After 13 years, the globally recognized Daytrotter is no longer based in the Quad-Cities.
Wolfgang's Vault, majority owner of the recording studio and online music catalog, closed the studio at 324 Brady St. on March 30 and plans to consolidate operations at a studio in Atlanta by July 1.
“Our lease was up, and the economics of the space wasn't working for us,” Matt Lundberg, senior vice president for Wolfgang's Vault, said Wednesday afternoon. Paste magazine and Daytrotter merged a couple of years ago, and Paste has recording studios in New York City and Atlanta, he said.
Since last August, websites Daytrotter and Paste Music have lived under the same online roof, as PasteMagazine.com/Daytrotter. It was announced last year that Paste would be the new home for Daytrotter’s collection of more than 7,000 sessions from bands from around the world, along with its ongoing video live-streaming.
Since 2006, upcoming indie bands and established acts have been recording unedited tracks at the Daytrotter studio, first in downtown Rock Island, and since 2016 in downtown Davenport, on the ground floor of the historic Renwick building.
After it moved, Daytrotter hosted live concerts in the performance space, but while it was an “exciting opportunity” in 2016, Lundberg said last year it never proved financially viable, and the live shows ceased by late May 2018.
“We have never been successful in making an economic go of it,” he said then. “We knew we had to do something. We were losing money every time we were using it.”
Several members of Daytrotter’s small staff were let go in early June 2018. “The live shows we couldn't honestly sustain,” Lundberg said Wednesday, noting they continued to record sessions four or five times a week and the building lease expired March 31.
“Daytrotter was a Quad-Cities brand, there's no question,” he said. “We were happy at least we could keep producing sessions. From a financial point of view, we have more operation-sharing costs in Atlanta. Paste covers music, movies and television. One of the reasons the studio is there, we do a fair amount of interviews with directors and actors.”
Daytrotter alumni include Wilco, The National, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Death Cab for Cutie, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Jimmy Cliff, Macy Gray, Counting Crows, Brandi Carlile and Kris Kristofferson.
“Daytrotter closed its space as a result of business decisions made by its parent company that likely have little to do with our local market,” said Kyle Carter, executive director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership.
Co-founder Sean Moeller left Daytrotter after it moved to Davenport and went on to start a new company, Moeller Nights, in downtown Davenport, which produces shows throughout the area.
“We're happy to have Raccoon Motel, RME and Stardust routinely booking shows, let alone shows by Rust Belt, Rozz Tox, RIBCO, Adler, and many other venues around the region,” Carter said. “Daytrotter was founded by Quad-Citizens, and its impressive legacy is well documented. To my knowledge, the company as a whole continues to record and stream music even though its local presence has moved. We should continue to celebrate its local legacy and enjoy the thriving Q-C music scene."