An inside look at Justin Vernon's April Base recording studio

Eric Koeppel

The Staves recording at Justin Vernon's April Base studios outside of Eau Claire.
Two-thirds of The Staves recording at Justin Vernon's April Base studios outside of Eau Claire.

“I think this is my favorite place to be to make music,” says one of the three members of the British folk group The Staves in a video documenting the recording of their new album at April Base Studios (watch it below). The mini-documentary provides not only an in-depth look at the making of the trio’s upcoming Justin Vernon-produced record If I Was, but also an intimate glimpse into the local musical legend’s home base.

Nestled just outside of Eau Claire, April Base has been the main recording venue for Vernon’s musical endeavors since its creation in 2008. Over the years, the studio has also become a major attraction for musicians from around the globe.

So far, Vernon fanatics have only been able to catch a few glorious glimpses into the studio; however, this documentary provides a more in-depth look inside the studio than has ever been seen before while also featuring other local musical treasures, like engineer Zach Hanson and musician Brad Cook, in their natural habitat. Local hangout and bar The Joynt also makes an appearance (of course, it does) in a segment showing Vernon, The Staves and the rest of the gang partaking in two sacred Wisconsin rituals: drinking beer and shooting pool. 

Watch the If I Was mini-documentary ...

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