||Saturday, August 07 2004 @ 04:40 PM CDT
|| Downers Grove, IL USA
How did you get started in music?
I think I was born with a set of headphones on my head and a set of drumsticks in my hands. Ever since the farthest that I can remember I have been into music and not just the playing of instruments. I have always played with recording different things and always heard music a little different than my friends. There was always a little more to it than just a song.
What kind of training did you get?
After many years of drum, guitar, and trumpet lessons like all my friends in school I went down the normal path of being in band. In High School I played in many different bands for fun. When I entered senior year of high school I went into a studio for the first time and like they say the rest is history. I sat behind the kit doing my takes and I could not wait to get into the control room to listen back so I could check out all the gear. After that session I asked the engineer how I could get started and he said they had recording lessons. I signed up on the spot. After 4 weeks of classes and a couple sessions I realized I needed a little more training so I enrolled in the Recording Workshop School in Ohio. That was pretty intensive training over a six-week period. I learned a lot there that I would use to this day. I also enrolled in the music business program to learn the nitty gritty of the business.
What did you do to get started professionally?
After a few jobs pushing a broom in studios I told myself I did not want to be a second for years before I would get my chance so I went out to all the clubs and networked with all the local bands and started lining up sessions. I found a great demo studio and started on my career. I outgrew that demo room after a couple years and found an awesome studio called Studio 53. It was a carbon copy of Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, WI. I called that room home base for 5 years but I also used all the other studios Chicago had to offer.
What styles of music did you work on in the early days?
I was never married to any one style of music. I really liked the pop metal of the late 80's and 90's but I was also a fan of bands like U2 and The Police. I also found something cool about the guitars in Death Metal. I also listened to a lot of jazz and fusion. I found a good niche working on Pop Metal and Death Metal. I worked with a lot of death metal albums for some of the local labels here in Chicago. It's funny because some of those groups have now morphed into new groups with big deals. I worked with a band called Synergy that turned into J-Records "Soil". I also worked on a band called Vandal that turned into "Disturbed" (man I have some tapes that they would not want to get out). There is so many it's hard to keep them straight.
How did you get involved in electronic music with a background in Death Metal?
I was working on an album for a band called Fleshold and Tanglewood Studios in Chicago. Besides being a studio they were also a record/production company. They worked on remixes for artists like Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Bananarama, ABC, and whatever was hot at the moment. We were working in the big room and one day one of the producers came in and asked if he could listen to a rough mix on the big speakers. We were taking a break so I said sure. He put on this house track and all of us looked at each other and had that feeling of this is so lame. After a minute I noticed the band and I were starting to groove on it. It was interesting we had 48 tracks of music going for this metal album and here is a DAT with 8 tracks of music and vocals and it was getting us going. I told the producer it was cool but it needed a better mix. He wanted to listen to what we were working on. I played him a track he did not get the musical content part but was blown away at the snare drum sound. He asked if I would mix his track and I accepted. Little did I know that track would become a Billboard top 20 single called "Short Dick Man.”
I decided to use Tanglewood as a home base since it was close to home. I was introduced to the art of electronic music while working there. I was so amazed at what could be done with computers I became addicted. I was given the opportunity to work on a bunch of gold and platinum albums while I was at Tanglewood. It was a good experience for me. After a couple months they hired me as the head engineer so I was always working on something dance. It was cool because I go to put my music business training to use working with the label.
What are you doing these days?
The owner of Tanglewood passed away a few years ago and the studio closed. I decided to take some time off from the business to clear my head and start a family. The music business can be very draining. I started a successful dot com that I still work on but now that Apple has introduced some cool apps like Garageband and Logic I am hooked again. I have set up shop at home bought a ton of gear and started writing, producing and engineering again. I have a many of projects in the works. Keep tuned in for updates.