Combing analog, digital, modern and vintage recording techniques, I have great reverence for the sound waves and the artists being captured. I view the art of record making as an experience, and I help unlock, harness, and bring to the forefront the core of the artists ideas and intentions. I bring visions to life, to another level…
Pre-production is extremely important and essential to a smooth and enjoyable time in the studio. The studio should never feel like work. Having an intimate understanding of your vision and having everyone on the same page can be the differentiating factor to a lasting and memorable experience and a record that really shines, stands out, and is the best representation of YOU and what you want to share with the world.
I primarily work out of my studio in Seattle, London Bridge Studio, but also do a lot of work in Los Angeles. London Bridge is an incredible spot, a playground with a 30 channel Vintage Neve 8048 console, an SSL AWS console, tons of outboard gear, and a serious mic locker. I also have a great collection of guitars and amps, and the studio has a great drum and keyboard selection. It also happen to be a very historic space, where Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Blind Melon, Fleet Foxes, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Cat Power, Mary Lambert, and Brandi Carlie, all made career changing recordings.
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Interview with Eric Lilavois
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Saint Motel's album Voyeur, my role was Producer. It was an amazing process. We had a great time making it, and the record helped lay the foundation for the bands continued success. Now they are signed, touring worldwide, and have an incredible career. It's always a joy to see them play those songs live and see the crowds reaction.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished an album with singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira, I have two artists in pre-produciton, and am working on a project with several Northwest artists for Skype.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Definitely, I have a wide network of musicians and industry professionals.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, they each have their place, just depends on the project.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I can help you be the best version of yourself in this moment in time, and help you put it on record.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Seeing a vision come to life and the process of getting there. The joy of hearing playback together and being speechless, or dancing around like fools.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Most of the ones answered here, good job SoundBetter :)
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: A common misconception about producers in general is they take absolute control and change everything. It may be true of some, but that is not my philosophy. I get to the heart of the intentions, organize the process, and make sure it goes smoothly.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your goals, why are you doing this, who are your favorite artists.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: See the music production tip above. Google the person, check out various links, music they've worked on, speak to them directly and make sure the vibe is right. Chemistry is everything.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'll assume there is already a computer to record :) Neve channel strip, Neumann U67, Gates Sta Level, My Jumbo Gibson 250, and an ukulele (make it a tropical island please)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was in a band called the Days In Between. We toured the northwest and southwest, made and sold a few records independently. It was an incredible experience and I learned a lot as a DIY musician. I was also the band member who was always over the engineers shoulder, always the last one to leave the studio. It wasn't long before other bands started to ask me to work on their material. I owned and operated "Crown City Studios" in Los Angeles for a decade, produced many records I'm very proud of there, and eventually was asked to join the team at London Bridge in Seattle.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I am very mellow, believe in the studio and a sacred and safe place, and believe the time we have making the record is a direct reflection of and just important as the record itself. I put the artists vision first, and once we collective agree on and understand it, I hold everyone on the project accountable to it.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Ray LaMontage, and War Paint. Both artists on opposite ends of the spectrum, that exude raw energy, emotion, and purpose. Their records are intentional with ease.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Find someone you believe in and trust to collaborate with, then trust them, and let them fill that role. You are hiring them for a reason.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Indie, Pop-Rock, Rock, Singer Songwriter, Acoustic.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I serve the song and the artist, I am always objective and in line with the projects goals. I have a lot of experience working with a variety of musical styles, and a lot of experience keeping projects on message and on task.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Arrangement is very important. I get to know the intention intimately and can help arrange the song accordingly. I'm great with adding additional melodies and hooks, helping add to or re-construct lyrics.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It varies depending on the needs of the project. One thing that is always consistent is pre-production.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: London Bridge Studio was build meticulously. It was designed by acoustician Geoff Turner. The original 30 Channel Neve 8048 has been restored and an SSL AWS has been added to complement. There's a Studer 2" tape deck, a healthy outboard gear collection, and a great mic locker. It's really an incredible and inspiring space, with a lot of history.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I truly love a variety of music, what sticks out most to me are recordings that create vivid landscapes. I truly believe in the art of record making, but I'm also not afraid to be very organic (especially with such incredible acoustics at a place like London Bridge.)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Typically I work on a project form start to finish. I first do extensive pre-production with an artist to help create a road map for the entire project. I usually engineer the records I produce, with 1-2 assistants on hand. If we have another mix engineer lined up then I help oversee and direct communication throughout that process, help select and communicate to a mastering engineer. Once the album is finished I do the best to connect the artist with various resources that might be a good fit to help support the advancement of their career.