Miloco Studios London
Joined: Jan 2010
Dave Eringa interview - May 2007
Miloco Interview, May 2007
It's was a busy year in 2007 for Dave Eringa, so it was insanely difficult to tie him down for a quick chat. Thank god for email eh? We sent him some questions and he ever-so-kindly replied with some often belly-tickling answers...
MILC: First of all, how's life treating you?
Dave: I'm in fine fettle, ta very much!
MILC: You have recently been at Miloco mixing the new Dykeenies album. Have you enjoyed the project?
Dave: Very much, they're a great bunch of lads.
MILC: The critics have all been predicting big things for The Dykeenies. Do you believe they could be Glasgow's biggest export since Franz Ferdinand?
Dave: I bloody hope so! They've got some really big sounding tunes, especially this one song called "Stitches", which is a big heart on the sleeve type song that starts tiny & ends massive - in any sane world it should be a biggie!
MILC: Speaking as a producer, do you find when producing several albums for the same artist that you need to employ contrasting techniques to keep it sounding fresh?
Dave: The production is always dictated by the song & what is needed to make it the best it can be, so often techniques differ significantly between songs on one album let alone between albums! It's true though that it's good to mix things up a bit to keep them interesting - bands tend to have changed a lot after a long touring cycle anyway which can often lead to different ways of doing things as they have become better players.
MILC: With that in mind do you enjoy working on multiple albums with artists and being part of their evolution or do you enjoy the spontaneity of a working with a new band?
Dave: Its great both ways, but it's always nice to be asked back!
MILC: You've worked with some great and indeed diverse artists over the years such as the Manics, Ocean Colour Scene and Kylie. Do you work each individual project with a tailored approach, or is there a definite 'Dave Eringa style' that each record gets treated with?
Dave: I believe there are 2 schools of record production - there's the old school guys who have a sound all of their own and apply it to everything and tell the band how its going to be and then there's the 5th member school - the guy who tries to think like the band - knows all their reference points as well as they do and tries to make the sound that the band have in their heads come out onto record. I come from the second school - I don't want to dictate how it should be, I want to capture what's special about the band. I'm still old fashioned enough to believe there's a bit of magic when a great band play all together and I want to get that feeling onto record by whatever means necessary!
MILC: Would you say there are any producers/records in particular you look to, to draw inspiration from? Are there any records that stand out in your mind as triumphs in terms of the production?
Dave: Just the obvious ones I guess - Phil Spector, Rick Rubin, Steve Albini, Nigel Godrich, George Martin, Glyn Johns, Flood.
MILC: Besides producing and engineering, you have also accumulated a vast and well-reputed collection of gear. How's the collection going? Any new toys to tell us about?
Dave: Yes, it did get a bit out of hand there! Actually I've been trying to steamline it a bit more recently - having had so much for a while now, I know what I use all the time and what I don't really end up using so much, so some thinning out is on the way! My favorite new thing is a Diezel guitar amp, which is amazingly versatile & rocks like a bastard!
MILC: We hear that a large bulk of your equipment collection is taken up by guitar amps. Have you got a favourite type of amp you like/use over others, or do you look to keep a wide range of amplifiers with different specialities?
Dave: Its always good to have a wide tonal palate! If forced down to just 5 though it would always be the Diezel, the 1975 Marshall super lead, the 1973 Hiwatt custom 50, the 1957 Watkins Westminster, and the 1967 Selmer Treble & Bass. If it really had to be just one, I guess it'd be the Diezel, but I'd probably cry a bit!
MILC: Do you find you do a lot of re-amping guitars? indeed you were one of the first producers at Miloco to do this. How do you feel the real thing compares with the software equivalent such as Amp Farm?
Dave: I think reamping is a revolution in recording! The ability to get all the performances down together and get the sounds later is unbelievable and creatively very freeing. It also enables you to use as many amps as you like on each sound, which can lead to some very interesting possibilities. I think Amp Farm is an amazing piece of software, and I use it a lot, just never on guitars!
MILC: What has been the most useful bit of outboard from your equipment collection on The Dykeenies album?
Dave: Oh my God, nerd alert! The Tubetech LCA2B has been seeing a lot of action on the drums, as has my old Wem PA that I use to rough things up a bit.
MILC: In the same breath what has been the most useful bit of equipment at Miloco 3 - The Square?
Dave: The most useful thing at Hoxton is the room! Its a very undervalued recording space that can yeald a surprising range of sounds - you just have to know how to work it! The 1073 channel down there is invaluable too.
MILC: A method you have employed fairly recently is to relocate to remote houses in Wales and Scotland to record, before returning to London to mix them. What inspired you to take that approach? The country air? The sight of grazing cattle...?
Dave: Its always an interesting way to do things - it creates an impression of a snapshot in time for the band - a different kind of vibe to a usual studio recording. It can feel like you're beating the odds, and that fosters a good team feeling which hopefully filters through to the music. I was inspired to do it by the feeling of classic Led Zepplin and The Band records that were done that way. Its also very good for the budget and sometimes, yes the grazing cattle can be very inspiring!! There is a really arsey horse at the mansion in Wales however that its best to stay away from at all times!
MILC: Would anyone be able to achieve the same results using the dry hire technique or do you find it's only realistic if you have a lot of the equipment yourself?
Dave: I think unfortunately that it would cost so much to hire each individual thing that it would be prohibitive - you do need an awful lot of stuff to build a studio, all the boring stuff like leads, mic stands, headphones, it all adds up. Really you need a lunatic like me to have bought it all!
MILC: Your relationship with us at Miloco studios goes back a long way. Is there any one project you have worked on at Miloco which stands out in your memory and why?
Dave: One of the early albums I mixed at Miloco was South's album 'With the tides', which I still absolutely love the sound of and think is one of the best things I've ever had the good fortune to be involved in. I still would hardly change a thing on that album and there's not many I can say that about, and the Neve room (Engine Room) was a big part of the sound. I can't believe that wasn't a massive album - there's no justice!!
MILC: You have made use of all of our studios over the years. Do you have a particular favourite in the Miloco selection?
Dave: I really like all the Miloco studios, but if forced I suppose my favourites are the Neve room and Hoxton Square.
MILC: You recently had a trial session in our newly kitted out studio, Musikbox, in Kentish Town. How did you find it in Miloco 7?
Dave: I loved it - it was great to have all those analogue synths to throw stuff through! The monitoring was really good and the desk sounded great. What more can you ask for?
MILC: What do you feel Miloco offers you that other studios don't?
Dave: All the staff are really good - you have some really excellent assistants and engineers who I really get on with. You guys are great to deal with, flexible and the equipment is all top notch and works!
A few less serious questions
MILC: We hear you often like to break into song. What songs have you been singing recently?
Dave: Really really stupid songs, generally in a cod opera style!!! It drives my wife to distraction and I am working on it, but singing does release endorphins into your system that make you feel good, so its hard to give it up completely!
MILC: What is currently your favourite tipple?
Dave: A fine single malt is always a truly glorious thing!
MILC: If less is more, how much more would more be?
Dave: HA! Thats my favorite quote from Frasier - its when he has to write his own jingle for his radio show and ends up scoring it for an orchestra! His father Martin tries to tell him that less can sometimes be more and that is his genius response! It can sometimes be applied to my production too!!
Last but not least...
MILC: What's the one record in history you wished you had produced and why?
Dave: I couldn't reduce it to just one record!! Jesus, I've come out in a sweat just thinking about it! I guess it would be pretty cool to have done Sympathy For The Devil, but there are about a million others!
MILC: Are there any projects in the pipeline which you can tell us about?
Dave: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you!
MILC: If it weren't a career in music, what would it be a career in?
Dave: I never wanted to do anything else, so God knows what I'd do!
Dave Eringa was talking to Miloco in the spring of 2007
36 Leroy Street, London SE1 4SP, UK