[intro-text size=”25px”]Catching up with Brandon Youngs of Track 6 Recording and punk metal duo, Gwazi[/intro-text]
Back in 2007, when PressureLife was on its first print run, just a pre-risen phoenix in the waiting, one cover story featured a crew of DIY pioneers taking the music scene by storm. While many of the indie pioneers of HM Concerts & Management have gone their own ways, recording mastermind and long-time Cleveland native Brandon Youngs carries on the mission with his home studio, Track 6 Recording.
Founded by Youngs in 2002 and located in Parma, Track 6 Recording has been a steady haven for rock, metal, punk, and alternative recording artists for years, including acts like the Blindside Booze Band, Beneath the Sky, and Epicurean to name a few. Youngs keeps business relatively low key, but since its creation, Track 6 has hosted over two hundred clients and produced around four hundred projects ranging from singles to full LPs. After nineteen years on the job, Youngs is getting pretty good at it.
At the ripe age of twelve, Brandon Youngs picked up his first guitar, started rocking, and hasn’t stopped since. But, it did take him some time to find the right outlet for his musical inclinations. “It sucked being in a band with friends,” he said. “I was fed up.” He went on to Full Sail University in the mid ‘90s and found his niche as a sound engineer. Throughout years of working on projects like HM, and opening a studio with the legendary Billy Morris of Warrant, Track 6 persisted above all else, and still captures music best described by Youngs as “angry, fast, and loud”.
This style is evident in Youngs’ solo work. He’s a screamer. Under the moniker Poor Ass Leon, Youngs is a one man hardcore punk army. His first album New Revolution dropped back in 2013, for which he provided all instrumentation and vocals with a viciously relentless flair. You can hear in the lyrics and in the sound of his voice that Youngs is mad at the fucked up state of society. “I vent anger,” he said with a smile. Within the screaming lies a real message founded in frustration, which adds some welcome substance to ponder while headbanging.
Youngs hinted that another Poor Ass Leon album is in the works, but he’s got something else in store first with old friend and musical marksman John Templeman of JIB Machine Records. A few issues back, PressureLife talked with Templeman about the history of his label and discussed their upcoming projects. Over the years Templeman and Youngs have mashed up for several different projects; Templeman recorded his newest solo album at Track 6, and New Revolution is housed on JIB Machine. But when their veteran musical powers combine, they are…Gwazi.
Named after both the mythical lion-tiger hybrid and the fabled dueling roller coaster, Gwazi is a balls-out punk and metal meeting of the minds. As a studio project, Youngs and Templeman each rock vocals and guitars, with Templeman also on drums. In 2015 they released The Rise and Fall of the Indigo Inn, their first album, and now they’ve got two more coming soon. #RNC, a free release, is a raw, politically charged five song thrasher that reflects their political attitudes. “Anti-government, pro-freedom,” described Youngs.
In June Gwazi releases XVI. Featuring a bunch of guest artists from JIB Machine, XVI was the first album recorded after Track 6’s recent remodeling. The studio has seen many changes over the years, in a fluctuating music scene with bands come and gone, but for a building that has been literally struck by lightning, you can bet there’s some hardcore magic flowing through those speakers. Youngs continues to grow and record, and Track 6’s door is open for any aspiring artists looking to lay it down. Check it out at tracksix.com, and keep your ears open for Gwazi at jibmachinerecords.com.