We had the good fortune of connecting with Ethan Kotel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ethan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I have, at various times, worked upwards of 90 hours a week on my business. No matter how much you love what you’re doing, this is never sustainable. Understanding your own limits and working towards ensuring that you are taking care of your mental health and engaging in pursuits unrelated to your business is paramount as a small business owner. I now have a much healthier work/life balance, and find that that enables me to think more clearly and in a much more focused form about both my business and personal goals.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been performing and recording music since I was about 12 years old, and have at this point truly dedicated my life to the pursuit of sonic excellence. My goal is to provide a level of care and craft in my productions that exceeds what is commonly found in the local scene. There is an undercurrent of cynical apathy on the part of many engineers today, who view themselves as some sort of gatekeeper to the recording process, instead of as a facilitator, working to foster comfort and creative energy in their clients. I strive to set myself apart by offering a higher level of service and professionalism, and doing my level best to translate my clients’ artistic vision to the masses, not to influence it with my own egoic ideas of what’s “right” or “proper.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s easy to spend a week seeing different, talented, local. music every night. If you have lived here for years and never engaged with your local scene, you owe it to yourself and your city to support the venues and artists around you, especially now that they are struggling more than ever through COVID. Spend more money at venues that aren’t owned by LiveNation and AEG. Check your local venue calendars and see how you can help. See: Mutiny, Hi-Dive, Lion’s Lair, Lost Lake, The Oriental, and 7th Circle.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Brad Smalling at Evergroove Studio is one of the few people in the Denver Music Scene who has my unequivocal and undying respect.
Shanon Shumaker, Emily Abramson