Credits include Elton John, Slash, Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Gilby Clarke, members of Weezer, Pearl Jam, Guns ‘n Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, The Runaways, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, and many others.
Rocco Guarino is a Los Angeles-based songwriter, producer, engineer, and mixer. He worked with rock supergroup Velvet Revolver for the life of the band, then went on to work with many of his idols. In 2014 he partnered with his long-time friend and collaborator Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) to transform Scott’s private studio into a commercial recording facility, while also serving as Chief Engineer. Songs that Rocco has written have been licensed by NBC, ABC, Comedy Central, IFC, E!, Sky UK, ICI Canada, Hulu, and others.
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Interview with Rocco Guarino
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: It's all analog in the end.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To remain transparent.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The music and the personalities.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: QUESTION: How long does it take to make an album? ANSWER: The whole time.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's well-defined.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Genre, instrumentation, number of songs, schedule, budget.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Fix it in pre-production.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Neumann U47, Neve 1073, Teletronix LA-3A, Laptop, Pro Tools
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Pre-production, usually two songs per day. Record drums first with all band members in the live room. Then bass, guitars, and keys overdubbed in the control room. Vocals recorded either in the live room or in the control room.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: 20+ years
Q: How would you describe your style?
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Leave time for happy accidents.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock and pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Tight arrangements, sonic ear-candy, catchy parts.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Lavish Studios: 3,000 sq. ft., 30' x 45' live room, grand piano, lounge, kitchen, office, control room, reserved parking.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Writing, arranging, producing and mixing music. Directing, editing, and coloring film and video.