Category Archives: Producing

taking direction

When someone hires me to play on their music, try my best, follow my instincts and check whether they feel it hit the mark. If they’re happy, end of story. If they’re not try to help get what they want and if they aren’t very articulate it’s up to me to try 10 million variations. Finding a version that makes them jump up and down and hopefully say “perfect”. Then I feel like a pro.
 
This stems from the first times people hired me to play on their stuff and I threw a hissy fit when they weren’t satisfied. Mostly an internal hissy fit but still emotional. The fact that they didn’t “get it” that what I did was perfect and they rejected it for something lesser, didn’t compute. Now it stuns me that I was certain my choices were the best decisions for someone else’s taste because it’s their baby not mine. So many layers of wrong about my attitude.
 
I never hire anyone that’s that out of touch with reality or at least never a second time.

Jonius pt. 1

The greatest thing about dismissing The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Mingus when I was a teenager is that I get to have them now like brand new Joni Mitchell records and vintage.

Great art isn’t necessarily understood when it’s released or maybe I needed 40 years to figure it out.

City of Wood

After my first two records people complained to me that the major label didn’t promote it. They told me this like I could/ should do something about it but what? Seemed lucky to be taken seriously by the machine that could otherwise be indifferent and corporate machines were the whole game then, distribution was all theirs.
 
If one were to listen to what became my next record they might notice many musicians credited on it and they might notice it sounds like only solo guitar or solo piano and voice. And one might notice the peculiar names of the guest musicians like Bjorn Mulroney, Gloria Duracell and Blind Loosa Bernstein, might even notice the unknown producer named Dame Julia Nesbelch. One might just question the whole thing and ask is this bullshit? Are there really all these people on this record? Is this some type of test? Anyway I invoiced the label as usual and they didn’t have any questions either.
Had one cool aspect to my record contact by the way – $3000 in guest performance fees that didn’t have to be paid back from sales.