The Grungiest Place in Seattle

In this episode...

“Kurt Cobain had actually referred to The Dutchman as ‘the grungiest place in Seattle.'”

That’s from Gary Mula, former owner of the storied Dutchman recording studio, an artsy warehouse recording/rehearsal facility where Gary lived and made records until 2009, when it burned to the ground. We talk about the way music changed his life and how he developed his skill as a producer by learning when to push his ideas and when to sit back and just be wallpaper.

“The reason I decided to call myself a producer was I couldn’t just keep my mouth shut. And it wasn’t good for me to keep my mouth shut. I wasn’t honoring the artist or the music if I was….Sometimes with bands, everything’s flowing and there’s no conflict. And other times you have to fight for an idea.” 

I exhibit some of Gary’s favorite artists like Sun Crow, Chris Orlowski, and Kevin Sur and Andrew Joslyn; We go down a couple of musical rabbit holes talking about Tov Lo, Scientist, Wo Fat, and Courtney Marie Andrews; And I pick Gary’s brain about the best mic for vocals.

"Nirvina, when they showed up, because they were going to be there a few weeks, I actually had them sign a...‘I want you to be responsible’ [contract]. And really Kurt just kind of stood and looked at the floor a lot."

- Gary Mula

Gary Mula makes records.

“I started recording at a young age. As a songwriter and musician it seemed the obvious path to constructing more complex ideas. On an old Sony ¼ track reel to reel and a mono cassette deck I quickly found there was more you could do than simply capture performances. As the music got more serious so too did my pursuit of recording. When my focus shifted to the experimental styles of the early 80’s, I realized that the act of making music and the act of recording were actually the same thing… a creative doorway to new musical landscapes.”

Find Gary at

Seattle musician and producer Gary Mula
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