Local recording studio Sandbox Studio is the best kept secret in the Wellington Music scene, but word is spreading far and wide, and a growing number of artists are coming from all over the country and even across the Tasman to record their sound with Sandbox Studio.
This uniquely located studio was once the living room of the apartment next door, which was built for the owner as a city crash pad. The Penthouse extension which now houses Sandbox Studio was built in the early ’70s but had been abandoned, and was essentially unoccupied for the best part of 10 years or so, before engineer Benni Krueger & musician Jon Lemmon took on the lease in 2016. Initially planned as an art and music space, it eventually became a shared music space, before evolving into a professional recording studio.
For New Zealand Music Month we are premiering a retrospective look at Sandbox Studio, with a feature-length video comprising multiple retrospective interviews conducted over several time periods, along with archival video footage and photos representing the evolution of the studio and its equipment over time. Now jointly run by studio engineers Benni Krueger and Peter Molteno, we talked with studio co-founders Benni, Daniela Mogin and Lorenzo Buhne about how they came to be involved in the studio’s creation, the building of their unique isolation booth, their thoughts on the Wellington music scene, and many other topics.
Today Sandbox Studio is one of Wellington’s top recording studios — a streamlined, professional powerhouse with a fast-paced turnover. In the time since we filmed some of these segments, Sandbox Studio has worked with over 100 new artists and have made significant improvements to the space, equipment, and workflow.
This feature is a snapshot of the studio in its infancy rather than how it is represented today, but it tells the fascinating story of how three people from completely different backgrounds and different countries came together to create something unique and special for the local music scene in Wellington.