Reliving the Future Musical musings from aging hipsters

Episode 33: John Curley of the Afghan Whigs

Musician. Producer. Recording Engineer. Photographer. Non-traditional college student… John Curley is best known for his work with the Afghan Whigs, but he’s also played in a few local bands, and produced and/or engineered music for hundreds, mostly at Ultrasuede Studio. He’s still playing, still producing, but recently went back to college as well. We chat with John about all those things — and the worst radio promotion the Afghan Whigs ever did — in this episode.

John Curley, WXPN/former 97X DJ Dan Reed, and Greg Dulli
The Afghan Whigs original lineup.
John at Ultrasuede Studio (Photo credit: Anna Bentley, the Cincinnati Enquirer)

After 25 years in Camp Washington, John’s Ultrasuede studio (formerly the historic QCA Studio A) was forced out in 2018 when a new owner bought the building . Check out this CityBeat article about Ultrasuede’s final days on Spring Grove Avenue.

Photo credit: John Curley

At the Spring Grove address, John produced and/or engineered essential recordings by numerous acts, including Joe’s band Wussy, The Greenhornes, White Stripes, Ronnie Spector, Patti Smith, Ass Ponys, Buffalo Killers, Magnolia Mountain, Pearlene, Heartless Bastards and Barrence Whitfield & The Savages. His early production successes include the Whigs’ covers EP Uptown Avondale and album tracks such as Congregation’s “Miles Iz Ded” and Gentlemen’s “If I Were Going.” He even recorded the violin-like whine that opens the Whigs’ Black Love album by ambient mic’ing the railroad tracks that wind past the studio and recording the sound of a freight train’s squealing brakes, which were later cross-faded in the mix with a Hammond B-3 organ.

From this CityBeat article

John is now producing music at The Lodge in Dayton, Kentucky. Here’s a nice article by Gil Kaufman about John’s move there.

The Lodge co-owner Scott Beseler and John Curley. Photo from this article.

Working with original bands to make great recordings since vinyl was cool the first time.

From the Ultrasuede Studio website

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