Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I Wrote, produced and recorded a song for Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago during their campaign to raise 600 million dollars for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. The song is called "In A Moment"
it was sung by world famous singer and actress Heather Headley and is available on I Tunes.
Analog or digital and why?
Obviously there were advantages to using 2 inch tape and recording on the big English analog consoles, but through many years of experience and having been there during the analog days I have no trouble making digital sound analog.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That they will be able to proudly play their track for anyone, on any sound system and it will stand up to songs you hear on the radio.
What do you like most about your job?
The satisfaction that comes from helping a songwriter realize their potential.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Does my song suck? answer, no sometimes the performance or recording of a song may lack in many ways but very seldom is a song just plain bad.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That because of my resume and history that I can make someone famous, or provide a pathway to being a full time Artist or musician. The drive and persistence that it takes for these things can only come from the artist or writer themselves.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What are your goals as far as using this track. Personal? trying to get a record deal? or simply trying to get a point or idea across is the best possible way.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Take the plunge, trust me with your song and I will provide you with a track that you will love to play for everyone for years to come. To me this is the most rewarding part of what I do. When a client realizes that they really are a great songwriter.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A shovel, My laptop, a power generator, a midi keyboard and a couple of kick ass speakers. probably wouldn't need headphones
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I am a graduate of Indiana University and after playing in a semi famous top forty band called KILO, for five years from 1983-1988 I moved to NYC where I soon had a gig with artist Grayson Hugh, from there I became a member of Billy Joels band from 1988-1992, A member of Foreigner from 1991-2008, somewhere in there I did hundreds of studio sessions for many different artists (see all music credits), toured with Julian Lennon as well as serving as Musical director for Australian Artist Tina Arena and most recently pop artist Matt Morris.
How would you describe your style?
Radio ready tracks that are vibe heavy and never too complex as to hide the song.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Freddie Mercury, if I had to name one, there are actually thousands, but to me some of the Queen songs and vocal performances are second to none.
Can you share one music production tip?
Yes, stay out of the way of the song and the artist. And when a lyric is involved remember, the listener is hearing the song for the first time, make sure the vocals are well loud enough as it is easy once you are familiar with a track
to let the vocal sink into the mix because the producer or engineer has heard it sometimes hundreds of times and
knows the lyric intuitively.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I have worked on everything from Hard Rock to Blues, R&B to country, latin, jazz, dance music, you name it. My level of experience in the commercial music world has had me involved with just about every style of music you can imagine.
What's your strongest skill?
Aside from my keyboard and piano/organ playing skills, my forte as a producer is that I am a songwriter and artist myself and am always striving to bring out the unique qualities that a song or artists may posses. All of my artists
or songwriting clients wind up with a product that sounds like them, not me.
What do you bring to a song?
Years of experience playing and writing with some of the masters of the craft. I witness Billy Joel writing the albums Stormfront and River Of Dreams from start to finish. I also have co-written songs with giants Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner, as well as several chart topping songs with Survivor and Ides Of March founder
Jim Peterik. Peterik actually quotes me in his published book "Songwriting For Dummies".
What's your typical work process?
I listen to the song demo sent to me, I then begin to imagine how the tempo and groove could provide the proper
support for the song and Lyric. I will never let the production overshadow the song. Simple is always best as far as song production is concerned.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My setup is simple, I Run a Pro Tools system which is currently at 11.3, I try to stay updated while still remaining functional, these days you can upgrade past the point of practicality.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
My Employers and mentors have been Billy Joel, Mick Jones (of Foreigner), Phil Ramone, just to name a few.
Musically I am inspired by a wide range of artists from Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles to Los Lobos. I also have a soft spot for Carrie Underwood and country artists of substance.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I work with a number of Singer/songwriters that will send a rough recording of a song they have written, no matter how rough I encourage them to send it to me in whatever shape they have. I have the ability to hear the song and produce a recording of it that the Client can feel good about playing for anyone, and I mean anyone. To me a demo is a record. My ProTools expertise and abilities as a multi instrumentalist make it easy for me to turn a song
around in a couple of days rather than weeks or months. My clients always return for more as the feedback that they recieve from their piers is what they live for. On occasion I can send songs that I feel strongly about to my aquantances in the music industry to be considered for use and or licensing in a commercial setting.