EMAIL THE BEEKEEPER
RT Discussion List Q&A IV
1/28/2008 (updated 1/28/2008)

Mark Rogers:
14. Say you have a friend visiting and you play them some interesting new music that you have come across- perhaps the latest from Ollabelle or Hazmat Modine. If you thought that it would encourage your friend to buy other recordings or attend concerts by those artists, would you consider burning them a copy?

RT: I would be more likely to give them mine and get another one. I love to buy CDs and support fellow artists. I have enjoyed CDs, and tapes, going back a bit, given to me by others, but I rarely do it myself, usually only as something like a rehearsal tape for an upcoming tour.

Bob Dubery:
15. Richard, for most of your career your records/CDs have not had much in the way of obvious production, they've sounded pretty much like people playing instruments and singing.

The exceptions would be the records that Mitchell Froom produced. I think there's some fine work and records out of that phase of your career, and they're not, in my opinion, over-produced, just more obviously produced.

Since "going independent" your productions have become more natural, more like a live performance again. Is this a function of budget, or is this a deliberate decision?

And how "live" is the band in the studio? All in the same room - with a possibility of bleeding between various mikes and amps - or playing in real time but all in different booths? (I've probably just betrayed my profound ignorance of the last 20 year's advances in recording technology and practices....)

RT: Production is currently pretty much the way I like it, fairly naturalistic, with just little bits of studio effects. The first two records with Mitchell, they were trying to get them on the radio, so the drums are big, there's big reverb, etc. The next two were trying to be more 'garage' and sonically interesting, which I think they are.

There are budget constraints now, so that does affect some decisions - we used to pop over to the UK to add some overdubs, for instance, but that doesn't happen as much now.

We record as live as possible, but try to get separation to fix small mistakes on good takes. On Sweet Warrior, we started with the drums and electric bass in the main room, with vocal in the booth, and guitar amp in the piano room. Rhythm guitar was in the main room if electric, and in the TV lounge if acoustic. For songs with acoustic bass, I moved into the main room (vocals and guitar), and the bass moved to the vocal booth.

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