Music Venue Uses Airstream For Recording Studio


Since the 1930s, Airstream trailers have provided countless road trips. And now, thanks to the Arizona music company Last Exit Live, one of these Airstreams should launch some artists on one of the most exciting roads of all: the road to stardom.

Last Exit Live was originally a Tempe, Arizona, concert venue. It’s now located in Phoenix, and it’s a management and promotions business as well as a place for concerts. Brannon Kleinlein owns this company as well as the 1982 Airstream motorhome that sits in its parking lot. Shortly after selling the original Last Exit Live venue in 2009, Kleinlein bought this trailer from a friend’s grandparents. He drove it that summer to San Diego and Seattle. The ride was smooth all the way. In fact, during that journey, Kleinlein couldn’t resist honking whenever he saw expensive new trailers broken down beside the road.

Recording inside Kleinlein’s trailer is a singular experience. Bands enter the motor home and unpack their instruments. Last Exit Live staff members turn on a series of hanging lights and turn off the air conditioner; the AC unit would otherwise create too much background noise. And then the magic happens.

Last Exit Live films its trailer recording sessions for the company’s official YouTube page. Among the bands that have been featured in these video presentations are The Thin Bloods, The Senators, and The Features. The company only uses one camera and four microphones to capture these events, but the resulting footage is of the highest quality. Indeed, Matty Steinkamp — Last Exit Live’s media director — places a premium on video blogging. He feels that this form of blogging is underutilized throughout the music industry; he further believes that it can really help musicians gain exposure. After all, live acoustic performances allow artists to show off their natural talent.

When not being used for recording purposes, the trailer doubles as the Last Exit Live green room. Musicians never trash the place, however. Kleinlein insists that they treat his trailer with respect, and the management team keeps the interior clean. In fact, the inside of this motor home actually has a pleasant smell.

The Airstream should continue serving Last Exit Live’s strategies for a long time to come. The company wants to parlay the videos shot there into a television show. And they hope that this TV and Internet content will put Arizona on the musical map in a major way. Those are some ambitious plans to center around a motorhome that’s more than three decades old, but it’s unlikely that this trailer will disappoint.

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