ProFile - Brian Moncarz


ProFile - Brian Moncarz
Brian Moncarz
by Jordan Nunziato
there were one way to sum up recording engineer, record
producer, and Rattlebox Studios Co-Owner Brian Moncarz, it would be in the words of Bob Ezrin: “One of the
hottest young producer/engineers around.”
Moncarz was born in North York, ON. This now Toronto-based
musical entrepreneur has been in the game since he heard his
first guitar chord. “I played in lots of bands when I was growing
up, and have been into music my entire life,” says Moncarz. By
high school, he was rocking guitar and swinging his long hair as
a student at the York Mills Collegiate Institute. “I took guitar. We
were fortunate enough to have a guitar program there. It was a
school filled with jocks, though,” says Moncarz.
His life would take an unexpected turn upon attending
Ryerson University. “I took a Radio and Television Arts program. I
thought I wanted to go into radio production; that was my goal,
and I did an internship at Q107, which turned into a job, and I
loved it.” While enrolled at Ryerson, he took full advantage of its
vacant multi-track studios, and with permission from his professors, he brought bands in to record. His newfound love of studio
production would soon become his career.
“I met Ezrin through Tim Trembley at EMI – he was the head
of A&R there. He was interested in a band I was developing called
The Junction. By some fluke, I just happened to be at the Juno
Awards in Winnipeg, and we met,” says Moncarz adding, “I’ve
been able to spend a few years working with Ezrin and David
Bottrill, and really getting my engineering chops up to speed
under awesome guidance.”
Most often, Moncarz takes on dual responsibilities in the studio. “I’m a producer/engineer. I started out as more of a producer
because that’s my love. I love working with bands and getting
the best performances out of them, and in terms of budgets, it
made sense for me to engineer my own stuff. It took me a lot
longer to get my engineering chops up to match my production
chops, but I now feel confident in both areas.”
Outside of work, Moncarz spends time with his wife, Andi,
and his three-year-old son Josh. “It’s so awesome. Josh picks up
on everything I do, and you can see he loves music because I love
music. I get home around 2 a.m., and he’s up with my wife pretty
early. They wake me up at 8 a.m. and I get to hang with them for
a bit before I go back to work.”
He also enjoys catching the latest on the silver screen. “I love
going to see movies; I’m a huge movie nut.” If he is not in the
studio making music, he is either playing it or listening to it.
“Maybe it’s unhealthy, but I don’t know anything else. I’m just
so focused on music.”
When asked about where he has travelled, Moncarz disclosed
several of his favourite trips. “I appeared on the music panel at
The Halifax Entertainment Summit – that was a good one. I got
there on the first night, and was later than everyone. They had all
gone out, so I went out on my own. Everyone’s so friendly there.
It was amazing.”
He has also been overseas where he, along with The Junction,
pulled a little prank on one the most prestigious studios in the
world. “I travelled to London four or five years ago. We went there
22 Professional Sound
for a day, but we extended our trip for a week. We lied and called
Abbey Road [Studios] up and spoke to the manager. I said I had a
band that I wanted to bring into the studio and we were thinking
of using Abbey Road. We received an awesome tour.”
Moncarz’ latest projects include work with Toronto-based
up-and-coming rockers A/Collision. “It’s still in the development
stage. We have an album, and over the course of a year, if I’ve had
any time off, I’ve been working on it. It’s been a labour of love,”
says Moncarz adding, “It’s really sonically interesting and that’s
why, as a producer, I love it.” Another was Moneen’s latest record,
which dropped earlier this fall. “It’s such a fantastic record. I’m
really proud of it.”
Moncarz says he’s happy doing exactly what he’s doing. His
future aspirations include growing and expanding his knowledge
in the industry. “My goal is to continue working as a producer and
engineer. You have to be open-minded about new and fresh ideas.
I’m constantly learning – and I love it.”
Jordan Nunziato is freelance writer from the Niagara region.