A cave-like room with electric red walls and blue light fixtures is the new home of new Austin resident Joe Rogan’s $100 million podcast. And who would Rogan trust to build this room? None other than his fellow Austinians.
Rogan, a mixed martial arts enthusiast and comedian, commissioned two local companies — Sound Shed Studios and Wrightsmith Studios — to build his new podcast studio after recently moving to Austin from Los Angeles. In just under three weeks, the two Austin companies raced to complete the project for their most high-profile client to date.
Timeline of Joe Rogan’s move to Texas:
Sound Shed Studios, a local audio and visual company, was a side project Matthew Alvarez started 10 years ago, turning a storage unit into a recording studio. Laid off from his job as a full-time audio engineer due to the pandemic and seeing the outcome from Studio Rogan, Alvarez has since decided to run Sound Shed Studios full-time.
Alvarez began working with Rogan after receiving a call from an old friend he had worked for who told him he wanted Alavarez to meet the person who hired him for private security, Rogan. Alvarez met with Rogan the next day and the two had an in-depth discussion about the design of the studio.
In an interview with Austinia, Alvarez said seeing the piece he knew he had to make some major changes to get it ready for the podcast, and when he told Rogan, Rogan responded. “Hey, I trust you, I love you, build it like it’s your own studio.”
Alvarez, who usually works alone, gathered friends – Jacob Rangel, Nate Laningham, Richard Castro, Nick Fette, Justin Contreras and Christopher Spikes – to jump on the project with him within a tight two-and-a-half-week deadline. Together they soundproofed the interior walls with open core polyurethane foam, adding double doors and treating the finished room with sound deadening panels.
Rogan gave Alvarez the creative freedom – and the budget – to create a stunning studio with input primarily on the color palette.
At the end of the Sound Shed portion of the studio’s creation, Alvarez said he sent Rogan a photo from the studio, to which Rogan replied, “Sick fucking.”
But it wasn’t until Rogan saw it in person that Alvarez received validation that the project was a success.
“He didn’t really say much. I could tell he was really absorbing everything, and he punched me and [said], ‘Matt, you killed him.’ To hear that from him in person…I knew we had something to be proud of,” Alvarez said.
And what’s a podcast room without the right table? For this, Rogan brought a recommendation from another famous Austin podcaster, Adam Curry, Rogan’s first podcast guest in Austin.
Drew Teague, Founder of Wrightsmith Studiosis a friend of Curry’s and was in the process of designing a podcast table for him when he was asked to put this project on hold by Curry to complete the table at Rogan’s Austin studio.
While Wrightsmith Studios is officially only about a year old, Teague has a lot of experience building and crafting unique furniture, especially for studios.
After talking with Rogan about what he wanted, Teague came up with a design. Usually customers ask for design tweaks, Teague said, but at first glance Rogan said, “This is the one, build it.”
On the same schedule as Sound Shed Studios, Teague also enlisted outside help to finish the project on time, as he usually works alone.
Teague and his team fabricated a 500-pound white oak breakout table with a specific frame for enough legroom for podcast guests.
When Rogan first saw the table in person, he contacted Teague and told him how much he loved it.
“[Rogan] is outstanding in every way,” Teague said. “From the first meeting, he was friendly and down to earth; he was very encouraging.”
When Rogan posted the nearly complete podcast room on Instagram, tagging the two sound shed and wrightsmith studios, both accounts were suddenly in the public eye. Both accounts gained over a thousand new followers with direct messages asking questions about the studio and requests for their work.
Rogan is up and running in the new studio, and the two companies behind him know their hard work has paid off.
He could literally bring anyone to [complete the studio] from anywhere, but he decided to find local guys who were already doing it in town in relatively small businesses,” Teague said. “That says a lot about Joe’s character.”
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