September 23, 2023
Sep 23, 2023
Producer, engineer, and artist manager Kevin Moloney recently joined forces with Asheville-based recording studio Citizen Studios as Producer in Residence. A native of Ireland, Moloney’s storied career includes work with artists such as U2 and Sinead O’Connor, and with producers such as Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Steve Lillywhite, among others.
Growing up in Dublin, Moloney took an opportunity to work as an assistant engineer in a recording studio, which is where he encountered the musicians of U2. At the time, they — and Moloney— were all in their late teens and together they crafted a unique sound for the band. “We worked on their first five albums before I moved to London and went freelance as a producer,” Moloney explains.
It was through U2’s The Edge that Moloney was introduced to Sinead O’Connor. O’Connor and Moloney went to school near each other; Moloney and The Edge worked on the soundtrack for a film eventually released as Captive. The Edge brought O’Connor in to sing the track “Heroine.” When O’Connor was set to record her first album, The Lion and the Cobra, Moloney was tapped to produce it on a shoestring budget.
“Before that, the label tried to make her do something that wasn’t her, and it would have flopped,” Moloney recalls. “[What she made instead] was exactly right for the times. She was a firecracker — she was wonderful.”
While in London, Moloney established connections that led to recording and mixing projects on location in Japan, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, and throughout Europe. By 1992, he’d settled in Los Angeles where he worked with artists such as The Caulfields, The Judybats, Naked, The Ocean Blue, and Eleanor McEvoy.
He’s also worked with Kate Bush as well as Van Morrison & The Chieftains on separate albums, both done at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin. Other studios where Moloney’s worked include Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, George Martin’s AIR Studios, and the infamous Abbey Road Studios.
The producer doesn’t have a preference between being in a studio or on location. “It’s whatever serves the song,” he explains. “It doesn’t have to happen in a professional room — that doesn’t make it right. It’s about being ready at the moment to capture it.”
Moloney comes from a technical background rather than a musical background. “I have an intellectual approach to music, and a passionate heart,” he says.
Moloney has also worked at his craft through many iterations of recording technology, from analog to digital. “The transition from analog [equipment] to ProTools and digital made it a lot more mobile,” he explains. “It gave artists a lot more freedom, but also a lot more choices.” With expertise in both analog and digital technologies and equipment, Moloney can guide artists to the sound they hope to achieve.
Since moving to Asheville, Moloney has found a home at Citizen Studios where he helmed the forthcoming Oceania by Asheville-based singer-songwriter Anya Hinkle. He describes the space, which is the former broadcast studio for the historic WWNC radio station, as “like a half-sized version of the Abbey Road room.” That’s no small compliment for the Asheville studio, housed in the Citizen Times building and part of Citizen Vinyl. Moloney is eager to bring more projects into what he describes as “a beautiful magical space.”
Artists interested in working with Moloney can contact him by email at email@example.com or visiting his website.
ABOUT CITIZEN STUDIOS
Citizen Studios is a classic space for timeless sounds; the modern analog rebirth of the historic WWNC radio station studios. The newly renovated space now consists of a large control room and a communal multipurpose room for recording, rehearsing and events. The studio is available for recording artists, engineers, producers and private functions.
ABOUT CITIZEN VINYL
Citizen Vinyl was established by NewSong Music director and co-founder Gar Ragland. It opened October 2020 as Asheville’s first vinyl manufacturing facility. Citizen Vinyl boasts a variety of amenities including full-scale recording studio Citizen Studios, a vinyl-themed craft cocktail and coffee lounge, a record and art store, and more.