Taylor Locke

Record Maker.

Taylor Locke on SoundBetter

I am your fluid collaborator. Sometimes you walk in with a fully-formed vision, and I just try to get the butterfly in the jar. Other days you're searching, and you need me to crawl into the trenches with you, to discover the most exciting and unique way to present you.

In 2017 / 2018 I produced Cullen Omori (Sub Pop), Bloodboy, Geographer, The Midnight Club, and Human Resources. I've also worked with Linda Thompson, The New Pornographers, Sloan, and Dan Mangan.

Beyond record production, I have composed for television, youtube series, sound libraries, toured as a performing guitarist & singer, and done session work. (See discography links below.)

In 1999 I co-founded the band Rooney. We recorded three major label albums on Geffen and Warner Brothers, and toured globally. I also recently toured Europe, Japan and the US with glam-rock legends, Sparks.

The Velveteen Laboratory is my recording studio in the heart of Los Feliz, Los Angeles. It's packed to the brim with my vintage guitars, a wall of amplifiers, and heaps of collectible effects. My friend Roger Joseph Manning Jr (Beck, Air, Jellyfish, Moog Cookbook) has his vintage synthesizers and piano collection on permanent loan here. My passion and background lies in recording live instruments, but I’m also comfortable programming. I’m fast on Pro Tools, and keep both my software and analog equipment maintained and ready to work. Take a look at my studio photos for a glimpse of the inviting setting which awaits you.
(See complete gear list on website below.)

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Taylor Locke
  • The New Pornographers
  • Chris Price
  • Roger Manning
  • Dan Mangan
  • Cullen Omori
  • Cullen Omori
  • Cullen Omori
  • Cullen Omori
  • Cullen Omori
  • The New Pornographers
  • Emitt Rhodes
  • Emitt Rhodes
  • Emitt Rhodes
  • Emitt Rhodes
  • Thompson
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Rooney
  • Rooney
  • Rooney
  • Bleu
  • Randy Edelman
  • Randy Edelman
  • Randy Edelman
  • Randy Edelman
  • Rooney
  • Rooney
  • Rooney
  • matt pond PA
  • matt pond PA
  • Ben Lee
  • Ben Lee
  • Ben Lee
  • Tomandandy
  • Three Days Grace
  • Rooney
  • Rooney
  • Geographer
  • Geographer
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Jane Holiday
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Taylor Locke
  • Geographer

Interview with Taylor Locke

  1. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  2. A: Guitar parts, vocal harmonies, song-structure, Lead Vocal delivery, drum sounds.

  3. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  4. A: Indie pop, indie rock, guitar pop, power pop, singer-songwriter, folk-rock, synth-rock, garage-rock.

  5. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  6. A: Mac Demarco, Father John Misty, Jenny Lewis. I love their writing and their voices.

  7. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  8. A: On the artistic side they often ask about workflow, technology, and stylistic references. (I believe those have been answered already). On the practical side, they ask about budget, etc. I have a manager who handles those questions, and we are flexible and always trying to make things work.

  9. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  10. A: I am mixing songs by 3 different artists who I've recently produced. A folky singer-songwriter, an indie electronic artist, and a glam rock band.

  11. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  12. A: There are 2. I produced a record called The Diet by Cullen Omori. The record is on Sub Pop records. I worshipped Sub Pop as a 90s kid. Cullen's songs are fantastic. He wanted input on arrangements, orchestration, sounds, etc. We worked really well together. We tracked a live band, which is rare these days. We share a love of Lennon, Elliott Smith, Wilco, Blur, Suede. The other is a record called Punk Adjacent by Bloodboy. She is a ferociously talented writer and performer, reminiscent of The Clash, The Cars, Blondie, Talking Heads, etc. I love those musical references, but what I love even more is her originality as a lyricist, and her power as a vocalist. As always, some songs came to me with great demos that needed very few changes, and others were incomplete, or perhaps in need of a makeover. The sessions were focused yet fun. She does all the singing, and bits of keyboard and guitar. Myself and our engineer did tons of guitars, bass, and keyboards. We had a fabulous drummer who played on the entire record. It was a lovely team and the record speaks for itself.

  13. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  14. A: As a producer, my role is to bring your vision to life. That may be as simple as capturing the sound you already have in mind, or finding it together. I'm an engineer, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. These are skills that I use on an as-needed basis, depending on the session. I can be as hands-on as necessary, or I can sit back and let you fly.

  15. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  16. A: I love the innovation of the sixties. British Invasion bands (Beatles, Zombies, Kinks, Who, Stones) made incredible strides in songwriting and production that continue to inspire me. I love the sound and sophistication of the seventies. Glam and Psych bands (T Rex, Pink Floyd, Bowie) and singer-songwriters (Joni, CSN, JT, Todd Rundgren, Carole King) were pushing the boundaries and making milestone records. I love the power and the fun of the eighties. I love the angst, looseness, humor and dirtiness of the nineties. (Oasis, Blur, Nirvana, early Radiohead). Let's mix it all up and do something NEW.

  17. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  18. A: I have a large 2-room studio (live room / control room). Vintage guitars and synths fill every wall. Classic recording gear feeds a large format console, into Pro Tools 12. The building is constructed with floating floors, total isolation, and custom acoustic treatments. Bathroom & backyard. Walking distance to some of the best Bars & Restaurants in LA.

  19. Q: What's your typical work process?

  20. A: Different for every artist. Typically we start by reviewing your demos, and getting under the hood of the songs. Are the essentials in order? Are the melody/lyric/chords/structure compelling without any production at all? How shall we approach it rhythmically? What are our style references? What's the mood? When we've arrived at an understanding about all that, we can get to work putting down a basic sketch. This can be programming or live drums. Keyboards or guitars. Live band, or track-by-track construction. Hiring musicians of your choosing, or mine, or both. Or it's just us, without any outside help. Vocals are my speciality. Singing should happen fairly early in the process. The emotion of the vocal will guide the rest of the overdubbing process. I'm always building a mix as we go. Every part that goes down should be meaningful and exciting. There is no "later", everything is happening "now". There is a rough mix at the end of Day 1. We reflect. We adjust. We will add or subtract from the canvas. Then I mix. Then we tweak. Then we call it a record, smile and celebrate.

  21. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  22. A: Perspective. An artist needs a mirror, or a sounding-board. I'm here to identify your strengths and amplify them. Do you need a co-writer, a background singer, a one-band band? I'll do it. Or do you just need a friendly teammate to encourage you and keep you focused? I'm that guy too.

  23. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  24. A: Get a lead vocal down nice and early. It will guide the rest of the process. All too often a session goes down a long worm-hole of overdubs, only to find that once the vocal is in place, the parts you had so much fun crafting are actually distracting or violating the central element of the song.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Enthusiastic, engaged, present, flexible. In search of the best sonic delivery system for your musical statement. Fast. Ready to move from drums to bass to guitars to synths to programming to vocals without annoying down time. I move quickly to keep you inspired.

  27. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  28. A: My high-school band signed with a major label in 2002, and we were off to the races. A decade of touring and recording with amazing, legendary producers. Knowing bands don't last forever, I took notes. When the band broke up, I built a studio and started writing for TV, film, and myself. Then I began to take on production work, which I feel well suited for. I love hearing your fresh take on music making, and help you bring it to life.

  29. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  30. A: Come over here. Play me some songs. Let's get to know each other.

  31. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  32. A: Lots. How long have you been making music? Do you have several records out already? Do you go on the road and perform often? What's your musical background/history? Who are your favorite artists? What are you trying to accomplish? How do you like to work?

  33. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  34. A: I don't know. I don't think I'm misunderstood. I love making music and I love hearing new artists with something different to say. I think that is evident in my daily attitude in the studio.

  35. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  36. A: I love the variety of different types of artists. They each inspire me. I also love the circular quality of learning and teaching. I take something new away from each artist I work with, and I hope they get the same from me.

  37. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  38. A: It's your record, not mine. You have final say on everything. You're the boss, I work for you. If I think there is a better way to present your music, I won't be afraid to tell you....but ultimately your satisfaction is the main goal. Also, your satisfaction with the actual process is important to me. It's not just a race to finish line. I like to have fun throughout.

  39. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  40. A: Mac Book Pro, any microphone, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a 5 watt amp, a crusty old Drum machine, and a basic poly synthesizer. That's more than 5, but this island probably doesn't have power anyway. In that case: acoustic guitar + tape recorder + pad of paper and a pencil.

  41. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  42. A: Both. Pro Tools is my medium. That's how I capture sound. However, the actual sources being captured are typically vintage guitars, amps, synths, drums, pianos, etc. I have a nice mic collection, lots of outboard gear, and some quirky old toys that add special ephemera to a track.

GenresSounds Like
  • Tame Impala
  • Cheap Trick
  • Jenny Lewis
Gear Highlights
  • https://taylorlockemusic.com/gearlist
More Photos
More Samples