Music is in Jeff Westlake’s blood. Whether he’s on stage performing in front of thousands of fans or in a studio mixing a song, Westlake’s life is one long soundtrack.
“I can’t remember a time in my life when music wasn’t a big part of who I am,” says Westlake, who picked up his first guitar at the age of 3. “It’s in my DNA. Music is my life.”
Westlake, an Ohio native, might be best known to the general public as a founder and the lead guitarist of Hydrogyn. He also recently released his first solo album titled “In The Key of Blue.” But for those in the music industry, Westlake also is recognized for his studio prowess. He has produced, mixed, mastered and engineered for dozens of artists. He’s also a gifted songwriter, and he has worked in nearly every music genre.
“The great thing about both aspects of what I do is that it’s all about getting the emotion across,” Westlake says. “On stage, you are delivering the emotion and the impact in its own unique way for that piece of music because when it’s over, it will never happen like that again.
“Being in the studio, you are creating something that will be around forever, and you want it to go deep into the soul. So, in that respect, I love doing both. It’s all about the emotion regardless if it’s in the moment or forever, so both the stage and the studio are equally enjoyed.”
When you add all of that to his years of experience in the music industry, Westlake is someone you want on your team. He has worked with talents such as Michael Wagener (Accept and veteran producer/mixer), Craig Goldy (Dio), Jeff Young (Megadeth), Dug Pinnick (King’s X), James LoMenzo (Black Label Society), Ian Glenn Wright (English promoter), Mickael Jublin (industry insider) and former Hydrogyn bandmate Jeff Boggs.
“There have been so many moments in my life that led me to where I am today,” Westlake says. “Meeting Ronnie James Dio for the first time and getting his advice, the people I have worked with. Michael Wagener was the person who helped me harness what I wanted and do it properly. Ian Glenn Wright has been a mentor and motivator as well, and the same for Mickael Jublin, both whom I met thru touring with Hydrogyn.
“The list of people who have helped me travel this road is a long one, and I’m thankful to each of them.”
Bottom line: Westlake has the talent, the knowledge, the experience and the connections to take you to the next level if you need help on either side of the studio glass.
Written by Chris Dickerson