Heart Doesn’t Regret Losing Money on Seattle Studio
Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson looked back at the financial disaster that was their ownership of Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, saying it turned out to be “the right thing to do.”
Nancy and sister Ann completely revamped a previous recording establishment in 1991 and named it after their 1987 album. They sold it at a loss six years later, but by that time it had become known as the place where many grunge bands cut genre-defining records. It now operates under new owners as Studio X.
“After the '80s, we came back to our hometown of Seattle,” Wilson told KLOS in a recent interview. “We thought, 'Oh, the whole style of rock has changed. It’s Nirvana now, it’s Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. And they’re gonna hate us!’ Because we were the MTV darlings with the big hair and corsets and all that stuff … really big hair!”
You can watch the interview below.
Heart's return coincided with the death of Andrew Wood, whose band, Mother Love Bone, was an early part of the grunge movement. Wilson found herself invited to Wood’s wake alongside members of the burgeoning Seattle scene.
“We met all those guys kind of in a one-big-party situation, and they were the sweetest guys. There was not an attitude among them,” she said. “They were like, ‘Oh, wow, you guys, you did some cool stuff.’ And Jerry Cantrell was like, ‘How do you play the beginning of “Strong, Strong Wind”?’ and stuff like that. So they were like an instant brotherhood for us, and it was such a relief.”
Feeling welcome may have played a part in the decision to buy the studio – even though Wilson said they’d acted “kind of unwisely, as it turns out; financially, not the best.” But, she added, “It's a beautiful room, and a lot of those guys recorded some great stuff there. … It was really the right thing to do, even though we lost a ton of dough. It became kind of a beautiful landmark for the city of Seattle, and we were proud about it after that. And they were always just so wonderful to us.”