Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio is ever changing. My main setup is using Presonus Studio One 3 Pro (I also use Logic Pro 9 and X, as well as ProTools 11), I use a X-touch motorized fader mixer, and have lots of plugin effects, analog outboard gear, instruments.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Green Day, U2, Radio Head, Killers, Muse, P!nk, Blink 182, White Stripes, Black Keys, Lorde, almost anything out of the U.K. or Europe, that Euro-dark vibe. I like edgy music with great lyrics.
Analog or digital and why?
There is good reason that a lot of digital plugins and equipment are "designed" to sound like analog... analog has a warmth sound and vibe that is nearly impossible to do in strictly digital. And there's some great analog gear out there that will give you some really great "new" sounds.
If the tools are out there, might was well use them.
What are you working on at the moment?
Writing music, working on a CD/record.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise you will be happy with the results and to provide you original music.
What do you like most about your job?
I love creating music.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
What are your fees, and how long?
That's when the additional conversations and communications begin. Some things are hard to quote without knowing what the artist wants, needs or their expectations.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think there are some people that think this is just a matter of plugging some loops and voila. It's more than that, in fact I don't do loops (unless the artist specifically asks for them).
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
My question to every client is: what is your goal with this song or project?
If the artist has a clear vision it helps make everything better.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Talk often - skype, calls, etc. Communication is key. Ask questions. Answer questions. Be realistic about your expectations.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
I would just need one, my Taylor 6 string acoustic guitar.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
30+ years. Started playing trombone in band at about 9 years old. Then Darnell Johnson taught me drums. A few years later I switched to bass and then guitar. My mom taught me some piano. I played in many bands in and out of the Los Angeles area during the 1980's and 1990's. I did a lot of synth music before EDM was called EDM. I prefer the sound of a live band, guitars and a solid singer.
How would you describe your style?
Easy going. Listen to the artist. They are always first.
As for musical style... rock, alt-rock, pop, pop-rock, edgy music.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't over produce. The best sounding songs are sparse. Treat the vocal melody as the most important element. (ok, I gave you 3 tips).
What type of music do you usually work on?
I prefer rock, pop/rock, etc. I will delve into other genres depending on the music and the artist.
What's your strongest skill?
I am best a songwriter and producer/arranger.
What do you bring to a song?
It depends on the artists and their needs. It can be just production and arrangement, to complete songwriting, to just tracking guitar or bass. Every situation is unique to the artist and what I try is to look at the song as the main ingredient and then make it better.
What's your typical work process?
I prefer to start with rough tracks, a drum beat, simple guitar or even just a vocal melody and then build up from there.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I am inspired every time I listen to music, whether is fresh new pop rock or classic rock. Great lyrics, melodies and sound is the ingredient to inspiration.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I prefer songwriting and production as the most rewarding experience in music. The creation and inter-relationship of working with a singer or other musicians and seeing their vision come to life is most important to me.