How I Met TriPops, Part 2

Ah good!  You stayed tuned for the next installment, which covers the “we” and “us” mentioned previously.  The first installment revealed a brief glimpse of how I got started in my desire to record music; a long-deferred dream.  Initial attempts brought only major frustration until I found Trimordial Studio Las Vegas, where owner, Roy Rendahl, a master sound engineer and more, opened up a whole new world of endless possibilities for me. Fast forward to my next meeting with Roy, when he introduced me to the “we can do all that”part of this dynamic “micro”studio, TriPops Music Production and his longtime business partner (another musical “savant”), Ale Oliver.

Chuk Peña with Alex Oliver of TriPops Music Production at Trimordial Studio Las Vegas.
Chuk Peña and Alex Oliver

Turns out, Alex moved to Las Vegas some years ago from Los Angeles where he was a teacher.  He needed to sort of “chill out” from the daily “grind” of living in a megalopolis and all the garbage that accompanies that kind of environment.  However, to my good fortune, it turned out that Alex was born into a full-blown music family full of “session musicians.”  In the event you may not be familiar with that term, these are the unsung guys and gals that make the”stars” sound so fabulous on their albums.  Yeah—even Bob Dylan!  If you ever have the chance to rent or buy the documentary movie, “Wrecking Crew,” you’ll fully nderstand what I’m talking about. And TriPops, like those session musicians I just mentioned, obviously were (and still are) the unsung heroes for many “wannabes” like Chuk Peña, as evidenced by the albums of past and current clients adorning their studio.

Well, getting back to Alex, it wasn’t long into our threesome conversation that I realized I had found a true “diamond in the rough.”  When I stated that Roy was a master sound engineer, and more, it soon became apparent that Alex was Roy on the other half of the recording cycle.  Like, I mean, aside from all the fabulous recording equipment available to “play” with, Alex can play umpteen instruments, create arrangements, get you to sing far beyond your wildest dreams.  The best, and worst of all, he’ll make constructive critiques of your recording performances until you’re not sure if you want to cry, pack it up and go home, or dig in deeper and find your inner star power!  And, his sidekick, Roy is no different!  I remember one Saturday doing 4 different takes of my guitar/vocal tracks for a new song I wrote, after which they looked at each other, then me, and “gently” said, “Chuk, you need to go home and practice some more!”  And, that’s why TriPops Music Production is such a “find!”  They simply invest their time and energy making you the best you can be! And, they do it all on their nickel because their business model is to defer taking money from a client until they and the client are 110 percent satisfied with the finished product!  And, they always remind me,”Chuk, remember, you are the producer; we are here to only serve you!” That’s when the Chuk just has to crack-up.

So, where’s this going? What’s it really all about? Simply this—back in the winter of 2015, a very naive “wannabe” recording artist, by happenstance, met two highly experienced “micro” recording specialists to help record his first cover song, “Chelsea Hotel” (written and recorded by Leonard Cohen). Thirty plus songs and almost 4 years later, we no longer are simply vendor-client, but the best of friends! Hell, I don’t even mind being sent home anymore!  And, despite several awards and a YouTube following, I find myself still “crafting” my skills.

Hmm, that gives me an idea.  Maybe next time I’ll share the joys and frustrations of learning to play my guitar in the Travis Picking style, or even slide guitar.