Chris Foreman. Understanding the technology and creative mind when building an audio business

Interview with
Chris Foreman
Chris Foreman. Understanding the technology and creative mind when building an audio business

Chris Foreman, SwampShack Studio

We Cater to Cowards

When a life dedicated to music starts at birth, you’d have to think that yep, music is in the blood. This is how our guest today, Chris Foreman from SwampShack Studio describes his early foray (Partridge Family-like) into playing music then later learning the technology behind creating good sound.

Chris reckons that having a skilled technician (like himself – no vanity intended!) mix, record and produce sound can go a long way in helping even the most amateur punter make good music or excellent audio.  

Thesaurus lists music as a noun meaning ‘sounds that are pleasant, harmonised’. Not always the case!

It’s funny that the antonym (opposite) for music is ‘silence’ - speaks volumes for the benefit of engaging someone like Chris to make your sound sing and your story heard.

Chris makes great sound for lots of audio style, but just consider what music alone represents in the following description - which maxes out on ideology – ‘an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and colour.’

Well, Chris sees the ideological philosophy of music and the philosophy of its paradoxical opposite, technology, as one and the same. A juxtaposition of sound and science, in fact. 

That’s OK because no matter whether it’s earthy or esoteric, there’s always an answer explaining how things work and why some things work so well.

The theory behind how tech performs relates to the process which leads to the desired outcome. Mix that up with simpatico expression and the philosophy of technology all starts to make sense. Truly! And Chris should know – he’s been creating good sounds by wrapping the creative up with the technical in his venue, SwampShack Studio for years.

Successful sound production can depend on what side of the glass you sit on. When you have a blend of experience in creating and producing audio (Chris’s sat on both sides of the glass and worn both hats but advises not to wear them at the same time), the “optimagasm” or “f… yeah, living the dream …” moments can be mind-blowing.

Setting up a studio to record live sound and produce music, sound bites, voice audio (including books and stories), podcasts (like this one) and for audio restoration was enabled partly due to Chris’ training at MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of NZ).

“I now know how to plug things in, and I know how to unplug them and pull them apart when they’re smoking then put them back together.”

Chris Foreman, SwampShack Studio

But it was also thanks to Chris’ dad. His father, being a dentist, practised the reassuring wisdom: “We Cater to Cowards”.

Chris has adopted his own unique interpretation. When you meet him at SwampShack to have a chat about recording, you’ll see what we mean. Put it this way: Chris has a clownish sense of humour (“Is this dude for real?”) utilised with the sole intention to relax his strung-out creatives. He helps them believe that they’re an able vessel for creativity and so, when you’re all geared up to produce your best work, it happens; easily, comfortably and with outstanding results.

The typical Kiwi “I’m too shy for this” becomes “Yeah! I’m a singer!”

There’s no sheeny-shiny pristine awkwardness here; SSS engages with clients’ head, intellect but more predominantly their HEART – this is Chris’ interpersonal gift. His technical techniques and equipment (“come inside and check out my spaceship”) are entirely focused on quality; good gear tried and true (often second-hand classics), and the confidence to operate it, fix it, keep it low key and friendly. Chris calls it transparent technology.

“I work in tech, and my adornment is wires and cable and bits of metal and if I don’t have the right adornment, people are going to look at my shitty gear and think I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Chris Foreman, SwampShack Studio

The philosophy of tech has evolved as a valuable measurement tool for all business. It’s a doable ideal which translates the human element and gauges how well your business functions practically. Get it right, and your 2-second chance to make the impact you need becomes a reality.

But how you choose to use technology in your life should perhaps reflect the pacifist mandate that Chris follows:

  • Be open, share vulnerabilities
  • But don’t give away all your secrets!
  • Be versatile
  • Realise that although tech is moving fast, it's not the be-all and end-all.
  • Use DIY ingenuity
  • Be like a non-militant army
  • Don’t disregard the value of gaffer tape
  • And when the s… hits the fan: Stay calm. “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

Pop into SwampShack Studio and say Hi to Chris. He’ll be hanging out in there, chilling and getting stuff done, “And if you want to do your podcasts, we’ve got quick turnarounds and massive amounts of royalty-free music and the highest quality you could imagine.”                             

And by the way, if you need more help in moving your business from ordinary to extraordinary visit me, Craig Oliver at

Or read the show notes from our other amazingly informative, inspirational and gritty podcasts at

So many insights, tips and ideas to be had! Just look back, listen and learn.


Go on, smash through the glass ceiling and move your business from Ordinary to Extraordinary.


No one has commented on this page yet.

Post your comment