Hello Everyone,

I am Kingsley Ward and in the 1960s my brother Charles and I founded Rockfield Studios out of the attic of our families Farmhouse in South Wales. Our new documentary 'Rockfield - The Studio on the Farm' is now available in the US featuring artists such as Black Sabbath, Oasis, Coldplay, Queen, Robert Plant, The Charlatans and much more...

Our new film details the history of our studio and the journey we have been on for the past 60 years, along with stories told by some of the great artists and musicians who have recorded here.

I will begin answering any questions around 3PM GMT.

Ask Me Anything!

Edit: Thank you all for your questions. We have many exciting Rockfield Studios projects coming up so please feel free to follow us on our social media platforms for more information.

Film & Trailer



Comments: 136 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

Graciousmoments63 karma

Was there ever a band you recorded where you thought “these guys will never make it” but then mad it big regardless?

RSKingsleyWard64 karma

Adam and the Ants were unlike anything we had seen, they were using two drum kits when they were recording here but they started an entire new trend with their music and image.

VentralTegmentalArea53 karma

There’s a story I heard that when Rush recorded albums, they were extremely fast, often recording as an ensemble in one take. Do you recall if they were significantly more efficient than other band’s recording processes? Are there any other bands that got amazing amounts of stuff recorded in a short amount of studio hours?

RSKingsleyWard85 karma

You are absolute right, they knew what they were doing which gave them some spare time to help us out with some decorating, painting our studio windows, they were a great band with a great work ethic.

CloacaOfZuckerberg37 karma

What is your best Black Sabbath story?

RSKingsleyWard114 karma

When they were at Rockfield Ozzy thought there were ghosts in one of our old buildings, turned out it was the other band members messing with him, frightened him to death. They were outside making noises for most of the night, he was paranoid the entire week.

ahhcool34 karma

Hello, I’m Emily! I’m a recording engineer from New Orleans. Are there any female recording engineers that worked for your studio in the past 60 years?

RSKingsleyWard32 karma

We have worked with both female engineers and producers over the years such as Cate Lebon, Dani Bennett Spragg and Martha Salogni. In the early days it was definitely a more male dominated industry and its great to see more and more women being represented.

timonlepetit22 karma

Hi there, huge fan of the story and dedication that your brought to studio management. Im currently in the process of opening my own complex which is (like the Rockfield studio) in the countryside (2h or so away from Paris). If you could give yourself any advice from today’s perspective to your young and ambitious self, what would it be? I feel like im in a constant battle between the believers of a such project and the pessimistic ones that can only find reasons not to do such a thing in 2021. Thanks for reading! Love from France!

RSKingsleyWard35 karma

I would tell my younger self to ignore the nay-sayers, originally everyone told me that Rockfield Studios wouldn’t happen in the country as at the time London was the only place where big studios operated. We proved them wrong so always follow your intuition.

TheMaplesUnion21 karma

I heard Rush recorded their hemispheres album, how did you find working with them? Heard fun stories from them during that period.

RSKingsleyWard43 karma

Rush were brilliant. They were such a talented band and used every bit of the studio, they also helped around the farm painting our outside windows when they weren’t in the studio.

eternalbean19 karma

What’s your favourite track that was ever recorded in your studios? What was it like creating it?

RSKingsleyWard31 karma

Robert Plant - Big Log. It’s a great single and a great song, still on my playlist.

Eight_Twenty19 karma

What was the most unconventional recording technique ever used at Rockfield?

RSKingsleyWard41 karma

Originally before digital everything was done on tape, including locking tape machines together to produce flanging and phasing and other quirky tricks. Queen often put their drums in one of the stables and ran leads across from the studio. Noel Gallagher also used the same technique when he recorded Wonderwall, sitting outside on a large stone wall that has since become a bit of an attraction.

laserclutch19 karma

Any fun stories on Oasis?

RSKingsleyWard49 karma

Only when they had a slight dispute on the lawn outside, there was definitely a bit of damage done to the accommodations but the good news was the album went on to sell 23 million. Good lads.

Joe_Eisma18 karma

Hi Kingsley! Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath is notorious for pulling pranks. Did he pull any on you or anyone else at Rockfield while Sabbath was recording there?

RSKingsleyWard35 karma

He tortured Ozzy during their stay here. We had an Old Mill that was used as a rehearsal room that later became its own recording studio (Monnow Valley) - He would stalk around at night with a sheet over his head.

fronthand-backhand17 karma

Biggest diva story?

RSKingsleyWard24 karma

Maybe not from the bands but a few producers names spring to mind. I will say no more.

rolling_soul16 karma

What made you decide to convert a farm into a Studio and did you ever suspect it would become as successful and iconic as it did?

RSKingsleyWard29 karma

We decided to convert the attic in our farmhouse into a studio to record our own group as there were no commercial studios to hire outside the major ones in London. Nobody ever thought it would work in the country and we never thought that other studios would start copying us.

pimp_skitters16 karma

What was the one moment you guys knew you were on to something REALLY big?

RSKingsleyWard35 karma

When Dave Edmunds recorded ‘I hear you knocking’ in 1972, it went number one around the world. Also when Black Sabbath turned up in 1969, they were our first major heavy rock band that we recorded with.

Lewdogger14 karma

What is your personal favourite session you’ve seen at your studios?

RSKingsleyWard12 karma

There have been too many to count but I loved Ace when they recorded ‘How Long’ - John Anthony was the producer and he was always great fun to be around.

Stockholmbarber14 karma

What are a couple of your favourite anecdotes from your time there, that you’ll tell at dinner parties and the like?

RSKingsleyWard45 karma

We had a big drug bust in 1972 that we mention in the film, always goes down well at a dinner party. At the time I was cleaning up the studios and walked straight into the police without realising I had a big bag of ‘evidence’ in my hands.

RSKingsleyWard11 karma

Thank you all for the questions. We have some great projects coming up so please feel free to follow us on our social media for more updates on Rockfield Studios.

TheNecromancer11 karma

As a big Budgie and Manic Street Preachers fan, Rockfield has always been my studio Mecca so thanks for being part of some great music!

Over all the time you've been involved with the place, what are the most interesting changes to the recording process (or business) you've noticed?

RSKingsleyWard10 karma

The onset of automated consoles. Before it was always hands-on but the digital format has changed everything.

bizzum11 karma

By your estimates, which band/songwriter was the best at getting a song down in one take?

RSKingsleyWard33 karma

Liam Gallagher would try and get his vocals down as quickly as possible so he could go off down the pub. Also June Tabor, a famous folk singer, she would always do her songs in one take.

spudspudpentel0910 karma

what is your biggest regret and pride over the years?

RSKingsleyWard23 karma

Our biggest regret was never having a big hit of our own, when we started the studio it was with the purpose of recording our own band ‘The Charles Kingsley Creation’ - We were produced by Joe Meek at the time. My biggest pride is the successful feedback we have had from our film and being able to share our story.

hivuliese10 karma

Are there any animals still active on the farm, and if so, how have they reacted to various bands?

RSKingsleyWard19 karma

We still have our Jersey cows on the farm, they are just as famous as some of the bands here and all the musicians love being around them, especially when there are new calves.

epiben10 karma

Do you have any particularly funny moments that you can remember with one of the bands?

RSKingsleyWard22 karma

A band from Los Angeles called Salty Dog insisted on bringing some girls they met in London who proved to be a total nuisance. They were so bad me and Otto (one of our beloved engineers) hid in the garden.

lilbowski10 karma

What's the best rockstar party story that occured on the farm?!

RSKingsleyWard27 karma

When Lemi was here he never seemed to sleep, you might be able to guess why.

AskAboutMyCoffee9 karma

How have the loudness wars affected how you track, and mix? What modern audio technology can you not live without in the studio?

RSKingsleyWard10 karma

Pro Tools, digital recording techniques have changed the game. We still also use older recording techniques.

Boathead969 karma

What are some horror stories of difficult/painful recording sessions you've had to oversee?

RSKingsleyWard15 karma

We had a band fly in from Canada at the same time the police decided to raid the studios. Little bit of a horror show to have clients turn up to that.

analgrunt7 karma

Who was your favourite producer to work with?

RSKingsleyWard10 karma

I haven’t worked with many producers for the past 30 years but I loved Gus Dudgeon (no longer with us) who produced Elton John, John Anthony and Hugh Jones were all great fun.

DonutLover166 karma

Favorite band?

RSKingsleyWard15 karma

I love Guns n’ Roses, would have loved to have them at the studio.