House of song
How brothers Alex and Nick Bult designed their new recording studio Milk & Honey as a home for creativity
Before the final show at Alex Bult’s eponymous art gallery a year ago, he had a plan to open a recording studio called Milk & Honey with his younger brother Nick.
The location, however, was still undecided. The two searched warehouses and office spaces, but nothing felt right. And with the rising costs of rent downtown, the gallery space wasn’t an option.
“We were thinking that if you wanted it to be a place where you can go and hang out, we’d have to outfit it almost like a house. Like, we’d have to add a kitchen, a bathroom and all of that,” Alex recently told SN&R.
Ultimately, the brothers bought a two-story house in south Land Park. To make way for the recording space outfitted in the back of the home, two bedrooms were taken out. Walls were made thicker, soundproof insulation was installed and windows sealed shut.
As audio equipment was brought into the engineering room and band equipment placed in the booth, the makings of a recording studio began to develop. A year later, Milk & Honey Studio was ready for operation.
“The idea is that you can come in and do whatever you want,” Alex said. “You could put some time in [the studio] for just a few hours, or you can stay for like a weekend with a band, and you can sit and write. You have the whole house to yourself.”
Admittedly the least business savvy of the two, having had no previous experience after graduating high school three years ago, Nick says he’s been somewhat overwhelmed when it comes to that aspect of the studio. But making the switch from owning an art gallery to owning a music studio didn’t come easy for Alex either.
Both say that when they first started to build Milk & Honey they took on too much. Early on in the building process, they either bought wrong equipment or installed the right equipment incorrectly.
Since finishing construction, the brothers enlisted Sacramento-based music engineer Jalil “Mr. Blap” Cotton, who has worked with Mac Dre, Tech N9ne and Snoop Dogg among others, to help with the studio production. They’ve also received assistance from Fornati Kumeh of ENT Legends to help manage the studio.
With the right people in place, they’ve had a few local rap artists, Harris Rudman and J. Sirus, record music in the studio, as well as their own punk-rock band, Pecker. They hope to have more soon, and aim to bring in some visiting artists who want a place to hang out and record after shows.
“It just has that atmosphere,” Alex explained. “I don’t think a lot of people just want to go after a show to a really sterile studio. You want to come somewhere like this where you can hang out.”
Before that can happen, though, Alex says the big test is bringing other bands into the studio to record. Although the set up is complete, it’s still small, and arranging everything for different artists and bands will take some adjusting.
In addition to the recording studio, the two have plans on forming a small record label under the same name, Milk & Honey. The first artists they plan on signing, other than their own band, are J. Sirus and Harris Rudman.
“I know it’s going to be pretty crazy once we actually get this thing up and running, but I’m ready to take this on,” Nick said. “It’s something that we’ve always been a part of—the music world—since we were little kids.”