I remember you...How have you been?
Here's a quick list if you don't want to get too in depth.
And if you're into it, there's more below
| My main influences: (no particular order) |
the beatles, led zeppelin, stevie wonder, frank zappa, marvin gaye, pink floyd, jimi hendrix, miles davis, the meters, funkadelic, aretha franklin, d'angelo, sly stone, traffic, john mclaughlin, steely dan, krs, the roots, D'Angelo, beastie boys, pat martino, king crimson, portishead, prince, james brown, jaco pastorious, curtis mayfield, herbie hancock, david bowie...
I remember when i was 8 years old a cousin gave me The Beatles Abbey Road and Chicago's greatest hits for X'mas. And every year after that they would give me records on birthdays and x'mas. Mostly classic rock and soul stuff. I've always loved music as a child and i started palying guitar when i was 11 and completely absorbed with music.
So by junior high school
(1977 to 1980) my main
influences were Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Hendrix (of course)...and embarrassingly, i loved Kiss back then and was my 1st concert when i was 12. High school
was one big mix of various musical studies. I searched for as much music as i could find. As a budding guitar player a lot of it was guitar based music. I discovered Miles Davis' Bitches Brew which lead me to John Mclaughlin's mahavishnu orchestra and stuff like Return to forever, Billy Cobham, Al DiMeola, you know really progressive stuff. Just prior to Miles though, I was listening to a lot of Yes and ELP, King Crimson.
And Stevie Wonder and Prince was huge for me!
Growing up in New York, i was definitely influenced by the early hip hop as well. You couldn't help it, it was all over the place and break dancing, the whole culture. I used to go see groups play all the time, like Gran Master flash, dougie fresh, run dmc, public enemy. Okay this is getting long...fast forward...
Just before i met D'angelo in 1994, i was already established and was mixing a lot of the r&b stuff that was coming out (toni braxton, groove theory, dru hill, etc). But with the exception of Roberta Flack and a few others, i wasn't mixing or recording live intruments. 90% of it was programmed and drum machine stuff. I liked the sound of drum loops and samples but you can only take it so far (on a sonic level). So i wasn't sure how far i was willing to go with this path...I wanted to do more. I wanted to make drums sound like John bonham or records sound like an old Al green record. I wanted to pan things around like Eddie Kramer.
Then, I happened to get lucky when someone recommended me to D'Angelo when he was looking for a different engineer to mix the last 3 songs he had for Brown Sugar. We clicked instantly. We actually started discussing his next album (which would be Voodoo) while we were finishing brown sugar. It started when i began mixing the song Lady. i suggested distortion and just more raw sounding as an approach to the mix. But since the majority of the album was already produced and mixed, i had to match it to the other mixes and not go too far from it. But he was into my ideas as he wanted to have a record that sounded like an old stevie or marvin gaye record. So as he discussed his musical concepts to me, i discussed analog sounds and production techniques. And that was the beginning of it.
So when we got in the studio to do Voodoo, i knew what i wanted to go for and D'Angelo let me have full autonomy on the technical side! We spent 3 years on and off on that and provided me time to really forge what i was doing. Pro Tools came around that time as well which basically strengthened my goals and what type of engineer/producer i wanted to be.
More on Pro Tools another time...that should be fun huh? BTW, Bob Power did an amazing job on brown sugar and i love his sound.
all the best