Punk News

Inner Ear Studio reopens in Don Zientara’s basement

Legendary punk rock recording studio Inner Ear has reappeared at a new location, less than a year after the local government forced it to vacate its previous Arlington, Virginia site.

Founder Don Zientara has taken his facility back to the Arlington Heights house where he first established it in 1979, and plans to continue his work.

“It is gone from the past 32 years’ space, but it is [in my basement] now, it’s still thriving. You could say I’m in semi-retirement because I’m working when I went to work, with people I want to work with,” he told the Embracing Arlington Arts podcast.

The new studio includes a lot of equipment from Zientara’s previous facility, including his favourite microphones, and has some newer kit.

inner ear studio
Don in the Studio’s original Control Room

He hosted a who’s who of the punk scene after moving to the studio to its previous Arlington site in 1990, including Fugazi, Dag Nasty, Jawbox, Bikini Kill, Bob Mould and many more.

But the first band he recorded in the basement Inner Ear Studio was Teen Idles, whose members included Dischord Records co-founders Ian Mackaye and Jeff Nelson. 

Zientara subsequently taped Mackaye and Nelson’s next band, Minor Threat, as well as Bad Brains,  Government Issue and Henry Rollins’ first band S.O.A. among others in the 1980s. 

More recently, the studio featured in Dave Grohl’s 2014 ‘Sonic Highways’ documentary series, during which the Foo Fighters recorded a song for their album of the same name at Inner Ear.

Inner Ear Studios

More of the latest in punk