Hello, I'm Justin Lewis. Thank you for your interest in my services! With 30+ years recording guitar and playing live, I would be honored to help take your song or album to the next level musically. I've worked with some of the top pros in the industry ranging from country to rock to R&B to pop and all genres. Let's create some magic!
JL at your service! I'm based out of Lafayette, Louisiana. Thank you for checking out my profile. I'm excited to be a new member of SoundBetter! With 30 plus years experience in the studio and on stage, it would be my honor to help you take your music to the next level. I can give you as many electric or acoustic tracks as you wish or if the song calls for it. I have the equipment to get any tone imaginable, from sparkling clean, twang, 80's pop, funk, extremely heavy, to galactic, effects-laden ambience. 26 guitars and 17 amps from early 70's to modern. I've worked, and still work, with some of the top pros in the business, including multiple Grammy winners. My many clients call my services "The Works" because of my ability to layer rhythms, harmonies, create melodic parts, and create ambient sounds. Please check out my SoundCloud profile at https://soundcloud.com/user-742706219 where you can hear several of the 100's of sessions I've been hired for from country to metal to funk to pop. Again, thank you for your interest in my services! Looking forward to working with you soon!
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Interview with Justin Lewis
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use StudioOne, PreSonus, and a Neve Portico preamp. I record my guitar parts through real amps ranging from multiple Fenders, Marshalls, Mesas, Soldanos, Vistalux Tweeds, Sovteks, Rolands, Peavey, etc. and either mic the combo or one of my 5 cabinets, or run direct through a Rivera Mini RockRec cabinet clone. I have two cab clones in case I want to combine amps too. The cab clone gets the signal from the speaker output on my amp and absorbs the signal and sends it to my interface. If a client prefers a mic'd cabinet with a SM57 or Sennheiser 609, I can easily do that. With 17 amps and 26 guitars I can cover all of your tonal needs from sparkling clean to deep death metal.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: 'Resistre' album by Emmanuel Da Silva, dedicated to the resistance movement in Venezuela. It charted at number 2 in South America, ahead of the Jonas Brothers. I played guitar on it and co-produced it.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm halfway finished recording an album for an R&B client of mine from North Carolina. He wants to go the "Steely Dan" route with it. Having a blast.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Brandon Trent, bassist. He's a great guy, stellar musician, and we record together regularly.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I prefer the sound of analog, but I use digital. Editing is much easier.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to treat your music as if it were my own.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Meeting people from around the world and getting to hear some of the unique styles of music that are out there.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Do I ever sleep? Yes! I like the peacefulness of early mornings and the smell of coffee when I record. I feel I get my best work done between 5am and 8am.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People in general think that I record live over the internet with clients. Not the case. I'll receive their song in my email or Dropbox and record my guitar parts to it, and send them the WAV files when I'm done. I have spent less than two hours on a song, and I've spent a few days completing a song. That depends on how many layers and textures they want.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I'll ask a prospective customer what their influences are and what style of playing they prefer on their song. I'll also be more than happy to provide a few sample clips for them to choose from. Even then, they will have several final takes to choose from. Options are good.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I have no advice to give to a customer other than to make sure the instruments on the demo are in tune.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Les Paul Gold Top Deluxe, my 1977 JMP50 Marshall, my Fender Deluxe Reissue Silverface, one of my 5 Teles, and one of my 4 Strats.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Been playing live for over 30 years. Started recording professionally about 25 years ago.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Like a chameleon. I've played so many styles for so long that I'm comfortable with anything. My style of playing definitely has a blues element to it. I also like to throw in some quirky country licks with the rock solos.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would have loved to work with Tom Petty. His songs are so memorable and recognizable. Current living artist? That is a tough question. Right now, it's all the producers and session musicians making hits. Brent Mason is a huge influence of mine. I think I could learn a great deal just by sitting back and watching him work.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is less, and more is more. But usually less is more! Artists looking for mainstream success in today's market should pay close attention to song structure and length of song. Need to get to the chorus within one minute. Instrumentals, certain rock songs, and experimental jam styles that have a fairly loose song structure can get a free pass on song length.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I literally record every style of music from Metal to Flamenco to Pop to Country.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Melody, layering, creating ambience, shredding, etc. Anything the song calls for.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I can bring happiness, sadness, joy, and anger to a song by creating the right guitar parts. If a client tells me they want a U2 or Coldplay vibe, I can do it. Slayer, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Dokken, AC/DC, Metallica? Got you covered. Need down home Waylon Jennings or Merle Haggard traditional country guitar picking? I will be happy to do that too. I'm in 5 country bands btw! We play old and modern country from Keith Whitley to Jason Aldean.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I've been playing live and recording for over 30 years and taught guitar lessons for 22 plus years. I'm not giving as many lessons these days so I can focus on recording. I generally do anywhere between 2-5 songs per week. As I mentioned above, my clients will send me their demo in either an MP3 or WAV file format with a few specifics on how they want it to sound. Some already have hooks written, and some trust me to create one for them. Most usually just send me their song and tell me to "do my thing!" I will usually give them a few different options to choose from. Typically, I will send 6-14 guitar tracks per song depending on how much ambience, feedback, or E-Bow they want. I have also stacked 12 heavy rhythms for industrial metal songs before. In addition, I can also record an unaltered direct signal simultaneously with my amp for re-amping later.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have really high standards and take a great deal of pride in my work. I treat everyone's music as if it were my own. I'm inspired mostly by hearing fresh, new material from clients. It allows me to be creative. I also listen to alot of ambient music and smooth jazz all the way to the heaviest of heavy metal bands.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I can record as many guitar tracks as you need if the song requires it. That's all for one price. I'm new to SoundBetter, but I have close to 100 clients locally, regionally, and internationally who trust me with their songs. They place an order with me and send me their MP3 rough or polished demos. I'll spend a few hours or days to record all my guitar parts, then export the stems to them through WeTransfer or Dropbox. I've recorded multiple albums for them, and several songs I played guitar on and co-produced have charted in the top-10 in multiple international markets. I'm fluent in all styles from rock, country, pop, latin, folk, hard rock, funk, R&B, instrumental, to experimental. I have a degree in classical guitar performance and a performance certification from Berklee College of Music. I have also played for multiple Grammy Winners and work regularly with a 6-time Grammy winning producer/engineer.