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Episode 14: Ken Scott
Ken Scott is an undisputed legend. We interviewed him way back in Tape Op issue #52. His work with The Beatles, Elton John, David Bowie, George Harrison, Supertramp and countless others has him firmly planted in the middle of some of music's greatest albums. We caught up with Ken at this year's NAMM show in Los Angeles and chatted about his amazing career. Enjoy! Disclaimer: This audio recording was not originally tracked with the intent of using for a podcast. Please forgive any balance...
Episode 13: John Congleton
Producer John Congleton was first interviewed back in 2011 in Tape Op #81. He has made records with St. Vincent, Explosions in the Sky, The Walkmen, Blondie, and Alvvays. Tape Op Editor Larry Crane caught up with John when he was recently in Portland, Oregon working on the new Decemberists record. Enjoy! Disclaimer: This audio recording was not originally tracked with the intent of using for a podcast. It was recorded solely for transcription for our print interview (see issue #81). Please...
Episode 12: Boo Mitchell
Famed producer, musician, and arranger Willie Mitchell became involved with Royal Studios (and the associated Hi Records) in Memphis, Tennessee, in the early ‘60s. He took more control of the studio operations as time went on and, in the early ‘70s, his collaboration with singer Al Green led to millions of albums sold, all of which cemented Willie’s reputation as a producer of note. These days his son, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, a musician, songwriter, engineer, and producer in his own...
Episode 11: Sylvia Massy
Sylvia Massy made a good name for herself as a producer and engineer making records with artists like Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Skunk Anansie, Love & Rockets, R.E.M., Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, System of a Down, Smashing Pumpkins, Prince and my favorite, Big Elf. She recently published "Recording Unhinged" a collection of left of center recording techniques and ideas accompanied by her artwork. Sylvia recently moved her studio operation from Weed, California to...
Episode 10: Tycho
Tycho's Scott Hansen is a busy man. As the frontman, principle songwriter, producer, as well as the creator of the band's album art and live visuals, he has no shortage of things on his plate. It's the sound of the future that owes so much to the past. I sat down with Scott on a morning before a show in Seattle to talk about his process, translating his brand of ambient/electronic music into a compelling live show, and the intersection of music and visual art. Enjoy!
Episode 8: Allen Sides
Ocean Way Recording began in a garage in Santa Monica, California, in 1968, as a place to showcase owner Allen Side's custom monitors. From these humble beginnings the empire expanded to include partnering with Bill Putnam and acquiring his United Recording Studio in Hollywood, and building state of the art recording facilities in Nashville, St. Barths, and nearby Sherman Oaks. The Ocean Way "brand" also includes Allen's high-end (and excellent sounding) monitors, a unique and affordable...
Episode 7: Don Was
His group, Was (Not Was), rolled out some funky dance pop in the '80s. He's produced big records for the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, and The B-52s. But today he is in his office, high atop the famous Capitol Records tower in Hollywood, as President of the venerable jazz label, Blue Note Records. How did Don Was get here? How does he approach production? What makes him tick? I knew someday we would have this discussion, and everything that drives him does stem from a true love...
Episode 6: Matt Ross-Spang
How does a Memphis-born teen become an intern, and eventually chief engineer, at Sun Studio? How does the same guy go on to record Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Chris Isaak, Drive By Truckers, the Rival Sons, and Kris Kristofferson, as well as win a Grammy? And how the heck did he follow in Sam Phillips' legendary footsteps to end up recording at Sam Phillips Recording Service and mixing Elvis records? How did he end up working on amazing upcoming releases, including albums by Emily Barker,...
Episode 5: Vance Powell
Too often people assume that those of us in the field of music recording had a distinct idea of what we wanted to do when we started. The truth is almost always that it's a wild and unpredictable path we end up on. Vance Powell is a perfect example. His work has earned him three Grammy awards (Jars of Clay, Buddy Guy, and The Raconteurs). Along the way he's recorded with a wide variety of artists, including Keb' Mo', Martina McBride, The Secret Machines, Karen Elson and of course Jack...
Episode 3: Steve Albini
Yes, Steve Albini is known for being outspoken and opinionated and "controversial," but behind the mythical personality that's been created for him by the media, he's just a great engineer with a passion for making records. This interview was conducted at Albini's Electrical Audio in 2012. Enjoy! Disclaimer: This audio recording was not originally tracked with the intent of using for a podcast. It was recorded solely for transcription for our print interview (see issue #87). Please forgive...