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Converse Rubber Tracks Studio and Live Tour

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Converse Rubber Tracks Studio and Live Tour

Deafheaven in support of the Converse Rubber Tracks Live tour Photo: Jay Hodgins

Deafheaven in support of the Converse Rubber Tracks Live tour
Photo: Jay Hodgins

The second Converse Rubber Tracks Live Tour was recently completed with headliner Deafheaven. The openers for each show featured five indie artists who have all recorded at a Converse Rubber Tracks “pop-up” studio in each city, selected by Deafheaven to perform as the supporting act. The next tour will begin early 2015, and registration is now open. See under ‘Registration’ for link.

See photo gallery of Converse Rubber Tracks studio and live at The Opera House here: FB

On Nov 21st, the last date of this five-city tour in Toronto, I visited Noble Street Studios to speak with recording band Familiars and the staff at the studio. These are not direct quotes, but what I learned.

What are Converse pop-up studios?

They are fine audio recording facilities established in the touring city, which Converse uses in the week it is back in the city. A week leading up to the show, five artists record over the span of five days in this studio. The program hires a local experienced sound engineer to work with the artists.

Noble Street Studio

Noble Street Studios

What are the kinds of things artists in this program have done here?

A producer stopped in the other day and recorded a bunch of instrumental sounds for him to go home and mix. A solo hiphop artist came in to record vocals. A stoner metal band came in to record individually, but altogether in a room that mimics that of a live stage experience.

Converse Rubber Tracks Toronto - Dagmar Yu-5

Familiars tuning in the studio

Why the Converse Rubber Tracks program?

Born out of the desire to give back to the music community and provide professional recording and performing opportunities for emerging artists. Since the flagship studio opened in Brooklyn in July 2011, over 800 emerging artists have recorded original music along the Converse Rubber Tracks team of experienced engineers at no cost. Converse has been collaborating with artists for decades and this is one initiative amongst many.

What happened on the last North American tour?

Starting in Deafheaven’s hometown of San Francisco, it kicked off on Nov 5, followed by visits to Los Angeles (Nov. 6), Brooklyn (Nov. 19), Boston (Nov. 20) and Toronto (Nov. 21). Five indie artists in total – one per city – headlined for Deafheaven. In Toronto, shoegazers Programm headlined, and on Dec 4th officially signed to Sleepless Records.


Photo: Jay Hodgins

Programm opening for Deafheaven
Photo: Jay Hodgins

Sitting down with Familiars: How did you discover this program?

It was after the last Converse Rubber Tracks tour. My buddy told me about the show at Adelaide Hall with High On Fire, which is a metal band we really like. After seeing our friends open for them, we wanted to do it too. So we found the program online and applied.

About the Program

In the past two years, the program has expanded beyond the studio in Brooklyn with Converse Rubber Tracks Live and Converse Rubber Tracks “pop-up” studios. Converse Rubber Tracks Live is a free tour, tickets normally go out within the first day of its release. Both music platforms are established in cities such as: Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Montreal, São Paulo, Beijing, Amsterdam, Mexico City, to name a few.


Local artists of all genres can apply for free studio time to record original music in a state-of-the-art studio setting. If selected, the artists will spend a full day recording, and at the end of the process, retain all rights to their work. For more info and instruction:

Stay Tuned

Video interview with Deafheaven, before the show at The Opera House.


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