Drummer David Payne and bassist Dustin Harmon first started off their musical career through a local band called Sky Road Fly. Local guitarist Anthony Salas brought Payne in to help with Salas’s sister’s choreographed graduation dance, which created a spark between them and showed how well the three worked together. At the time, Salas worked at a hospital with vocalist Samhain Bain and mentioned that they should all started jamming together. Bain and Dexter Patterson (aka Tefman) were in a group called L.O.S.T. S.O.U.L.S. and looking for a new project. Harmon, Payne and Salas started to learn some L.O.S.T. S.O.U.L.S. songs so they could rap to them and after that … a new group was formed.
“We had instant chemistry,” Patterson says. “Making music together for almost three years now and building a business together. It’s been incredible.”
That chemistry has led to Dogs of War becoming more than a band.
“Dogs of War is not a rap band,” Harmon says. “It’s a vision. It’s a way of life.”
And it’s also a business now, as the members are going into the music recording business as Warm Glow Studios.
In search of a space for eight months, Dustin came across a studio (or, rather, empty warehouse-type space) on Madison’s south side through Craigslist. After a couple of months they were able to get the building permit — with a couple of problems. “ We relied on our own pockets and connections to finance the build,” Harmon says, “We turned a $100,000+ project into a fraction of that by relying on ourselves to push the project forward.” They got the studio professionally designed but as they took the plans to Town of Madison the found out that they needed an architect.
Luckily by fall 2016 they were able to start the construction with the help of the landlord, who covered 20 percent of the construction cost. Dogs of War came across some issues like flooding and electrical wiring needing an upgrade and needing to separate the wiring into three different circuits. The landlords helped with covering the cracks where water was seeping through the ceiling from the parking deck above. Warm Glow Studios even traded studio time for construction help with a band called Bassliss.
Stepping into Warm Glow studios right away there’s the first room, the live room where bands will perform as they are recorded. In the sound room the walls are covered with mass loaded vinyl that alleviates vibrations to achieve sound dampening. Next to it there’s an isolation booth, also known as the vocal booth. Further on from that room lies another small rehearsal studio that can be used by three-piece bands or for guitar lessons. The last room is the office where Dogs of War have been rehearsing and are least focused on. Warm Glow Studios plan on finishing all construction by August to begin their journey on helping other bands.
Harmon’s dream first started at age 15 when he first set foot into a “professional” recording studio, which in reality was just a guy’s basement that had been redesigned into a studio — not unlike what Warm Glow is now. Being a multicultural band, Dogs of War dream of also being a multicultural recording studio, and plan to leave room for community-focused events to teach future artist about social media and the digital side of the music industry.
No matter the genre, no matter the ethnic background, Warm Glow Studios plan on helping musicians get recorded.
“We’re making sure that everyone gets a chance to record at a super high quality and getting their art out there,” Harmon says. “People from different cultures and different backgrounds can make something incredible.”
This piece was produced by a student journalist in the Madison365 Academy. To learn more and support our education programs, visit madison365.org/academy.