Gary Conahan’s love of music goes back to when he was a young boy.
At 42, he is a member of local rock band None Given as well as the part owner of Dynamo Audio recording studio in Lancaster. He lives in Millersville, where he is building a second recording studio.
Conahan has recorded songs and albums for several local bands and also hosts “The Damn Podcast,” which focuses on the local music scene.
His most recent producing credit is the album “Sieches and Sirens,” by the band Almost Honest.
A new None Given album is expected to be released this fall.
Education: Proud Manheim Central grad, class of 1995.
Family: My father, Gary Conahan Sr., is a great musician and songwriter and the reason I got into music. My mother is Linda Conahan, and my brother/partner/bandmate is Robert Conahan.
“Real” job: I also work a full-time job at a company called Metalwerks. We design and fabricate architectural panels for buildings.
How did you get started as a sound engineer?: I’ve always had an interest in recording even at a young age. My father always made these great recordings with almost no technology. So it was very intriguing to me to see if I could bring my songs to life by recording them.
Tell the story of how your studio got off the ground: I failed at my first attempt in 2011-12. I had great gear, and all the tech, but no experience, and after a year I ran home with my tail tucked between my legs.
In 2013 I started getting back into recording my own music again. I spent a few years getting my chops built up and taking online mixing classes through a service called Nail the Mix.
There are lots of great online resources, but this one is incredible. After recording a friend’s bands out of my house, in 2017 I decided it was time to take on a studio lease and record my own band in a legit studio that I built. I signed a lease and started the journey and never looked back.
Bands recorded in the studio: Black Letter Days, Almost Honest, She Pulled the Trigger, Corvette summer; Madness at Midnight, Hidden Vision, None Given, Boorish, Outlast the Echo, Tigerbomb, Fake, Punktual, Aggressor ID, Deerlord and Some Kind of Jazz Piano.
Tell us about your own band, None Given: It’s a three-piece. It’s definitely a fun band to play in. My brother Rob sings, plays guitar and writes most of the music. Ryke Martin plays drums, and I play bass. We are working on our debut album at Dynamo Audio. We have a single called “Gaslight” that is available for stream, and purchase. WQXA-FM (105.7 the X) has been great to us; they play Gaslight on Rob Simon’s “Under the Radar” show frequently.
You're also a podcaster. What are “The Damn Podcast” and the Dynamo Audio Multimedia Network about?: It’s a loose interview format. Rob and I interview bands, musicians, movie producers, clothing designers, and pretty much anyone who does anything in the arts.
We have 45 episodes up and are recording new ones as we speak. It’s a great way to hear new bands and see what local and national bands are up to. We are available on almost all podcast services (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.).
People might be surprised to learn how big the music industry is in Lancaster, even beyond Rock Lititz:
There are at least 10 studios I know of in Lancaster. There are a few in my building (335 East Liberty) alone. Honestly, I don’t know the names of all of them.
The music industry in Lancaster is amazing. There are so many talented individuals in this town that there is no shortage of people to record, and most studios seem to be busy even though we are in a very competitive market.