Paris: They’re little corners of French paradise that attract British and American rock stars to record their masterpieces with a little help from Brad Pitt.
France has its share of well-known music studios that attract not only local talent, but also foreign groups hoping to be influenced by some of the country’s artistic heritage.
Some are in a state of disrepair, such as the famous Geruville Roof recorded by Elton John, Iggy Pop and David Bowie in the 1970s.
Super Bear Studios welcomed Paul McCartney, the Queen and Kate Bush in the 1980s before it was destroyed by fire.
But others are breathing new life.
Villa Miraval in southern Provence opened its studio in 1977 and recorded part of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, as well as albums by AC/DC, The Cure and Muse.
Mostly abandoned, it was purchased by Pitt and then-wife Angelina Jolie in 2008.
Despite the divorce scandal, Pitt oversaw the renovation of his music studio with the help of French sound engineer Damien Quintard.
“One day I got a message from Brad Pitt saying he wanted to see me next week – I thought it was a joke,” Quintard said.
Pitt, an avid guitarist himself, told Billboard: “It was so wet in there. It hadn’t been touched since the 1970s, maybe the 80s. It had to be hugged.”
The first artist to use the refurbished, ultra-swish studio after it reopened last summer was Sade, who recorded his first and third albums in the 1980s.
“My goal is that great creations come out of this place, so that the evaluation of the result takes the same time as the winemaking,” Quintard said.