Interview: Ed Roy Engineered Lots of Local Albums, Recorded "Roy & Roe" During Late Nights

Interviews Tom Moffatt

You ever find significant pieces of information existing just below your nose for a long, long time without you ever realizing it? That happened a few days after I interviewed Ed Roy of the local rock group Roy & Roe.

Not only has Ed engineered a hundred-plus albums for Hawaiian musicians, he engineered my all-time favorite Hawaiian LP: Chucky Boy Chock & Oahu Brand. I should've known. Ed's engineering skills are top-notch, you can hear it in every recording he's done—the guy who hired him at Audio Media heard it too, offering Ed a job the moment Ed got behind the studio's mixing board. Find out more in my conversation with Ed below, which is part two of my interview with Roy & Roe.

(Part one featured bassist David "Roe" Rorick.)

Tell me about growing up in Hawaii, were you born and raised here?
No, I wasn’t. I came to Hawaii in about 1973 for a master’s program. I started on the East Coast and then transferred over to UH Manoa and finished my degree there in ’77. I was there until about 1980, and then I moved back to Hawaii halfway through ’81 and stayed there through ’86 or ’87. As soon as I graduated college I got a job at a recording studio, Audio Media. So I ended up recording a lot of local bands, a lot of local Hawaiian groups. I worked with pretty much anybody who was anybody in Hawaii. I did some work with Sons of Ni’ihau, Society Of Seven, Don Hon, the live album for Kalapana. I probably engineered about a hundred albums.
All at Audio Media Studios?
Yes, I did a lot of stuff—people from Samoa, Japan, Saigon, pretty much everybody came through those doors. When I joined Audio Media, they were an 8-track studio, then they became a 15, then they went to 24-tracks. I was also recording a lot of local commercials and local jingles I wrote. And in the meantime, I was still playing music at night.
I had known Dave for a few years from the bands I played with every day when I first came over to Hawaii. We had a rock and roll thing called Sassafras. We were like a local institution because we opened up for a lot of bands at the main arena there. We opened up for Aerosmith, Alvin Bishop, Loggins & Messina. We played a lot of clubs in Waikiki. We used to play a place called Pears (?), and right next to it was a place where Seawind was playing.
We were mainly like an Aerosmith-type group. We played all over the place. But then Sassafras broke up—and I’ve played with a lot of local bands—and in the meantime I started putting together some stuff with Dave, he was playing with some of the local bands. I had access to the studio...
*interview truncated... due to website update in 2020. 

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