Overcast Recordings: An Inspirational Tale for RGV Musicians

Words by Sammy Jo Cienfuegos

Edited by Abigail Vela

Kieran Krebs, founder of Overcast Recordings, specializes in making music sound good. A self-taught music producer from Brownsville, Texas, Krebs started his journey into the sound-engineering world in 2012 in his dad’s garage. Now, working out of his home-based studio in Austin, Texas, he has worked with 50+ bands and produced over 300 songs. 

 

While Krebs is currently living the dream, being able to fully immerse himself into various genres, ranging from pop-punk to hardcore, he wasn’t always sure that pursuing music was worth it, but being able to build songs and albums he’s proud of, alongside such talented and creative musicians from his home – the Rio Grande Valley– has assured him in his choice. 

 

Coming from the Valley, Krebs understands how difficult it is to pursue your passions, especially when your passions don’t fall in line with the status quo. Krebs’ ability to work at Overcast Recordings is proof that RGV natives interested in the music industry can accomplish anything they set their minds to. 

The back of a man’s head wearing a white cap and headphones. He is looking forward at a computer screen, speakers on each side of the screen.
Krebs has worked in audio engineering since 2012, gaining over ten years of experience. Photo Courtesy of Trey Karnes.

Going Against the Grain

“Some days, I wake up feeling a little bit groggy, a little bit slower; those are my editing days. Other times, I wake up feeling more energized, greatly anticipating the process of making music,” shares Krebs.

A man in a red checkered plaid shirt working on a computer, candles scattered on the desk.
Photo Courtesy of Trey Karnes.

Working in the music industry didn’t always seem feasible for Krebs, but the prospect always pulled at him. After a particularly disappointing experience working with a music producer at 15 years old with his first band, Secondhaven—a band currently on hiatus and not fully broken up publicly—something shifted in his brain and in his heart. While the dream was always to be a rockstar, this different aspect of the music business resonated with him. 

 

“Once I set foot in that studio [during the aforementioned recording experience, which was, again, very unpleasant], I fell in love. To me, working as a music producer is like being able to be a part of a bunch of different bands,” details Krebs. “It’s the best part of music–the creation of it. It’s what sucked me in.”

 

Being from the Valley, it was difficult for Krebs to fully commit to pursuing his current career. Often, parents, particularly Latinx parents, push their children into more “realistic jobs” –doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Because the ideology of practicality was deeply ingrained into Krebs, he originally pursued education, obtaining a B.A. in Bilingual Education, with an emphasis in Primary Education from UT Austin. Briefly, working as an educator, while somewhat enjoyable and often rewarding, was not what Krebs had imagined for himself. He ended up finding his way back to music. 

 

What helped steer him back on track was remembering how fun it is to work with other like-minded individuals. Working with both old and new friends to create sonically pleasing music that’s authentic to the artists themselves is what Krebs was meant to do.

 

If Krebs has no recordings booked for the day, he usually spends his day sitting behind his computer, working his magic and creating larger-than-life listening experiences for his clients, which sometimes includes his band, Ritual Club. Because creativity isn’t always such a renewable resource, what gets done on any given day varies. 

 

“It’s not always exciting, but it makes me happy,” adds Krebs.

 

Krebs particularly enjoys working with bands from the place where it all began for him— the good ole Rio Grande Valley. 

Overcast Recordings Features Valley Stars

Five guys in alternative punk clothing walking and posing for a photo at a sidewalk.
High Regard released their EP “Sulk in the Sun” in February 2023 and will soon release more music. Photo By Karina Aguirre (@photto.kari on Instagram)

A band he is currently working with is High Regard, a Brownsville-based, pop-punk band formerly known as Kingsway, having recorded an EP back in 2016 and just recently completed a three-song session late last year. 

Krebs recalls working on High Regard’s EP eight years ago as if it were yesterday. “It was the second project I worked on after moving to Austin. They came up and stayed in the duplex I was currently living in,” Krebs reminisces. “It was quite the experience. We had to ask the neighbors if it was okay to make noise, as we were tracking drums and [recording] the songs quickly. John Taylor [drummer for High Regard] killed it, like always.”

 

Krebs particularly enjoys working with High Regard, as the band comprises many of his old friends, including one of his ex-bandmates from Krebs’ first band and producing debut, Matt Losoya. 

 

Losoya is High Regard’s frontman. Over the years, Krebs and Losoya have developed a telepathic form of communication, building their collective vision through the exchange of silly sound effects. 

 

Losoya adds, “Kieran has a way of turning a song that already feels complete into an even grander experience. He makes your song come to life and makes every song he works on special.”

Krebs has also worked with RGV locals Riley!, a midwest emo band that just announced they got signed to Counterintuitive Records. Riley! recently recorded a full-length record with Overcast Recordings. “It’s been finished and done, and sitting in the vault for a little while, but I’m really excited for it to be released,” Krebs shares.

Advice to RGV Musicians

Krebs is on a mission to help Valley locals realize their rockstar dreams. Overcast Recordings welcomes musicians from the Rio Grande Valley to come up to Austin and record their music. 

 

For those interested in pursuing music production, Krebs shares some final words of advice,  “Just go for it. There will be a lot of trial and error, but if you’re passionate about it, it’s worth pursuing.”

Riley! just released their single, “Bad Boys Boxing Club,” on April 9. Photo by Joey Martinez (@pkjoey on Instagram)
Riley! just released their single, “Bad Boys Boxing Club,” on April 9. Photo by Joey Martinez (@pkjoey on Instagram)

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