Punktuation! Magazine

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Punk Recording Studio Inner Ear To Close.

inner Ear Studios

It’s been confirmed that the legendary Virginian punk recording studio will be demolished to make way for new development.

Back in April, Punktuation revealed that Don Zientara’s legendary Inner Ear recording studio’s future was in jeopardy due to the local council earmarking the premises for redevelopment. On Friday, it was confirmed that the studio would be demolished to make way for a new arts and industry district, meaning Inner Ear will close its doors for the last time in October.

Bikini Kill, Minor Threat, Bad Brains and many other legendary punk bands recorded at the studio, which moved to its current Arlington, Virginia site in 1990, but plans by the Arlington Country Board to buy a tract of land that includes Inner Ear Studio’s site appear to have forced Zientara to retire his beloved studio.

“I’m sorry to see it go, but that’s the way that it is,” Zientara he told ARLnow in April. “So, I’m OK with it – it’s just the natural evolution of things. You can’t stop progress.”

inner ear studio
Don Zientara working in Inner Ears control room

Inner Ear Studio initially operated out of Zientara’s Arlington house, where the first band he recorded was Teen Idles, whose members included Dischord Records co-founders Ian Mackaye and Jeff Nelson.

Zientara subsequently recorded 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.

“I’m sorry to see it go, but that’s the way that it is. So I’m OK with it – it’s just the natural evolution of things. You can’t stop progress.” Don Zientara, Inner Ear Studio

More recently, the studio featured in Dave Grohl’s 2014 Sonic Highways documentary series, during which the Foo Fighters recorded the albums title track at Inner Ear.

Now 72, Zientara confirmed in a Facebook post that Inner Ear would be shutting up shop on 1 October. With many punk fans and musicians leaving heartfelt messages on the Facebook post, it’s obvious that Inner Ear studio has left an amazing legacy and Don and the studio will be very much missed!


Inner Ear Studios


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