WORDS BY : KATIE CONWAY-FLOOD

Sam Pura is one of the most prominent names in the producing, engineering and mixing world today, having worked on an array of albums by bands including Basement, State Champs and more recently The Dangerous Summer’s return to form record Mother Nature. Whilst having some of the biggest names in hardcore, emo and pop-punk eager to get Pura’s signature sound on their studio releases , it’s astounding to contemplate how he has the time to fit in plenty of other projects such as founding The Panda Studio’s. However, it’s Pura’s do it yourself attitude that has earned him every album credit to his ever expanding list of recording work to date. 

Growing up in the Californian music scene as an individual interested in the idea of making it in the music industry, Pura got to experience first hand the artists coming up through the confines of his hometown in the Bay Area citing “Groups like Anticon, Hieroglyphics, or even Neurosis have all have been greatly influential to me.” With such a vast and rich heritage of rock acts playing their part on his musical upbringing, it’s more so their freedom and aesthetic value that have directly impacted his professional career, to which Sam sees himself as “A very punk/DIY entrepreneur.” 

I SEE PANDA STUDIOS AS A PRODUCT OF THREE THINGS. PUNK ROCK, DIY AND FROM BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR

Outside of being one of the most astute producers for bands in the business, Sam Pura is also the mastermind behind The Panda Studios, a well respected recording complex specialising in providing superior audio related services. Situated in San Francisco, California, Sam’s very birthplace still remains the beating heart of where he lives, breaths and operates his business in, and for Sam he wouldn’t have it any other way even if it meant the studio could see more success residing in the likes of Los Angeles “I certainly wouldn’t choose anywhere else to be but it could be argued that I would be more “successful” if I were to be in LA.” So at the expense of more prosperity Pura would rather remember his roots in the San Fran Bay Area, and it’s this environment which has greatly influenced the type of signature sound Sam has individually crafted which he says “Is a product of me following the nostalgia and emotional reaction I get from the sound and experience of my favorite records and songs.” 

Having been credited on some of the biggest records by some of the biggest bands in the alternative sphere over the years, like any job it has come with its contrasting rewarding and challenging moments. The challenges come with their own pressure to people please “I feel an enormous responsibility to be emotionally invested and dedicated to making the music be an important contribution to people’s lives” and the strong emotional connection bears a heavy weight on his shoulders “Making records that emotionally connects with listeners is very challenging but meaningful work that I take very seriously.” However, it’s the rewards that reap the most satisfaction for Sam, with one of the many rewarding records including The Story So Far’s fourth full length Proper Dose, which proved to be a problematic project at first, but ended up being a gratifying cathartic experience as Sam Puma says in his own words “It was a laborious process that at times was demoralising difficult to navigate. However, once we reached the end result, the process felt incredibly meaningful, validating, and rewarding.” 

MAKING RECORDS THAT EMOTIONALLY CONNECTS WITH LISTENERS IS VERY CHALLENGING, BUT MEANINGFUL WORK THAT I TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY

It seems Sam Pura has achieved, accomplished and attained a passion and profession many dare to dream about. With years in the business busily managing The Panda Studios and making the hottest emo/pop-punk records around, for Pura he still strives to learn, grow and push himself as a producer. “One of the biggest changes I’ve made is my mental approach to making music” and it’s this new found mental shift that has seen the most validating outcomes. “I want our end result to be a relevant contribution to listeners’ lives and the experience making this music to feel like it had a meaningful purpose.” 

It seems Sam Pura has achieved, accomplished and attained a passion and profession many dare to dream about. With years in the business busily managing The Panda Studios and making the hottest emo/pop-punk records around, for Pura he still strives to learn, grow and push himself as a producer. “One of the biggest changes I’ve made is my mental approach to making music” and it’s this new found mental shift that has seen the most validating outcomes. “I want our end result to be a relevant contribution to listeners’ lives and the experience making this music to feel like it had a meaningful purpose.” 

It seems Sam Pura has achieved, accomplished and attained a passion and profession many dare to dream about. With years in the business busily managing The Panda Studios and making the hottest emo/pop-punk records around, for Pura he still strives to learn, grow and push himself as a producer. “One of the biggest changes I’ve made is my mental approach to making music” and it’s this new found mental shift that has seen the most validating outcomes. “I want our end result to be a relevant contribution to listeners’ lives and the experience making this music to feel like it had a meaningful purpose.” 

At its core, it all boils down to this very devotion to making music as to why so many bands chose to work with Sam Pura and deservingly so. 

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