to do anything other than record music, which is what you're being paid to do.

Last edited by guitarboy94; 14th January 2015 at 02:59 AM..
Old 13th January 2015
  #21
@ Noah
Don't worry about it. If you're not comfortable with something it will effect your vibe and work anyway or it will effect theirs if they aren't comfortable.

Look at all the studios both home and commercial that are broken into and robbed.

I can bet that the person who did it was a client. Even worse they'll still come over and record as if they knew nothing about it. Two types of people steal gear.

1) Shady artists who would rather not pay for gear or services and figure that this is an easy route to persue their music.

2) Alcoholics/ Drug addicts who screw up every other aspects of their lives and need quick money to compensate.

That's not saying every person who smokes or drinks is that way. However being smart about who you deal with is just good business sense.

The few times I've been a lit in the studio I've done great with the creative parts such as writing and creating the beat. On the other hand the technical part (vocal performance, mixing) always suffered and had to be redone the next session.

The artist hears it the next day and think it's subpar and mmaybe working with you was a mistake. A producers job is to bring the best out of an artist and that may mean that you need to help steer the environment in a certain direction.
Old 13th January 2015
  #22
@ Noah
Don't worry about it. If you're not comfortable with something it will effect your vibe and work anyway or it will effect theirs if they aren't comfortable.

Look at all the studios both home and commercial that are broken into and robbed.

I can bet that the person who did it was a client. Even worse they'll still come over and record as if they knew nothing about it. Two types of people steal gear.

1) Shady artists who would rather not pay for gear or services and figure that this is an easy route to persue their music.

2) Alcoholics/ Drug addicts who screw up every other aspects of their lives and need quick money to compensate.

That's not saying every person who smokes or drinks is that way. However being smart about who you deal with is just good business sense.

The few times I've been a lit in the studio I've done great with the creative parts such as writing and creating the beat. On the other hand the technical part (vocal performance, mixing) always suffered and had to be redone the next session.

The artist hears it the next day and think it's subpar and mmaybe working with you was a mistake. A producers job is to bring the best out of an artist and that may mean that you need to help steer the environment in a certain direction.
Old 13th January 2015
  #23
Addng to it.

There's no totally right answer.

Smoke around electronics is bad Period.
Liquor in close proximity of gear can cause spills especially when the consumption level goes up.

You have the legal aspect to worry about.
You have client behavior in the session to consider (is he toooo high, sloppy drunk)

You have the residual effects of client environment (bringing bad news and bad people) to your house.

You have the possibility of losing a client who very well may not be a bad guy at all, imagine Bob Marley coming in. The most chill and seemingly respectful artist who truly believes in being able to smoke.

Ill say this.
Most artists who have to smoke through the session that I've encountered haven't been the most talented, professional or consistent with showing up on time or proper payment.

So factor all of that and make a choice.

Also consider people as individuals.

Ive got a guy who's an alcoholic. Ive had to drive him home. Obviously he's not allowed to drink here any and the residual effect was he stopped coming as often.

Another guy I work with is a weed smoker. Weve never had a problem. No issues with payment or behavior. He's welcome to light up out back anytime.
Old 14th January 2015
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
noah nelson's Avatar
 

wow thanks all for the great answers, i thought i was gonna get people thinkin my post was wack lol/. I llike what u guys are saying about how I can tell the guys I dont mix well if im high and ill smoke after- that way i can at least have them feelin cool about themselves and just tell them later i dont smoke!

yah my boy he popped a pill in the studio this one time and i had him trying to write a rap.he looked very intent at his pad and started goin at it. after half hour i asked him what he had wrote and he looked at me expressionless and asked me if he was supposed to be writing. he had drawn the kool aid man lol.
And yo dudes this guy i know smoked a hole in his computers memory card and lost everything by hotboxing so dont do it

thanks all
Old 14th January 2015
  #25
Registered User
 

Viv Stanshall the singer from the Bonzo dog doo dah band had two weeks recording studio time booked by his record company after his band had a surprise hit 'The Monster Mash'. Viv was apparently fond of the weed and after two weeks the A&R man came to visit and Viv hadn't written any songs but presented him with 5 handmade rabbit hutches he had put together instead. All different designs mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hcZ4s9cvpw
Old 14th January 2015
  #26
NKB
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah nelson View Post
I llike what u guys are saying about how I can tell the guys I dont mix well if im high and ill smoke after- that way i can at least have them feelin cool about themselves and just tell them later i dont smoke!
Coming from the artist/musician/client side of this, I'd much rather have you just tell me straight up that you just don't smoke. Make up a reason if you want, but I don't need you to sugar coat it, and certainly don't want you to lie about it to my face.

I find being honest and direct will promote a much healthier atmosphere than making up excuses or tip-toeing around an issue. Offer to have a beer with them after the session if it'll help them relax, but don't flip-flop once you've set the ground rules.

Last edited by NKB; 14th January 2015 at 08:29 PM..
Old 14th January 2015
  #27
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Jay-'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah nelson View Post
clients smoke the first things they ask when recording is if I smoke and want to blow with me. When I politely tell them no, they "back off" and this is terrible. for recording. Vibe is such a crucial issue for me in the studio

DOOOD DOOD.... As a drug user, pot smoker, drinker...
You can you even think you can operate a mix high? You cant!

I guarantee if you get screwed up, your computer will know and it will mess up the firewire connections and routing.
Just put a sign in the back "Someplace" called "Smoking area" if you hate the smell. If they are paying you then you might let them smoke in the drum room or something.

If you get stones the first thing that you will say is "Wow that has never happened before" Like today, no video was playing from avid MC, my mixer had lost connection from plugging in firewire camera. took me an hour to figure it out. baked it could be a deal breaker.

So there is your REAL LIFE answer you cant possibly record an act screwed up.
Its not possible.

Now for the drummer harrowin addict who puked into his drums and had to keep pounding away in a puddle of puke, well thats rock and roll.
Old 15th January 2015
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
noah nelson's Avatar
 

totally just found a shake joint when cleaning up today XD Im bout to sell it to my coworker for $2 lol
Old 16th January 2015
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Alza's Avatar
 

A cheeky/diplomatic approach would be to blame a recent medical condition/scare that prohibits the use of, or carries inherent risk from said items. My refusal to touch weed is always referenced to the fact I quit cigarettes 4 years ago, and now I wont smoke anything as that would risk me getting back on the smokes (That part is true). I'm only an Audio hobbyist, but I'm chef by trade and socially acceptable substance abuse in this industry would put many an LA 80's rocker to shame...


Al.

Old 16th January 2015
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Jay-'s Avatar
tell them you only take pre 1970's "Brown Acid"
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