Byzantine’s “OJ” Ojeda is Opening a Recording and Rehearsal Studio


When Byzantine frontman/guitarist Chris “OJ” Ojeda isn’t busy rocking faces with his band (nobody beats ’em!), he works as a contractor in his native Charleston, WV. Now he’s combining both of his skills for his latest endeavor, a recording studio, rehearsal facility and music education center all in one that he’s building himself from the ground up.

OJ expects to open Trident Studios in Charleston in November in the former home of an automotive repair shop. Currently under construction, OJ plans for the facilities to be utilized by professional musicians and aspiring youngins alike, as well as, of course, Byzantine. Here’s what the white-bearded guitar wizard himself tells MetalSucks:

“For the last four years, Byzantine had a rehearsal space in an old drafty building in Charleston, WV. We utilized the building to the fullest, recording our Metal Blade debut The Cicada Tree there as well as shooting all our recent music videos inside the building for the songs “The Agonies,” “Justinian Code,” “Vile Maxim” and “The Cicada Tree.” The building got a new landlord who squeezed us out of our spot. 

“I told the guys we will never be removed from our rehearsal space again. I sold my home of 10 years and bought an engine and transmission shop at auction this summer and just started renovations this October. The facility, which will be called Trident Studios, named after the Byzantine trident logo we have used for years, will house a recording studio, six rehearsal spaces and three or four instructional rooms for teaching.

“We are hoping the facility will be a benchmark for musical creativity in the capital city of WV and serve to give working professional musicians of all genres a home to be creative 24/7, free of constraint. We also hope to give the younger musicians a place where they can learn from seasoned artists and see how much love and care needs to go into making your art something to be proud of. We look to offer educational workshops from topics as in depth as studio engineering, FOH mixing, proper lighting setups all the way down to things that we take for granted like how to properly roll merch, intonate your guitar or load a trailer. This is all knowledge that I have been blessed to acquire over the last 20 years as a musician.

“I hope to have the rehearsal spaces open mid November and the facility at full speed ahead by Jan 1, 2020!”

OJ’s current entrepreneurial endeavors don’t end there. He’s currently working on a new product called The Floor Cam, a tool “that vastly simplifies and speeds up the process of hardwood flooring.” I’m willing to bet OJ’s already using it to lay down flooring at his new studios (everything comes full circle!). He’s launched a Kickstarter to fund that project, which you can contribute to here. Have a look at a demo video below featuring OJ himself using the tool to take competitors to task.

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