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Interview: Dave Kilminster

Recently, I had the chance to speak with Dave about his latest album, Scarlet: The Director’s Cut, and what he has on tap for this year. Most notably (yet) another leg of The Wall with Roger Waters, another solo album, and hopefully something with Guthrie Govan.

There was one quote that I thought was rather interesting:

That desire for more dynamics led Kilminster to shun many effects—especially for his dirtier sounds. “I’m not a big fan of effects on overdriven sounds. When I do the ‘Comfortably Numb’ solo with Roger, I put on this chorus to try and make it sound a bit more like the record and I always hate adding it.”

Is adding chorus to an overdriven sound something that was Gilmour-ish or have I been totally missing the boat on this?

Also, don’t sleep on Dave’s new tuning: C–G–D–G–A–D. Interesting variation on DADGAD.

Anyways, check out the piece here.



Sound City Review

SoundCity

It was a hot, sweaty, dirty pit of a studio and worst of all it was in the Valley. Not a magic combination when you are trying to attract A-list musical talent with huge budgets. In the new Dave Grohl-directed documentary, we  get a peek behind the curtain and learn how (and why) so many musicians decided to eschew the digital bells and whistles of other nicer and more convenient studios for the mystique and aura of Sound City.

Grohl traces the 40-year journey of Sound City through the words of the artists, producers and engineers who created the soundtrack of American rock music by coaxing every bit they could out of the custom Neve 8028 board. Not unintentionally, the actual board–not the studio–is the star of the show. Studio owner Tom Skeeter describes how big of an investment the $75K console was by saying he had just bought a house for $38K right before placing the order.

Throughout the movie, you see the natural ebb and flow of how America’s musical tastes intersected with the quickly changing world of recording technology.”It was like Fleetwood Mac all over again,” describes Skeeter about the madness that was the post-Nevermind era for the vaunted recording studio. Thankfully, the Seattle-based trio help bring Sound City’s analog-based vibe off of life support during a time when digital recording and Pro Tools were a much faster and easier option.

The last third of the movie details a world after Sound City closed their doors. Grohl purchased the Neve console, moved it into his studio, and then rounded up an insane list of artists to help pay tribute to not only the studio but also the human element of music. John Fogerty, Rick Springfield, and Stevie Nicks all make appearances, but not surprisingly, it’s Paul McCartney who really brings everything full circle.

The connection between McCartney and Studio City is thin–at best–but do you really need an excuse to record with a Beatle? Didn’t think so.

Seeing how Grohl and McCartney, along with the remaining members of Nirvana, work out in the studio is not only inspiring but also comforting in a way that makes you want to grab a guitar call up some friends and play something. Anything. I can’t say how good-or bad-Grohl is as a director, but the topic he chose was as deeply personal as any movie made by Spielberg, Scorsese, or Kubrick. And that connection likely is what separates the good from the great.