whoever is producing the record has to
- be the song’s best friend
- surround yourself with collaborators who don’t make a hissy fit if you disagree.
- listen to every vocal take as if you were the singer, same goes for all the other contributors parts especially the drummer. Consider every fill every cymbal ping or bash and why they felt it that way even if you later mute it you have to be interested in understanding how each contributor tries to sculpt their part.
- lie reassuringly to anyone connected to the project who speaks negatively about the artist or speaks manipulatively about what should be on the record because producing a record is either about you helping the artist make a great work of art or it’s about helping yourself be part of that club of power brokers.
- review the songs so many times people avoid asking you what you’re working on.
- mix it with intense attention to detail or with someone who is even more insane about attention to detail.
- when it’s over as long as the artist is impressed don’t cry if it doesn’t become the next big big deal. the reward is the work and it has it’s own lifespan. Bach and Van Gogh both died with nobody sitting them down to say what you do changed my life. it’s amazing. don’t stop doing this. and the future figured it out. time is much longer than our little ride on the subway.
here are 3 records i’ve done in recent years that felt right about these conditions