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Old 16th June 2009
  #10
Advice for aspiring producers...

Hiya Butch. First off, I'd like to say thanks for doing this. It's a rare treat to get to pick the brain of an industry giant, and I think I can speak for everyone here when I tell you how much it is appreciated.

I have a few questions about your general process. I'm hoping that your answers might help give some insight into my own (budding) career, and maybe help me better understand some of the situations I have encountered and the failures I have suffered.

1) First off, how do you choose the projects that you will work on? Is there a certain vibe you look for? Do you ever accept projects that are outside of your comfort zone purely for the challenge? How do you know when a project isn't right for you, and how do you turn it down without offending anyone?

2) Once you accept a project, how involved do you get in the songwriting and arrangement process? Do you try to shape the overall concept and direction of a record, or do you focus more on the sound and general aesthetic? Do you spend a lot of time working on lyrics and melody, or do you pretty much leave them as the band wrote them?

3) How involved do you get in the creative quibbles of band members as relates to the project? Do you try to mediate, or do you let them sort it out for themselves?

4) How do you break it to a band that a particular song or idea just sucks without causing WWIII?

5) How rigid or flexible are you when it comes to the writing and recording processes? Do you like to stick to a formula, or do you just let things go off in whatever direction they will? How far do you let things go off the deep end before you decide it's time to reel them back in?

6) Do you find yourself becoming a temporary "member" of the band you are working with during the production process, or do you maintain a certain distance between yourself and the artist?

I am really looking forward to your answers! Thanks again!