Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I've been a fan of John's music for many years. He's one of the deepest, most talented and soulful writers I know and I find myself listening to his albums for inspiration and pleasure all the time.
- Bonnie Raitt
What are you working on at the moment?
Editing a live album for a new extraordinary female singer
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Analog or digital and why?
Digital only because of budgets.
Analog always sounds better.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
1000% of my commitment and energy.
What do you like most about your job?
Hearing my music reflected back at me on the radio, TV or movies.,
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Can you work within my budget?
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I am not a promoter, agent, publicist or manager.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
How do you see yourself?
Are you ready for prime time?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Heed the advice and suggestions of a pro.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
My 1883 Steinway Model B piano
A piano stool.
A studio with a view.
A gourmet chef
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Playing since I was 2.
International session player, producer arranger.
How would you describe your style?
A bit of Celtic, some gospel, a bit of Jerry Lee Lewis meets Dr. John with some Keith Richards
Add a piece of Bach and Cole Porter and Sly Stone and you get me.
I also do great pop Balads
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Needs better more timeless songs.
Can you share one music production tip?
A great song is primary.
Then a convincing vocal is essential.
A great arrangement is next.
Sounds are secondary.
What type of music do you usually work on?
It's all music
What's your strongest skill?
Creating hooks, bass lines and counterpoint melodies that are the glue that holds a record together,
What do you bring to a song?
My experience from being on 100 Million recordings.
I know what it takes to get the attention of the listener.
What's your typical work process?
Edit until it's great. Keep re-writing, re-editing until it's an immortal hit.
Tell us about your studio setup.
LOGICPRO, MULTIPLE KEYBOARDS, EXTENSIVE LIBRARY OF SOUNDS, PLUGINS AND A GREAT PROFESSIONAL VOCAL LINE.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Arif Mardin, Mutt Lange,Trevor Horn, Berry Gordy, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson,
George Martin and Quincy Jones
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Why I don't do demos.
Arif Mardin, Mutt Lange,Trevor Horn, Berry Gordy, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson,
George Martin and Quincy Jones are gentlemen who have shared a common philosophy regarding recording contemporary popular music.
That philosophy is - a respect for spontaneity however, not making it their deity.
More than being record producers, these guys have been consummate ARRANGERS and editors of recorded music.
Much of the iconic recorded music that we recognize as our score to the twentieth and twenty-first century has been recorded, ARRANGED edited and 'produced' by this group of musical royalty.
In researching the content of anthemic hit records that stand the test of time, I have found one common factor. That factor, for me has been an epiphany, a revelation and a secret unfolded.
Consider the bass line of the Beatles song "Lady Madonna". That line is never sung, is not part of the melody, has no specific connection to the lyric and would not appear on a lead sheet. Yet without that bass line, the song is unrecognizable in its familiar context.
British courts recently awarded a partial ownership of the song "Whiter Shade of Pale" to the keyboard player who came up with the intro to that recording.
Similarly, consider Michael Jackson's "Beat It" without the bass figure or just about any Motown hit song such as Marvin Gaye's "Grapevine" without the intro figure or the Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations" without its signature instrumental line.
Who is the decider on how, when and where these musical hooks get incorporated into the records that have become our anthems? Who decided that the flute part in "Men at Work's" "Land Down Under" should become such a recognizable and controversial signature?
What does it take to make these records our mileposts, our familiar touchstones and our connections?
Some of Mutt Lange's albums have taken a year to make and millions of dollars in budget. Is the secret about time and money?
George Martin, Arif Mardin and Quincy Jones had rigorous formal training in composition, harmony and orchestral arranging. Brian Wilson and Phil Spector were focused "out of this world" visionary geniuses who invented sonic and harmonic atmospheres probably never to be replicated by anyone else.
We now land in the second decade of the twenty-first century with the recorded music industry decimated and its economic base essentially collapsed. Positions in social media can be bought and paid for, attendance at live shows is financially beyond the reach of most fans and records have become fleeting sound clips that have no lasting social, cultural or economic value. I love the 'wrecking ball', it's...........spherical.
What does it take to create an anthemic, iconic lasting piece of recorded music that has similar qualities to those great works created by Quincy, Arif, Phil and Brian?
We don't have the time, we don't have the resources and we certainly don't have the budgets. The chances of coming up with a timeless 'anthemic hit' even in the most ideal circumstance, based on an assembly of the greatest studio musicians with the best engineers in the most aesthetic environment recording our demo in a limited time/budget scenario, is I believe an absolute zero.
There is an answer and I believe that I have access to that answer, can and have fulfilled that answer and am in business to supply that answer.
I don't do demos.
As a songwriter, I write the "record" not just the song. There is a reason that Diana Ross, Chicago, Olivia Newton John and Bonnie Raitt have picked up my recorded song demo/masters and made them a part of their albums. There is a reason that musicians as great as Toto have cloned my demo/masters and recorded my bass lines note for note.
My mode is to prioritize the concept of arrangement without incurring the extraordinary budgets and unlimited time for 'trial and error' experimentation that the greats have had.
I am a consummate pop music arranger who spent years working as a double scale studio musician in Los Angeles, in demand precisely for my ability to compose, design and conceive of those musical signatures and hooks that define a record and give it that lasting iconic quality.
Today, this ARRANGING process occurs in my own studio, in my own time, utilizing my encyclopedic musical vocabulary. This process does not incur the added expense of outside musicians, outside studios, arrangers engineers or added personnel.
Once an ARRANGEMENT is designed, agreed upon and is in place, then a project can be taken to a formal studio where live musicians replicate the parts that I have designed and the rest of a recording is completed, mixed and mastered.
Often parts that have been recorded in my pre-production ARRANGING process do not change and are retained as part of the master resulting in additional time and cost saving.
It takes me about 100 hours per song. Some examples of the results can be heard on the 'Songs' page of my web site.
As a keyboard player, arranger, producer and songwriter, I am likely to be heard on about one hundred million recordings, one of which is playing on some public media somewhere at any instant in time.
I am occasionally available to turn your concept into a hit record within realistic budgets. Contact me for an evaluation and an estimate.
John Capek has achieved international acclaim as a composer, songwriter, keyboard player, producer, arranger and scorer for feature films and television.
Rod Stewart leads the list of popular music icons who have recorded Capek compositions. Others include Bonnie Raitt, Cher, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Toto, Chicago, Olivia Newton John, Little River Band, Heart, Manhattan Transfer, Isaac Hayes and Amanda Marshall. John Capek’s most performed award winning songs include : “Rhythm of My Heart”, ”This”, ”Soul on Soul” and “Carmelia”. Capek’s most performed productions include Dan Hill’s Billboard hit duet with Vonda Sheppard, “Can’t We Try” as well as work with Ken Tobias, Gene McLellan, Good Brothers and Downchild. As a keyboard player, John has recorded with Diana Ross, Olivia Newton John, Ian Thomas, Marc Jordan, Dan Hill, Kermit, The Chipmunks, The Simpsons and countless other international performers. John’s songs are heard in the feature films, “A Perfect Storm”, “Cocktail”, “Blown Away” and many others.