The fate of Pyramid Sound Studios, a recording studio renowned for spawning the onslaught of American heavy metal in the 1980s and beyond, has captured the attention of longtime Ithaca, New York residents, recording artists, and friends of business owner Alex Perialas.
At Wednesday’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting, several local musicians and educators urged city officials to take demolition of the studio off the table.
Pyramid Sound Studios, launched by Perialas in 1974, has recorded artists from BAD RELIGION, ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL, AGNOSTIC FRONT and Brian Wilson to local favorites THE HORSE FLIES and DONNA THE BUFFALO, as well as student projects. Pyramid Sound Studios is a pinnacle in the local area, being that local musicians do not always have the ability to travel to New York City, Los Angeles, etc. to record their albums. Located directly next to the Clinton St. Bridge, which is undergoing heavy construction until November, the building is at risk of being condemned as a result of the project, stirring alarm among the local and online community.
“This is one of those things that is a state and city project where they’re replacing a 70-year-old bridge and its right in our footprint, if you will. With the building of this new bridge, there’s a chance that if they aren’t careful, they could do damage to the studio,” states owner Alex Perialas. “I’m currently working with the administration to land on an amicable solution to the situation. This has been a landmark facility for years. We pretty much created a style of music here that people had never heard of before. It would be a shame to lose such an integral part of music history due to this temporary construction.”
Jeff Klaus, professor of education at Ithaca College and member of THE HORSE FLIES, addressed the committee Wednesday, “What is housed inside that scruffy building is a building within a building that’s purpose-built to be a studio.”
Klaus and his colleagues noted that 109 E. Clinton St. is a commercial garage space, which is located closest to the bridge project, while the recording studio is located at 105 E. Clinton St. The supporters stressed that the garage and the studio are two separate buildings, though it may not appear so on the outside.
In many ways, both the mayor’s and the common council’s hands are tied, given that the construction on the Clinton St. bridge is federally funded. Earlier this week, supporters of Pyramid Sound Studios launched an online petition to help save the historical building. Thus far, over 550 people have signed. You can sign the petition at this location.
For more information, visit www.pyramidsoundstudios.com.