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Interview with Quichenight
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I co-wrote, recorded, and played all the instruments on the Jasmin Kaset album Tuxedo. I like it because it has a retro backing track and a contemporary vocal with really interesting lyrics. Favorite thing I've done.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just finished a record called Tesago with my project, Quichenight. Around the house, recording a little more music in the same vein--danceable rock music with a lot of synth. Kinda groovy, late-70s style. Half instrumental.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: A combo. I use an analog signal, I play analog instruments. The compressors I use are analog. But I'm recording on a computer. Sometimes I'll reamp an instrument through the repro of a tape machine, go back into digital. There are just so many ways to analog your sound going in and out of the box that I don't think there is a major drawback to digital at all. I'll say this--it's not especially helpful to have a visual experience with a screen while you're mixing or listening back. Why do plug-ins have cute graphics? I think it affects the way we hear, having the "pro tools TV" going, remembering it, dreaming about it. So yeah, limit your experience with the digital visual interface when mixing and recording if possible.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise I'll give you something real.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What music are you listening to? Who do you see as your audience? What's the song about?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: The recordings I make are more of an artifact than a product.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Fender Stratocaster Korg DDD-1 Peavey Bandit Fender Mustang Bass Tascam 424
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out playing open mics in my teenage years. In my 20s, I played in a wide-variety of bands in the Boston, MA area. Moved to Nashville and have since done everything from country to Irish to punk to R&B.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Small pleasure pop.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Van Halen, original lineup. They're all still with us. It's a crime we can't get those guys together one more time and create some magic.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: In the time it takes to overdub or mix something into something you don't hate, you can ofter recut it a few more times and go from there.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Singer-songwriters looking to escape their genre.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Improvising, psychoanalysis
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Groove, a sense of humor, a little mystery, a "group" vibe.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I just try and finish a song in 4 hours, mix and all. You have a finite amount of time get something fresh.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have an old Yamaha board, some dbx compressors, dynamic mics (EV RE-16, RE-50, 635a; Sennheiser MD-214; various Radio Shack mics made by Shure in the 80s), a 60s Japanese stencil kit with coated heads (usually I play 7A sticks); an Ampeg B4 portaflex; Peavey Bandit 65 (1981); Stratocaster; Korg DW6000 synth (1987); Korg DDD-1; Sango SG copy bass (70s Japan).
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno, Brian Wilson, Prince, Gabriel Mekler, RZA, Bob Johnston
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I make "the track." Artists will come to me with a song. Sometime's it's an orchestrated demo with some guitar or keyboard parts. Sometimes it's just a an instrument and a voice. Either way, I see it as my job to find the implied arrangement ideas embedded in that demo, and try and figure out the right mood or a way to achieve a mood specified by the artist.