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mikebarr
stranger


Reged: 07/08/07
Posts: 6
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: electrical]
      #11154902 - 07/11/07 06:21 PM

I get to use a decent studio with resonable microphones but the sound room is dead. Any tips on bringing the room alive besides standard stereo mic techniques?

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FF_Woodycooks
enthusiast


Reged: 05/28/06
Posts: 385
Loc: 100NL FR
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: electrical]
      #11154917 - 07/11/07 06:22 PM



Quote:

Quote:

(which I think is BS, like they wouldn't sell out for millions if they had a chance).



Especially considering who you're talking to right now, you ought to realize this is pure nonsense.




So most underground bands would turn down a big record deal and national promotion so they can continue to work the local scene for free beer, and finally retire to a carpet cleaning business or whatnot? I mean you make a nice living, you have a skilled techincal profession, I am speaking more of band members that have nothing else to lean on. Does 'keeping it real' trump all?

Quote:

Quote:

B - What did you think of Siamese Dream. Even if you hate SP and/or Billy, you have to admit that album RAWKED and still does.



Not my cup of tea.




I imagined it wouldn't be, I thought you might appreciate it for the effort and talent that went into making such a dynamic, painstaking production - perhaps you disdain that though! :P


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please.muck
member


Reged: 06/08/07
Posts: 145
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: electrical]
      #11155325 - 07/11/07 06:53 PM

http://tools.wikimedia.de/~gmaxwell/jorbis/JOrbisPlayer.php?path=Nancarrow40b.ogg&wiki=en

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electrical
Loaded for bear


Reged: 08/05/05
Posts: 650
Loc: chicago
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: Max Raker]
      #11155805 - 07/11/07 07:29 PM

Quote:

If your only goal was to sell records, how big of a rock star do you think you could have been? Billy Corgan big? Much bigger? Which rock star would you place as the upper bound on how famous you could have become?



You realize that I have worked on records that have sold many millions of copies, right? I've made a reasonable living for 20 years doing only things that I thought were within the bounds of my ethics. I'm not just guessing when I say it is possible to survive and flourish without "selling out." Along the way, I have been offered things that would have earned me literally millions of dollars, and I decided that my peace of mind was worth more than that, so I didn't do them.

The most obvious case is that I am paid a flat fee for my work as an engineer, rather than paid out of a band's royalty. This has directly benefited the bands I work with (and consequently cost me) several million dollars. Despite which, I have never gone hungry, built a nice business and been able to release records and tour the world pretty much at will. Not selling out hasn't hindered me in the slightest.

I mention this not to make note of any accomplishments of mine (a necessity, but one that took me several pages of discussion to relent to), but to show you that the world is not divided into rock stars on one hand and miserable bar bands on the other. There is a comfortable independent realm that is inhabited by thousands of bands like mine, and selling out is neither an objective or necessarily any real improvement in conditions for them.

There is an apocryphal story about Ahmet Ertegun approaching Ian MacKaye of Fugazi in an attempt to get him to sign with Atlantic. He says something like, "I can offer you your own label and a million dollars." To which Ian replies, "I already have my own label and a million dollars."

If you mean could I have been a rock star in the manner Billy Corgan, well no, probably not. I'm not a very good singer, I'm nothing special to look at, and the music I make doesn't appeal to a large audience.


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electrical
Loaded for bear


Reged: 08/05/05
Posts: 650
Loc: chicago
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: JackWhite]
      #11156055 - 07/11/07 07:48 PM

Quote:

Steve, you were featured in a few sound bites on VH-1's "Best 100 Bands in Hard Rock History" a few years ago. I assume you voted on this list? If so, do you mind sharing your list.



The band Cheap Trick were in our studio, and VH1 came in to film interviews with them. While they were here, they realized they could interview me too, so they asked me to comment on a few of the bands on Cheap Trick's list. I didn't get to make a list, but I may do so tonight for funsies.


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JackWhite
veteran


Reged: 05/25/05
Posts: 1554
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: electrical]
      #11156317 - 07/11/07 08:12 PM

Quote:

Steve, you were featured in a few sound bites on VH-1's "Best 100 Bands in Hard Rock History" a few years ago. I assume you voted on this list? If so, do you mind sharing your list.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The band Cheap Trick were in our studio, and VH1 came in to film interviews with them. While they were here, they realized they could interview me too, so they asked me to comment on a few of the bands on Cheap Trick's list. I didn't get to make a list, but I may do so tonight for funsies.





That would be great. I had some major problems with their list, and I am guessing your list would be significantly different as well.


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Max Raker
old hand


Reged: 04/12/05
Posts: 708
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: electrical]
      #11156392 - 07/11/07 08:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If your only goal was to sell records, how big of a rock star do you think you could have been? Billy Corgan big? Much bigger? Which rock star would you place as the upper bound on how famous you could have become?



You realize that I have worked on records that have sold many millions of copies, right? I've made a reasonable living for 20 years doing only things that I thought were within the bounds of my ethics. I'm not just guessing when I say it is possible to survive and flourish without "selling out." Along the way, I have been offered things that would have earned me literally millions of dollars, and I decided that my peace of mind was worth more than that, so I didn't do them.

The most obvious case is that I am paid a flat fee for my work as an engineer, rather than paid out of a band's royalty. This has directly benefited the bands I work with (and consequently cost me) several million dollars. Despite which, I have never gone hungry, built a nice business and been able to release records and tour the world pretty much at will. Not selling out hasn't hindered me in the slightest.

I mention this not to make note of any accomplishments of mine (a necessity, but one that took me several pages of discussion to relent to), but to show you that the world is not divided into rock stars on one hand and miserable bar bands on the other. There is a comfortable independent realm that is inhabited by thousands of bands like mine, and selling out is neither an objective or necessarily any real improvement in conditions for them.

There is an apocryphal story about Ahmet Ertegun approaching Ian MacKaye of Fugazi in an attempt to get him to sign with Atlantic. He says something like, "I can offer you your own label and a million dollars." To which Ian replies, "I already have my own label and a million dollars."

If you mean could I have been a rock star in the manner Billy Corgan, well no, probably not. I'm not a very good singer, I'm nothing special to look at, and the music I make doesn't appeal to a large audience.





Hmmm, Ok. I was just refering to this statement that you made

Quote:

Quote:

which I think is BS, like they wouldn't sell out for millions if they had a chance).



Especially considering who you're talking to right now, you ought to realize this is pure nonsense.





I thought your were implying that you were given the opportunity to "sell out" and you chose not to. I am pretty familiar with your career, though I first heard of you as "the dude Kurt Cobain got to record his last album."
I only discovered your bands' music much later, when I was in college.

I didn't mean to imply that you have not had a good career in music or that you are nothing since you might not be considered a "rock star" or whatever.

You answered my question in the last paragraph. Thanks!


And if you are still with me, you said that taking a flat fee helped the bands you worked with. Did it benefit them in anyway besides the obvious monetary one for bands that sell alot of albums?

Also, I believe you charge bands like Bush and Nirvana more than if I or some other random dudes wanted to record with you. Why do you think this is ethical? (I am not criticisizing you here, I know you have been very vocal on this issue [wrt to royalties] and I want to understand your view better.) Thanks again for a great thread!!!!


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sponge
stranger


Reged: 07/11/07
Posts: 5
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: Max Raker]
      #11156685 - 07/11/07 08:42 PM

Steve, right now I'm sitting in Lakeview reading your little Q&A here, wondering why we're not just hanging out anyway.

My question is this: I grew up on a farm in Iowa in the late 90's. My only CD outlet was Wal-Mart and the Pumpkins were the only band I cared about till I moved away to college. I still think their early stuff is undeniable. Is there any hope for me?


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electrical
Loaded for bear


Reged: 08/05/05
Posts: 650
Loc: chicago
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: Max Raker]
      #11156758 - 07/11/07 08:48 PM

Quote:

Also, I believe you charge bands like Bush and Nirvana more than if I or some other random dudes wanted to record with you. Why do you think this is ethical?



Big label sessions demand more administrative attention, take more time to organize in advance, and are often open-ended, in that I may find myself working much longer than anticipated on such a session, and most importantly, it is bastard hard to get a major label to pay its bills, and I want to be compensated for that nuisance. I have to cover the cost of lost work, often there is travel and associated living costs, sometimes I even need to hire someone temporarily either to cover my ass back home or keep up with the session I'm on. Additionally, big label sessions often have some prick demanding changes and revisions long-distance, and that is much more time consuming than working with just the band in the studio.

Working on big label projects can be a royal pain in the ass and cost money to execute. I want all that covered, and I want to make a profit, so I charge them more. Still, I charge them less than most people in my position, and I am undeniably a bargain.


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electrical
Loaded for bear


Reged: 08/05/05
Posts: 650
Loc: chicago
Re: Ask a music scene micro celebrity [Re: Max Raker]
      #11157353 - 07/11/07 09:27 PM

Quote:

Hmmm, Ok. I was just refering to this statement that you made

Quote:

Quote:

which I think is BS, like they wouldn't sell out for millions if they had a chance).



Especially considering who you're talking to right now, you ought to realize this is pure nonsense.





I thought your were implying that you were given the opportunity to "sell out" and you chose not to.



Hmmm, Ok. That's just exactly, precisely what I was saying, not implying.

Lots of people, given the option of selling out their principles for millions choose not to. I happen to be one of them.


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