Ben Green is a Washington DC based musician, producer and engineer.
He is the owner of the DC studio Ivakota and is a founding member of the band Fairweather, whose landmark records in the early 2000s inspired a generation of melodic punk rockers, and whose single, Alaska landed on the Billboard Hot 200 Singles chart in 2002. During that time, he spent seemingly countless months on tour, played nearly a thousand shows, and experienced the high and low points that go hand in hand with being in a working band.
He is a multi-instrumentalist, and has played guitar, drums, and keys on many recordings. He teaches courses in engineering, mixing, studio design, and amplifier building.
In 2012, Ben designed and oversaw the construction of a large commercial recording facility in Virginia, now called Blue Room Productions Herndon, where he was the chief engineer. The studio was voted "Best Recording Studio" in the DC area by the Washington City Paper in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In 2017, Ben opened a one-of-a-kind recording space in Washington DC - Ivakota
CLIENTS INCLUDE: Benjy Ferree, Dennis Chambers, Ex Hex, Des Demonas, Melodime, Jill Scott, Lauren Calve, Highway Cross, Black Masala, Uptown Boys Choir, Milo In The Doldrums, Free Children Of Earth, Black Dog Prowl, Loud Boyz, His Dream Of Lions, Duffy Kane, Equal Vision Records, Magic Bullet Records, Cricket Cemetery Records, and many others.
I am lucky – I’m able to work with music every day, and I’ve been doing it in some sense for most of my life. When not in the studio recording music, I’ve been playing it. I’ve played and recorded in spaces that are amazing, and in spaces that are entirely utilitarian. The first record I ever made was in 1995 in a basement, where we moved all the instruments around a single microphone until it sounded right. All this time working in music has given me the chance to think about my aesthetic ethics, and those govern, in some sense, what it is like to work with me. I’m definitely opinionated about certain methods, but I am also pragmatic, so my opinions are open to bend, if it means getting the work done right.
I can be unobtrusive and hands-off when necessary, but my favorite kind of work is collaboration and creative problem solving, where we really analyze the final beauty of the record on which we’re working. “Beauty” can mean a lot of different things to me, but more than anything, I don’t want a record to sound casual. I want things to be huge or delicate, gnarly, deep, or intentionally thin, intimate, intriguing. I want the air from the speakers to really move, commit to something, a specific idea and feeling that can’t be mistaken for anything else. I’m not normally into safety and comfort – I want to hear risk and vulnerability. I want the record to engage something molecular and uncontrolled in the listener, rather than just an awareness that they’re listening to something.
I think of recording like a balancing scale with three sides. On one side is a pure archive, on another the conceptual artwork, and on another is the audience. When I work with a band, I’m always testing the state of equilibrium between these sides with our creative choices. Sometimes we skew the scales towards one or the other, as a matter of principle. Sometimes we ignore one side completely to experiment with another, but we’re continually playing with that balance. Our methods, materials and concepts all influence it. Every single detail and accident is there for posterity.
There is an Henri Bergson quote I think about a lot when I think of artwork, and the cross-section where memory, perception and experience converge:
“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.”
We record our performances to freeze this constant advance into impermanence, so we can review and learn from our playing, remember our emotions, and maybe communicate those ideas to others. This idea, ultimately, is what draws me to this work – making a temporal freeze in the world, and holding a performance locked away, only to draw upon it at some future point, to feel something entirely specific and unique.
"Ben has inspired kids to trust their creative instincts, put car engines back together better than they were assembled in the factory, learned multiple instruments, built world class recording studios by hand, toured the world, listened patiently to the hearts of the desperate, hopeless and insane, and on top of that has perfect pitch. He gets greasy and bloody with you, the artist. He loves the song before you do sometimes if you're finding it hard to look your own song in the eye. He nurtures and busts balls. He loves the freak and never suffers a fool gladly. He's a defender, champion and lover of the artist. He's on the side of the kids and the kid in your soul you once knew, long, long ago."
- Benjy Ferree
Beyond his technical expertise Ben truly understands the way great songs are written, and executed in the studio.
I've yet to walk away from a session with Ben and not be totally blown away by the product he's helped produce.
It can be a difficult process for an artist to find a producer he or she really clicks with; but I don't think its an accident that Ben has worked on fantastic sounding records that range all the way from Country to Hip Hop.
- Seth Coggeshall, His Dream Of Lions
I've worked with Ben on multiple occasions with two of my bands. Apart from being a naturally talented engineer, he has a vast knowledge and understanding of music that is immediately apparent. When you are recording the music that you've spent countless hours writing, dissecting and rewriting, you want someone behind the board that understands what you're doing and can give you an educated perspective. Ben takes his time to make sure you sound the best you possibly can and that what you eventually walk away with is an honest representation of your art. I recommend that anyone who is serious about having their music recorded work with Ben Green; you will not be disappointed!
-Ryan Burke - Supreme Commander, Collider, Flavor Waster
I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside Ben Green and have him working as the senior engineer at Blue Room Productions in Herndon, VA. Ben is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and can be quite technical and detailed at times when necessary. But that’s not his biggest attribute and quality as a studio engineer. In fact, that’s only a small portion of his abilities in the studio. Ben is an excellent producer and songwriter that provides critical feedback to musicians of all backgrounds and all styles. He helps dozens of musicians in the Blue Room craft their project into works of art. He is genuine, experienced, and reliable; can’t ask for much more from a studio engineer, producer, and friend. Ben is hands down one of the most skilled audio engineers and music producers in the DC area, period!
-Conrad Osipowicz - Owner, Blue Room Studios
Ben has an amazing set of ears, a great attention to detail, and a passion for the craft of producing music. He has an ability to deliver new ideas straight off the cuff as the moment dictates. He has a way of stretching the boundaries of the artist he is working with that feels completely organic while allowing the artist to be in control of what they want their sound to be. All of this is done with a smile, a laugh and profound encouragement. Along with being one of the most talented people I have had a chance to work with, he is also one of the nicest and that shows in his repeat cliental. I would recommend Ben to any artist ready to take their music to the next level.
-Marc Felish, owner Dominion Sound Studio
From the first of several times I worked with Ben, I noticed he holds two of the qualities a producer/engineer needs in order to help make great music--he knows his craft, and he puts his clients at ease. He is possessed of a quiet confidence and intensity that can only come from experience and a love for the art.
-Ben Tufts, Virginia Creep, Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray