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16:58 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 17:58 UK

Local drummer turns to producing

Neil Bassett in his recording studio

Former drummer of The Golden Virgins has turned his attention to producing after the band split up in 2006.

The band released five singles, played many festivals and recorded sessions for Steve Lamacq and John Peel.

Neil Bassett helped produce the band's first recordings which had national airplay on BBC Radio 1.

He now helps local bands follow in similar footsteps by encouraging them to get them into his studio, Room3Recording Studios, in Sunderland.

"Some of the recordings I made in my living room ended up being played on day-time Radio 1 which was quite a coup, quite thrilling," boasts former drummer of Sunderland based band The Golden Virgins, Neil Bassett.

However, you will not find Neil banging the skins for songs such as I Am A Camera and Light In Her Window anymore. After the band split in 2006 Neil wanted to continue with his other passion, producing great music.

Musical knowledge

Neil now works in Room3Recording Studios, which is part of the Bunker in Sunderland.

Although he started off recording Golden Virgin's demos in his own house, he advises not to underestimate the power of the recording studio.

"I started doing it at home and you can do recordings to a pretty good quality at home but it's completely different once you've got into a good studio.

"You don't realise at the time, but the equipment makes a huge difference to the overall sound. A lot of the equipment is very expensive so people who record at home don't have the equipment.

"There's also the knowledge, there's so much I've learned in the last year that I didn't know when I was doing pretty good recordings anyway.

"It's worth giving the studio a go, it's good to learn at home but you'll get a much better quality of sound from a professional studio such as this one," says Neil.

Don't lose heart

The Golden Virgins boasted many highlights throughout their short history that a lot of local bands only dream of.

These included playing at Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading festivals, releasing five singles, an album and recording sessions for Steve Lamacq and John Peel.

Neil explains what he thinks the secret is to making a successful band: "We had belief in what we did, we enjoyed what we did, we weren't doing it just to get a record out and to be well-known and we were doing it because we loved it.

"Everything else was a bonus. I think you've got to do it for the right reasons which is because you like the music and because you want to do it.

"Those people who want to do it will rise to the top because they'll keep going when other people lose heart," says Neil.

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Radio 1: Interview
Radio 1: John Peel session
Room3Recording Studio
The Bunker

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