This is only for the adventurous, the pioneers, brave. Those who are willing to commit to sounding unlike anyone, and are proud to stand apart. This path is for those who wish to Sound Forbidden.
That feeling deep in the back of your mind, the one that has been quietly poisoning your thoughts with discontent, the one that makes you sick of the radio, that makes you hate new music, thats where We were born. Unsatisfied with sounds of the world around us, We embarked on a years long journey, both into spaces unknown and inward into our own terrifying thoughts. What this expedition birthed (apart from unspeakable nightmares) was a renewed lust and fervor for sonics and the mysteries and intricacies of production. Now We bring this knowledge to you. Anyone can sound good. Only the brave can sound Forbidden.
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Interview with Forbidden Sound
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Open a dialog with me, or whoever you're looking to hire. It's hard to gauge a person and how a working relationship will work before you connect with them. I recommend at least a 30 min phone conversation before committing to hire anyone (including me). You have to know that the person you're working with has the the same goals as you and will work with you to reach them.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been recording / mixing / producing music for over 15 years. Like most it started in the garage recording my friends and my bands. I went to Musician's Institute in Hollywood CA, to study percussion performance and recording engineering. After school I started interning and working at various studios in Los Angeles and for years worked as an assistant on sessions for some of the biggest names in the industry. I began working to build my own expertise and sonic signature and played in a few bands and toured for a couple years. Then everything fell apart, the band broke up, my girlfriend left me, the dog died (that last one is just a metaphor) but my point is I lost my love for my art, for music. After a dark couple of years and some soul searching I found my way back to music and production and opened Forbidden Sound, bringing all the knowledge and experience and pain and lessons I've learned with me. Now I offer that insight and vision to my clients.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Dirty, distorted, saturated, heavy. I take a more is more approach quite often and commit to sounds that stick out and catch the attention of the listener. There is great subtlety in crafting heavily effected and treated sounds so that they live and breath and evolve, this is the space I thrive in.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Commit! When you like a sound, commit to it. Trust your instincts, even if you are afraid something is too weird or effected or distorted, it probably is and thats perfect! This is art, and there is no wrong sound, only boring and interesting sounds.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I typically work with heavy music. That includes all types of heavy rock / metal / hardcore / post whatever but also several americana and electronic artists with a heavier darker aesthetic. I love to work on music that is different, experimental, that doesn't quite fit easily into a neat little box. My productions tend to reflect that.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Strong and Wrong. A double edged sword. I commit early and often to sounds and I and typically very heavy handed in my productions, layering saturation and distortion and effects into the song so that it becomes something living and breathing. This can be jarring for some who want a more conservative approach but for those brave enough to commit with me the outcomes are always unique and never boring.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I love offering an outside perspective to clients and look a project from different and unexpected angles. I want a song to inspire and surprise me and I hope to offer that magic to the client and inspire and surprise them with my production.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First I want to get an idea from the band/artist what their vision is for the music, be it a single track or a full record. I will typically ask for references of not just other music and productions but other artistic references, photography / art / design / literature / film / philosophy, so I can understand where the project was born and how it evolved and where it will continue to grow and live. This makes my job much easier and faster (and more fun). Next typically comes a test mix or master to get approval from the client(s) that our visions of the production are aligned and once I get the green light I get to work finishing the project. I update the client(s) every step of the way and try to address questions and concerns early on. Once the client(s) have approved a finished product and any outstanding payment is made I deliver everything to the client, this includes copies of the finished mix / master and any predetermined alternate versions and a copy of the session itself.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run a hybrid setup out of my home studio. I embrace both analog and digital workflows and have some amazing tools in both arenas that I love. I try to use analog wherever possible and practical but I also take a "if it aint broke don't fix it" approach. Tape and transformers are my secret weapon and are used heavily to bring analog color and life to in the box recordings, mixes, and masters.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm constantly inspired by artist who change their productions to fit the record, Baroness comes to mind. The producers and engineers that inspire me are Scott Evans of Antisleep Audio and the band Kowloon Walled City, Sanford Parker, and Gregory Scott of Kush Audio. They all have different approaches and sounds but each commits to serving the music and record above all else without forcing the music to conform to a pre-set idea of how it should sound.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mixing / Mastering. Most of my work is remote, but I love being able to record and work with clients to shape their sound from the beginning of the record making process.