Wire & Vice recording studio in Wauwatosa has new owners

From Rihanna to Charlie Behrens, Wire and Vice did everything.

But if you don’t know exactly where this prestigious recording studio is, you’ll pass right by it.

It was on purpose, according to former owner Daniel Holter.

“We were really invisible,” Holter said. “It was intentionally under the radar.”

That’s part of the reason Rihanna decided to record there when she was in the area about 10 years ago.

“I think they (the recording crew) appreciated that we were totally hidden. No one actually knew she was there until she left,” Holter said.

Holter bought the studio, 1442 Underwood Ave., in 2001 after overhearing musicians at Summerfest discussing recording space that was up for sale in Wauwatosa.

Just a few weeks ago he sold it to his friend Dave Cotteleer and his son Luke.

Besides Rihanna, the studio, which once housed the Wauwatosa Post Office, has recorded Skillet, Eric Benét, WebsterX, Abby Jeanne, Dead Horses, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Over The Rhine, Amos Lee, Field Report, Dramatic Lovers, Blitzen Trapper and many other local, national and international artists.

Holter primarily used the studio for his business the license laboratory, which is an artist licensing company.

Holter, who moved to Seattle to continue the License Lab, said he would miss Wauwatosa and the studio.

“I have truly considered, and will continue to consider, the recording studio as a deeply protected, intimate, and spiritual place,” Holter said.

“It’s just very, very holy ground to me.”

That’s why selling to Cotteleer was so easy.

“He was a mentor to me and a dear friend for 30 years,” Holter said.

Cotteleer first hired Holter to do front of house sound for his production company. Since then, they have been close friends. Cotteleer has even invested in some of Holter’s music business over the years.

The purchase of the studio came at the right time.

Cotteleer had just retired from his work at Harley-Davidson and Holter was looking for a new owner for the studio. Cotteleer’s son, Luke, was already working there.

All the pieces have come together.

Supporting Artists in the Milwaukee Area

Cotteleer said he wanted the studio to be more open and accessible to artists in the Milwaukee area.

Holter primarily used the space for the Licensing Lab, so the studio was not always available to area artists.

“For me, I want to see this creative space continue to exist, to grow, to support the music and arts community in Milwaukee,” Cotteleer said.

“This is a world-class operation and we want everyone to get a taste of what Milwaukee has to offer,” he added.

Cotteleer, who said the studio is currently in a transitional phase, will reopen the studio to artists in the coming months. There will also be additional creative spaces for individuals to rent within the building.

Cotteleer is also delighted to work with his son.

“It’s an opportunity that not many people have, I think, to share a passion with one of their children and then have the opportunity to build a business around it,” he said. declared.

To learn more about the studio, visit www.wireandvice.com.

Evan Casey can be reached at 414-403-4391 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ecaseymedia.

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