01 December 2012 on thesleepdogs website by David

Production is about the overall process of making a recording. Take the song. Imagine a style. Apply it to instruments in your head. Then try and realise what you’ve imagined. It never works. It never comes out the way you thought it would.  I thought recording was just a matter of writing the song and then getting musicians to play and sing it. Well it isn’t  Musicians all want to do their thing not yours! That’s why every decent band in the world spends half of its time squabbling. The more creativity within any band, the more there is to fight about. What you have to do is manage with what you’ve got. Or somehow convince others to help you. Then be prepared to defend your opinion against theirs and hope it all comes out ok. If not, stop whining and do it yourself!

There in a nutshell lies my musical career for the last 4 years. With no one else around most of the time, I thought  I’d have a go at Producing my own work from scratch. And it gets easier with every song. Warren, my guitar genius, seems to cope with it better when he’s not tied down to my studio. But on the whole, when you have other talent available, I just tend to be grateful and let them get on with it. Talented people tell you pretty quickly if they’re not happy with what you did with their solo or vocal or part. But if it’s my song they’re working on I retain a veto and make the final decision. So long as you pay them the same courtesy with their songs I think that’s fine. I once played a drum part on a song of Warren’s and he processed it to hell and added a Sample. I hated it and said so but, of course went ahead with his version, because it’s his song. Production is a battle between Art and Opinion. If you choose to listen to opinions, choose them carefully because criticism is the cheapest commodity out there. I listen to anyone who might turn out to be a Customer. And anyone who is better than me at what I do. That allows for a heck of a lot of opinions, and probably explains why I cry a lot!

Producing a recording is the realisation of a vision that began when I wrote the song. I visualised having a band that would do all the hard work for me, and wound up in a loose partnership with a guitar wizard. But I like the songs so far and that is the bottom line. I haven’t made any money yet – other than for Charity- but I’ve made music that I’m quite proud of. Eric Clapton said something like

It isn’t what you get out of music that counts – it’s about what you put in. What you contribute. If you contribute enough, the rewards will follow

.I think he was right. So I’m determined to Produce the best music I can with the resources I have available. If you think you can improve on what I’ve done, please call me or email me. There is a recording studio waiting.  But you need to be good looking coz I’m old and ugly and one minger is enough for any band. And I’ll be sat at the back behind a drum kit!

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