Producers

Andy Gill : Gang of Four, Chili Peppers, Killing Joke, more… : TapeOp Interview

Archived from Tape Op interview here


Sometimes you get to meet people who were your heroes back when you were a teen. The first time a 16-year-old me heard Gang of Four, a “post punk” band from Leeds, England, the directness of the vocals, the taut rhythm section and slashing, stuttering guitars of Andy Gill made a huge and lasting impression. To be sitting in Andy Gill’s personal recording studio (in the Beauchamp Building, London) nearly 30 years later and finding him to be an engaging and interesting person was a treat. Not only is Andy an inspiring guitarist, but along the way he became a producer — not only with Gang of Four, but also on albums with The Jesus Lizard, The Futureheads, Michael Hutchence, Killing Joke, Red Hot Chili Peppers, We Are Standard, Asyl, Detlef Zoo, The Stranglers and The Young Knives.

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Stone Roses, Fools Gold and John Squire in the Cupboard

Great SOS article on The Stone Roses in the studio with John Leckie recording Fool’s Gold. I thought this quote explained a lot about both the quality of the guitar work on the first album and also the time taken to release the second album:

“John Squire always had his Fostex 16-track recorder in the tape cupboard at the back of the studio, and after we’d gone home he would sit there with headphones and work out all his parts,” says John Leckie. “He always did that, right through ‘Fool’s Gold’, up until the second album.

In fact, part of the reason for the breakdown of that second album was that John would sit in his bedroom with the Fostex while the rest of us waited in the studio for his guitar parts. He wouldn’t improvise or make something up in the studio, but he got to the stage where he was really good. For instance, on ‘Bye Bye Badman’ there’s a guitar that plays all the way through — a kind of counter-lead line, going through a Leslie — and I remember him playing that in about half an hour. However, we had to wait four days for that before he came out of the cupboard.”

Full article here.

Gil Norton, The Pixies and Song Length

Great Sound On Sound article about  The Pixies recording “Monkey Gone To Heaven”. I especially loved the bit about how Gil Norton (Producer) was trying to convince them to lengthen the songs:

“I remember the second afternoon I spent with Charles, after we’d gone through this process of me constantly trying to lengthen the songs from a minute and a half and provide them with more complex arrangements, he said ‘Let’s go for a walk,’ so that’s what we did, and we went into a big music store where he picked up a copy of Buddy Holly’s Greatest Hits and handed it to me. He said ‘Gil, look at the times on these songs.’ And when I looked at them, they were nearly all under two minutes.”

There’s a good lesson in that, I think.