Secret Agent: Urian Hackney | What's Good | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Secret Agent: Urian Hackney



Age: 26
Occupation: Recording engineer; drummer, Rough Francis
Town: Burlington

Locals might know Urian Hackney best as the drummer of fan-favorite Burlington rock band Rough Francis. But the Vermont native's musical chops extend far beyond the realm of pounding the skins.

A studio engineer, record producer and mastering professional, Hackney works his sonic magic out of the fabled South End studio the Box. With an ever-growing and diverse production discography, the wunderkind has become a top pick for local artists looking for help guiding their projects to perfection. His studio work touches a plethora of genres: doom metal, post-rock, slacker rock, Afro-funk fusion, indie folk, garage punk, ethereal acoustic, and good old-fashioned rock and roll.

In a creative scene with no shortage of clients, Hackney always has his hands full. "I love Burlington because of ... how condensed this little area is with great food, musicians and people," he says. "As an artist, it's a great place to dive into your craft with little outside distraction."

My favorite thing to do in Burlington:

Cruising the streets on my skateboard.

Best place to sit and think big thoughts:

Red Rocks Park in South Burlington — specifically from the 76-foot cliff. It's majestic and puts in perspective how small you actually are. With the view of the Adirondacks across the lake and the water down below, it always brings me to an introspective place. And sometimes it just makes my stomach churn.

Vermont destination worth driving for:

Warren Falls is my favorite swimming spot. It has clean water, a picture-perfect waterfall and is just an all-around beautiful spot.

On a typical Friday night, you can find me:

At band practice. Or the Light Club Lamp Shop, occasionally.

Favorite venue to perform:

ArtsRiot. It has a good amount of floor space while still being pretty intimate [for] a performer. The walls are generally untreated, and it has that nice boomy sound.

Favorite venue to be in the audience:

ArtsRiot. I've never felt disconnected from the stage, and it has a good vibe.

Favorite local band:

Mal Maïz. Pure energy and emotion. Great rhythm section, too.

My radio dial is tuned to:

VPR Classical. It's a good palate cleanser after I've meticulously listened to aggressive instruments all day. Also WRUV.

The Burlington music scene's best-kept secret:

Dan Davine. He's a super talented drummer, guitarist and bass player. He's honest, personable and the kind of dude you have to call to talk to. The same principle is transcribed in his work as an engineer. He prefers analog gear, mixes on consoles and has a super tangible approach to recording. Also, he has cool hair.

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