At 22, Kyle Ahlstrom has already built a diverse musical resume. Initially a pianist and cellist, he joined post-Hardcore band This is Our Year on his third instrument – guitar – in 2010 and says he “hasn’t looked back since.” The band tours all over the Midwest and opened for the “Leave It To The Suits” tour in 2011, playing for more than 1,000 people at Mojoe’s in Joliet.
Kyle caught the engineering bug in high school, dabbling with a lo-fi microphone and free audio software Audacity. He studied video production at the College of DuPage, then headed to Tribeca Flashpoint where he’s finishing an audio engineering degree.
Kyle currently serves as Backthird Audio’s production manager, maintaining the studio and managing our list of projects and producers.
1. How long have you been a studio member at Backthird?
I became a studio member myself in February 2013, but I’d already been working at Backthird periodically over the past couple of years as an artist and also as an assistant engineer with fellow Backthird member Travis Brown.
2. What are some of your favorite projects you’ve done here?
One of my favorite times was recording Marina City’s acoustic song “Sing You To Sleep” with Travis. Marina City is an incredibly talented band and I think we did some great work with them. Last summer I also assisted with tracking the new The Captain Hates The Sea record. Their single “Catharsis” was just released last month!
3. What’s a typical week like for you?
Right now, my typical week still involves a lot of school! I am at Flashpoint five (often very long) days a week, but I enjoy every single second of it. On the weekends, my band is usually playing a show somewhere around the Midwest. We will leave either Friday night or Saturday morning don’t typically get back until very early Sunday. It’s always a lot of fun being on the road with your friends and getting to play music in front of a new crowd every weekend.
Between all of that, I am still finding time to work as a freelance recording engineer out of Backthird and as a freelance videographer and video editor.
4. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about life and/or music?
The most important thing that I have learned about life is to follow your passion and do what makes you happy. For me, that is music. I want to be the guy that has “never worked a day in his life” because he loves what he does.
5. Why did you become a Backthird member?
I liked the idea of paying one flat rate a month to have full access to a great recording studio. All you have to do is schedule the dates you want and you’re set. The mic collection is solid and the live room sounds phenomenal. The atmosphere at Backthird is also very relaxed which makes it a great environment for making music. And it’s close to my house so that’s a plus!