Kevin Churko, Hideout Studio, Las Vegas
Canadian born producer, engineer and songwriter Kevin Churko has worked
with an amazing range of musical names including Ozzy Osbourne, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Ringo Starr, Five Finger Death Punch, Hinder, In This Moment, Britney Spears and many more. He currently resides in Las Vegas where he works out of his Hideout studio on Las Vegas Blvd.
Among the high points of Kevin Churko’s career are Ozzy Osbourne’s albums Black Rain and Scream, both of which Churko co-wrote, produced, engineered and mixed. His work has been honored with three Juno Awards as Recording Engineer of the Year plus two additional nominations from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences as well as two US Grammy nominations.
Having played piano from age five, Kevin eventually moved to drums, before taking to the road at an early age.
“My father was a Catholic school music teacher and he gave me a lot of my early instruction. So I come from a musical background, rather than the technical side of things. By the time I was 14, my dad, like a crazy man, pulled us kids out of school and we went on the road, playing mostly country music and a little bit of rock, too. We had a couple of singles and worked at it for quite some time.”
“The band was called Churko. It was my mom, my dad, my sister Kim and my brother Cory, who now plays violin and guitar with Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson.”
“Later, Cory and I had a rock band. We wanted to do better demos and recordings, but because we couldn’t afford to just hire talented studio guys, we had to figure it out on our own. It started with buying one of those old Tascam 244 four-tracks. Then we graduated to a Fostex eight-track, until we finally made it into real studios. We quickly realized that the guys there didn’t really know much more than us, so I ended up leaning over their shoulders, irritating them and turning knobs, until they finally got so pissed off that they went and sat in the corner while I worked.”
“That went on for a while, until we finally got to work with talented guys that I could really learn from. When I had my own family, I had to figure out a way to stay at home, so I decided that I was much more into recording music, rather than being out there playing, so I just started focusing more on studio work and less on playing live.”
“So there’s been no formal technical training in the form of schools or courses, just learning by doing, asking talented guys the right questions and working it out.”