5 Archive #08 – Jeremy Ferguson, Engineer & Producer at Battle Tapes Recording

5 Archive #08 – Jeremy Ferguson, Engineer & Producer at Battle Tapes Recording

Music Valley Archive makes clothing & collectibles to help you rep Nashville's old school soul. Here on 5 Archive, Music City-based artists, creators and small business owners share their 5 current obsessions. 


I was born in Evansville, Indiana and grew up in the town of Newburgh, Indiana with two great parents and little brother. I started recording around 1995, moved to Murfreesboro in '98 for school, started Battle Tapes in 2002, moved to the current Battle Tapes in Nashville in 2003 and have probably recorded hundreds of records with hundreds of bands over the years. I spend a lot of energy studying and considering what I do and how sounds work together in my imagination. I’m fortunate to do so. I have a daughter who I adore. 

Fuzz pedals
Fuzz pedals

I’ve had 3 periods of fuzz pedal obsession. I swear it off and it comes back each time. Really, pedals in general. Then drums. Mics. Preamps. Compressors. Synths. Pedals. Schaller Verzerrers, tonebenders, superfuzzes, Japanese Big Muff variants, etc. I usually try to get the original or at least the correct transistors, and sometimes I like to think I need all 50+ fuzzes I have. Having a studio, it’s good to have variety of equipment around, things that can change up the scenery of a song and all. But mostly I just like to go plug them in when I get them, twist the knobs, hear this really heavy sound through a quiet, small speaker, by myself, and kinda absorb that.

Podcasts & audiobooks
Podcasts and audiobooks

A lot of people ask me what I’m listening to, probably hoping I’m going to tell them about some new great thing. The truth is, I do music all day, pretty much seven days a week, so in my personal time I like to listen to audiobooks (usually autobiographies narrated by the author — tho I really loved Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary — both on paper and on audiobook). Podcasts are also great and a bit more digestible and I can switch subjects often, which works for my brain. I’ve realized I just love stories and I rarely have time to sit and watch films these days. I just finished Tenement Kid by Bobbie Gillespie and Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon. I just started Lou Reed by Will Hermes.


If I could live in a library, I probably would. I’m constantly buying books. Usually related to music or gear or something, but I still try to read at least one thing along with the podcasts and audiobooks. Gotta switch it up! All the books are also great to have around the studio for bored musicians during overdubs so hopefully they’ll shut up. My daughter, who is eight, also reads constantly and extremely well and it makes me so happy and proud. I’m slowly reading What’s Our Problem by Tim Urban along with a book about drum machines. I read Worst Person Ever by Douglas Coupland not long ago.

The early 1980s
It’s when music impacted me first. And this music, more than any other, still takes me to times I wouldn’t remember without it. I don’t have vivid memories of a lot of old stuff anymore, it’s a whole thing. But the memories I have of being very young in the EARLY (to mid) 1980s are some of my strongest. I like the spirit, the movies, the clothes (probably the innocence of being a kid). Juliette Lewis’ brother, Lightfield, made a video that I feel (watch above).

The nature of existence

I mean what is all THIS? What’s it all doing? How do things interact and why that way? I’m not dumb but I stump myself constantly wondering what the hell is going on with anything. Think about the universe? Crazy. What’s it like to be Nothing – Pre existence? Or is it the stuff that’s still in between everything now? I don’t have a clue! There are so many things to know. Sometimes it’s fun to give up on all that and think about the things you could never figure out anyway, and have a little wonder like when you were a kid. I spend so much time seeing it in people with music, I kinda understand its root, but that’s vibrations and everyone vibrates a little differently. I sound like a high school stoner. :(


We invite every guest to add 5 songs to the WMVA 61.5AM Sunday Mornings Playlist, a collection of music for mellow Sunday mornings. Here are Jeremy's picks:

  • Floating Points, Pharaoh Sanders, London Symphony Orchestra, "Promises"
  • Jenny O, "Prism"
  • Sza, "Snooze" or "Good Days"
  • Low, "Always Trying To Work It Out"
  • Richard Swift, "Sister Song"


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