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Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck next? What the fuck are delicates? What is happening? I'm Mark Maher and this is my podcast. It's my podcast. Why am I talking in that tone? It's been servicing the public since late 2009. A new episode every Monday and every Thursday since the beginning of our run. We're always delivering the goods here at WTF, always delivering the conversations, always engaging with the people.
Very exciting show today for me. I don't know for you, I don't know who you are and what you do. What do you do? Who are you? Do you know do you have a handle on it? Have you found out new things about yourself during this time? Isolating alone with family, dealing with the hardships, masking up, suiting up, going out into the world, terrified of things we can't see? I'm not talking about conspiracy theories.
I'm talking about the covid. Out here in California, we're doing our best to get everyone infected, apparently. We seem close, got a new strain out here, super covid. Fucking covid that can get through glass brick walls. Kamal. Yeah, it's happening, this indestructible covid creeping at all services, raining down in your yard amongst the leaves in the grass. covid just slowly drifting down from the skies like evil manner. I'm excited about the show today because I talked to Daniel Lenoir, who I've always been sort of fascinated with, he is the inventor of a sonic universe.
He is the he is the the enabler of some of the older wizards of song to sort of enter their final years in a way that is mystifying and honoring a certain type of poetic darkness. I speak specifically of Bob Dylan. I speak of specifically the album Time Out of Mind, which you and I produce, which is the first time he was really on my radar.
And I'm like, who is the wizard that created this cave? For Dylan to walk into. Towards a shimmering but flickering light at the end of it, who is this man who cushioned the genius in this lyrical darkness? Daniel Lanois produced that record, produced U2 is The Joshua Tree, The Unforgettable Fire Achtung Baby. A couple of those he did with Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, so which I say so to. But he's a long time collaborator with Brian Eno, and he's he's done amazing solo work, multi instrumentalist, sort of fascinating Neville Brothers.
I can't the list is too big.
We'll talk about a lot of stuff, but I'm sort of for you music nerds or this specific brand of music nerd, you know, freaks, Dylan freaks, just music freaks in general, production nerds. This is your time is very exciting. He's got a new record coming out in the spring. That's great, but it's very exciting.
I'm you know, I maybe it's called hope, I don't know, I'm I'm bleak as fuck, really. And I got good feelings at Biden's going to hit the ground running and at least get some infrastructure around the act of governance. Again, get rid of the leftover grifters and babbling lunatics and conspiracy fuck wads. Some governance, some leadership, some effectiveness around taking care of the fucking country. And I don't know if it's hope, as I said, I don't know if it's hope, but I think that, you know, knowing narcissists and understanding how narcissists work, Donald Trump lost.
He lost. And no matter how he bends that he's still going to be treated like a loser, but he's going to go to Florida and this idea that he's going to maintain his position as some sort of kingmaker, as some sort of influencer in the GOP, I guess it's true.
But I bet you that he goes down there and wants nothing more than to give zero fucks and play golf. He's a fucking loser. He was always a loser. But there's something about the victim shtick, the aggravated victim shtick, the grievance junkie victim shtick that broken people just take to. So I don't know. I do know that the new year can be a good time for a mental health check and better help offers online licensed professional therapists who are trained to listen and help with issues relationship conflicts, depression, self-esteem, grief, trauma, anxiety, anger, stress and more.
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I know this show might feel like therapy for you, but this is a one way street, folks. I'm sorry about that. I mean, you can hear me, but I can't hear you. And that's what we all need, somebody to listen. And that's what you get with better help. Better help is a convenient and affordable option. And WTF listeners can get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code. WTF get started today at better LPI dot com slash WTF.
There's no shame in asking for help. I know. Help me. Help me. Please help.
Help, help. Help me. Oh Christ.
Now the neighbors are probably going to come. What I do. What I do. Yeah. The victim shtick. People love it. Love the victim stick, it goes in deep to people I talked to my old man, now my old man is. Losing it a little bit. He's. 82 and.
It happens, but, you know, he's you know, his new family, who he's been with for years, you know, there's a there's a I don't know who does it or who or why.
I don't know him to be that interested or curious. But somebody got him got him watching Ohayon or Fox News. He's definitely got Republicans of one kind or another around him and in his ear. And but there's a point where.
The discussion you've got to stop calling the right wing. Right wing call them the American fascist party, if that's what they're doing, if that's who they're if that's who they are, that's who they are. Conspiracy made manifest by technology in real world time. Bullshit, non reality, people believing in non reality will get more and more violent. They have to to defend the non reality, to defend themselves from reality creeping in. But my old man, you know, he's you know, I've lightened up on him because he's not really thinking as clearly as he used to, I got on the phone with him just to catch up a little bit, and I told him what I thought about the insurrection.
And I told him, you know what I thought about what's happening in the country. And he's afraid of everything. He doesn't quite know how to process it. And he said, well, yeah, he's here. Let me see if I do that. Well, what do you think about this this deep state? How do you think about the deep state? And I said, well, you know, I've they're very disappointing. If there is a deep state, they didn't do their job.
And I said, I don't think there's a deep state. I think it's a created entity to add to the victim mode and the grievances and the conspiracy to brain fucked people.
He's like, yeah, I hear you. I don't know about all that. But you don't think there's a deep state.
I said, I don't I don't I don't think there's a deep state in the way you're thinking about it or the way you're saying it.
He goes, so what what do you know about this? This is Hollywood. And I said, What the Hollywood what am I, the actor who you know, who who's the from the from the pedophile pedophile ring. He moved to Greece.
And I'm like, I don't know what you're talking about. There's actor and I'm like, what actors? I don't know, he's, you know, big actor. Mike, you got to be more specific. He's like, how old is the old older guy like like George Clooney? Old. No, older. Like Michael Douglas.
Yeah, like that. He moved to Greece because of a pedophile ring. Yeah, I think so. What are you talking about? I know it's what I heard.
It's like it's a it's a Hollywood. He says, But, you know, you're not part of that, right? I'm like, what? It's like the deep state. I'm like, well, I don't know, I I applied. But I haven't got my membership card, you know, because the Trump fucked up the post office. So you're not involved? No, no, I'm not not involved in deep state. I'm not I'm not deep state that he's like, well, that's good.
I'm like, all right. I'm glad you feel better.
But, you know, things are kind of loose up there. They're a little loose with him now. I'm not sure. I think he was just happy that I was OK and that I'm not part of deep state or the pedo ring.
So Daniel Anwar, this is a very exciting interview. It's a it's it's a real music nerd interview for those you don't know his work, for those you do.
I hope that engaged him in a way that you enjoy. His new album is called Heavy Son. It's going to come out this spring. You can check out the first single under the Heavy Sun. Wherever you listen to music. This is me talking to. The studio wizard and amazing musician, Daniel Anwar. How are you doing, buddy? And I'm pretty good up here in Toronto. You're in Toronto. You lucky fucker. Yeah, of course.
You know, anything we hear about Los Angeles in the media is like, oh, my goodness, you know, ambulances have no place to bring covid patients. You know, they're just driving around the block.
Yeah, I hear that, too, man. I'm sitting here in my house. You still got a house over there, don't you, in Silverlake. How long you been up in Toronto? I guess a couple of months now. Is that where you grew up? Around there. I grew up.
I'm French Canadian, but I grew up in Hamilton, which is near Toronto between Buffalo.
I know exactly where Hamilton is. I spent I spent two weeks in Hamilton that felt like a lifetime. What were you doing there?
I was shooting a movie in the wreckage of your fair city. Oh, yeah. They you know, I guess the tax subsidies and whatnot are they've made it very available to shoot practically in Hamilton.
Yeah, well, you know it well. It's got all the factories if you need an industrial setting.
And we didn't need the industrial setting, but I think it was just they just make it available because it seems like all those factories are long gone.
Daniel, they're long gone.
Well, they're still there, but not not the same as they were. But, you know, there's a lot of Victorian kind of houses. Yeah. Houses. So it would be, you know, squint a little bit, could be Boston, could be a lot of a lot of places, you know. Sure.
But it's right there. It's there's a sort of collapse there that we see in a lot of the great industrial American cities. When was the last time you went back? Oh, well, I stopped by regularly there. But I know what you mean about the collapse.
The I took a train once from, well, from Buffalo and I went all the way to New Orleans somehow or other. And I went through the backwaters of all those northern towns and saw a lot of that decline that you're speaking of.
Was that on the way to make your solo record in New Orleans? Exactly.
Yeah, that's interesting, that record, because, you know, your French Canadian and the sort of French Cajun culture down there, when you sing in French on that record with the accordion, it all seems to fold right in.
Well, as history goes, it's originally from up here. You know, the. Is it. Yeah, well, the the Acadians were expelled from Canada when the Brits took over. And the ones that were not about to follow the new rules, they put them on a boat and they went south to Louisiana and they overshot New Orleans and went to Lafayette. And the the Acadia became JFK called Cajun. That's how it started. So I said, that's the history.
So you're actually returning home to a great degree. You were bringing bringing home back down to where it ended up. It's kind of funny to think of it that way. Had the. But, yeah, the accordion has lived on in the and the Cajun community. That all two step is still happening down there, man. Sure, man.
I mean, but you're telling me that the accordion sound came from from Canada originally. A lot of it. Did you really did that come by way of. But that's but it's different. It's a different accordion then. German accordion, right?
Yes, it is. It's a limited accordion. The the the zydeco and the Cajun one that I'm thinking of. I think some of those only plan to kizuna playing DNG, but it's like not a polka groove, you know, like that came up through taxes.
Right. So you get all that conjunto music and all the sort of brass and accordion stuff that infused Mexican music. And in Texas is not the same accordion that came up through New Orleans.
I'd say it's different somehow when it when it fell into the well, the zydeco music is is more black, right? Cajun is more white, but the the desire design go has it's very, very rhythmic, if you're familiar with, you know. Sure.
Not to buck up bop, but yeah. It's rock and roll, you know.
Well, let's talk about the melodies. What about planning. Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So those are all French Canadian, those kind of. Right. Right, right. Almost Celtic.
Yes. So you're tracking those rhythms because even the the white Cajun stuff does it seems to have a little bit of a shuffle to it. Right. There's a little bit of a sort of a groove. Yes. Whereas you get into that polka thing is that's just that's tight. That's German German tightness.
Right. I somehow or other I managed to sidestep the polka and that is not a polka step aside step. I don't think it's. Yeah, you've got to swing past the polka.
They're so grown up in Canada. I mean, what was it? Because it seems to me like looking over. You know what you do in trying to assess what you do, and I like the new song, by the way, I'm excited to listen to the new record. OK, good. Thanks, man.
I mean, what was it like that I have to assume that on some level, playing with Gordon Lightfoot as a Canadian must have been somewhat of an exciting thing.
Well, I played with Sylvia Tyson and we opened for Gordon Lightfoot, but I know what you mean. That whole folk scene up here, that was my time in Ontario, but the time in Quebec because I lived in Quebec till I was nine in a place called Get, you know. Oh, she's an hour from Montreal. So I'm originally from around there, so I'm afraid. Yeah. And then my mom relocated the family to Hamilton, and that's where I start speaking English.
When you were nine. Yeah. And so the back and kick back, I heard my dad played violin as my grandfather did. So they were called Viola New and they played a lot of jigs. So I was exposed to that neighborhood music as a child, very melodic, a little bit like what I sang a minute ago, you know. Yeah. And some of them very mournful in minor keys. And so that was my first exposure to music.
He sort of stayed in that minor key for a lifetime. A little bit. Oh, yeah. Well, by emotion, if not specifically by key like. Right. Interesting to write a you know, you reference my first record record. I was a very sad song called Louise, which yeah. It's kind of a happy bump bump. Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom. But it's a sad story. It's about people breaking up and the woman hits the model and my mother packs up the kids and then she's gone, you know.
So is that is that a true story. True story. That's why we came to Hamilton. You were running.
Who was the who hit the bottom of your old man? Oh, man.
Hit the bottle. And my mom, with four kids and a car, drove five hundred miles and she never saw him again.
Wow, that's heavy. How many are you the youngest now?
I'm I have an older brother and then I'm on the one below that.
And so all those little kids and he got out of control and things got ugly and she had to leave. Yeah, she had had enough. And when we came to Hamilton and then he he picked up the three boys and stole us back, and then she went back one more time and stole us again. And that was the end of the ball. He stole you back. Yeah.
So we just showed up in Hamilton and said, get in.
Yeah, we were walking to school three boys. He said, all right, you guys get in. And I drove back in modern times is kidnapping. But back then it was just the way it was, you know, what did that you know, where did you feel like?
I mean, you don't seem like an angry fella and you don't seem like you're carrying a chip on your shoulder that you're out of control yourself. Were you just sort of torn between the two? I mean, I don't know. I've talked to you for ten minutes. Maybe I'm projecting.
Well, the I mean, we we love my mom and we weren't fully aware of all the problems they were having. So we're going to jump in the car with my dad and but we had a great time back with him. You know, he he we lived in the woods in a kind of a cabin cottage. Yeah. For a few months. And we shot arrows and rifles and he worked in town and come back in on the weekend. And so we lived on our own.
We lived on our own. The three boys. It was great. Just so you're lucky you didn't know what was really going on.
Maybe the I mean, in modern times there's so much communication, you know, it would be different now, but back then it wasn't we were just a bunch of kids, you know, trying to make the best of it. I like the old man and everything. And and we had a good time with him. But a marital problems are that. So, you know, my my mom did the right thing, so.
Yeah, after leaving, I'm just sort of curious to find the sort of bedrock of the kind of longing, etherial, you know, sound that runs through a lot of what you produce and you're on into working with Eno and some of your solo stuff. I mean, I see that you have an appetite for and a desire to engage with all different types of music. But it seems like the thread is is something slightly ethereal and heavy hearted.
Yeah, there is melancholy and there is a thread. Where did that start? You think you think it started with that violin or it might have started with a violin.
But, you know, the I was a loner as a child. I yeah. I started working, you know, very young, around nine or ten.
I delivered the morning paper and I really liked it. And I got to spend time by myself and walk around asking all kinds of questions about what I saw about life. And yeah, I was pretty internalized. And so that like I said, I developed my. Imagination started developing then, but in regards to the melancholy, I suppose, you know, the French kid moving into an English neighborhood would add to that you don't have to write him to learn to speak English and being a bit isolated.
You and I also think that living in the woods, I think that something about, you know, that part of I don't really know where your father lived or what that part of North America or the continent looks like.
But, you know, having spent a couple of years in Alaska when I was a kid, there's a weight to that to that part of the world up there where it's cold and grey and that that sort of like either it feeds you were it makes you sad. And if it you know, I don't know if the environment had any impact on you, but I find that my brain goes back to that sort of melancholy gray ness. And I don't mind it.
I find it comforting.
Yeah, well, we were pretty we were there in the woods. I mean, it wasn't entirely isolated as a place. You know, there was there was a lake and it was a little town, you know, 10 miles away. And we got to go in the lake, paddle out there any time we wanted and, you know, had access to rock climbing and pine trees and all that. It was very beautiful. But but it was wild.
Yeah. I think that the wild reminds you that, you know, you're an animal. Yeah. Like bears. So like, what's up there though.
Yeah, there'd be bears but you know, deer and rabbits and you know. Yeah. Some of the usual wolves, you know, that kind of stuff. You know, I'm sure a lot of, a lot of birdlife fish and all that and snakes and you know, kind of bloodsuckers on your leg when you come out of the water. Oh, the leeches. Yeah.
So when did you start sort of digging into like it feels to me like I, you know you know, I'm trying to put it together, but it feels to me that you're sort of rooted in, you know, you're fairly honest acoustic music, you know, from from here and wherever you you put it, you take it.
But it seems like, you know, whatever evolved into sort of a techno ish ambient exploration was kind of rooted in acoustic music now.
Yeah, the beginning was definitely acoustic music. You know, when we got to Hamilton, I acquired a little penny whistle. Mm. And I love that little whistle because I could I could really isolate melodies and I got pretty good at playing melodies because you can only play single notes on, on, on a penny whistle. Yeah. So that's what I did and I really liked it. I developed a little notation system so I could because I had not studied music yet at that point.
So I invented a little notation system so I could remember my melodies. And I like those early years because it forced me to develop some kind of a way of remembering what I like the most about about my instrument and my playing and my discoveries is Melody. Yeah, Melody. But what was interesting about is I had not read music yet, so I wrote, you know, the low notes at the bottom and the top note at the top. And then in between when so when I came up with was not unlike what we know as music written on a music staff, you know.
But that was your own system. And you eventually studied music. Yeah, eventually I studied music. My mum used to give me a dollar a week allowance to go to the movies and but I'd seen so many play clarinet on TV. Yeah. When one day I'd like to play the clarinet. So on the one Saturday going to the movies, I saw what looked like a clarinet in a music store window. So I went in and I said, how much for that?
He said, a dollar. And I bought the what, just a plastic penny whistle. But I guess is that like a recorder?
Yeah, a little recorded. That's yeah. A little recorder. And that was the beginning there. And and no movie. On that Saturday I went to the penny whistle, so I drove everybody crazy in the house for a while playing that thing. But in those days it was door to door canvassing and someone from one of the music schools in the neighborhood, the Conservatory of Music, knocked on sales guy knocked on my mom's door and said, You got any kids that like music?
She said, yeah, that one there, he likes music. And that's so I passed the aptitude test. He said, OK, we teach accordion and slide guitar. And I said, OK, I'll I'll take slide guitar. And that was the beginning of me as a guitar player. Wow.
So like what out of all things. Slide guitar. Yeah. What was the idea. What was the angle. That doesn't seem very Canadian.
I know I couldn't figure it out, but there was a little bit of a slide guitar craze. I think it was kind of a had come from, you know, that was the first electric guitar. You know, it was a slide guitar. It was kind of part of the. Hawaiian music craze, I think, like the National Steel, like a dobro or not. Yeah, dobro, right? Yeah, dobro. But this was an acoustic guitar, really.
Just a regular acoustic guitar with high action. Right. Chords get a little bar. And then my lessons took me again to Melody. I played the melody on just things like River Valley I down, down and in here. Right. And my teacher strum the chords. And so I continued with the melody with this time on slide guitar.
That's the gateway drug. Is that slide man. Right? Because like, you know, there's no frets and you know, you can do some real space travel with that shit, like a pedal steel or slide. I mean, you can really get kind of out there with it.
Yeah, that's right. You can the opposite of the piano or the piano just it's very specific to the note, whereas the the slide allows you, you know, a little bit of parlamento to moment. Right. Get that.
And you like that sort of weird kind of like, you know, Afrikan up through the Delta, kind of slightly dissonant tremolo business that can definitely do some time travel with the tremolo part allows the player to get to a certain emotional place.
It's a bit like the voice.
Oh, la la la la. Oh yeah. You play it real singing real straight. Oh. And you get a little inflection in the right spot as a singer, but you can't do that on a piano. But on the slide you can.
Yeah. You get, you can get some haunted business going with a slide. Yeah. Takes you closer to the Thurmon. Right. Which is a little that think it's kind of ridiculous. Well it's hard to play it here and a lot of the old sci fi movies at a spooky moment, you know. Yeah.
I don't I don't think it's a practical instrument for modern music. I don't enjoy the sound.
Okay. Well, I won't argue with you.
So when did you when did you did you start in bands then? I mean, did you were you did you consider yourself a blues guitar player or Hawaiian style slide player or somebody that could do anything with a slide guitar? Did you move on to another instrument?
You know, I moved on to a regular Spanish guitar. You know, I was a regular, like a little Stella, a little Sears catalog guitar, you know, was service, a regular little Western guitar. Yeah. And and I like that a lot. I got pretty good on it quick. And yeah, I joined we had a little bands in the neighborhood because it was some of the kids on the block to play it and you know, playing in garages, on roof and on rooftops.
And then when did you start cutting music or writing music.
I got a tape recorder when I was about 12 and that was the beginning of the recording studio. I was a little flea market machine that had a microphone on.
Do you still have that in your studio? And you use it sometimes in your mixes? I wish I had the long time, but it was a it was a one stop shop for speakers on board and the microphone. Everything all you did is press record. Yeah. Know where the mic is and kind of do what we're doing and talk and then say, okay, Mark, let me win it back and then press the button playing there we were on and that's when he started doing the work.
That's when I started recording and my friends came over and you know, I got pretty good with that. And I bought up I bought a little four track and then. Oh, you did. When you were like fifteen or something. Actually, I had one before then call a Sony and it had this function on it called the sound on sound record. One thing, no sound on sound. It allowed you to go from the left channel to the right while recording the microphone again.
You recorded that Neil Young record. Yeah.
The Neil Young record wasn't too far away from Neil. You just play one guitar and I'll lay down. Then you play guitar again on top of it. That is sort of what that record is a little bit, right.
It's almost sound on sound in a way.
Well, it's in the sense that he didn't want anybody else playing on the record. The invitation initially was. But I record him doing ten solo acoustic songs and I filmed him as well because we make films as well. Was that in your house? Yeah, the one in Silverlake. Yeah. Yeah. And the beautiful old place from the 20s. And we emptied out the room and we had a lovely setting for Neil and a really great sound. You know, I present him with my little girl acoustic guitar and I'd set up a sound in the studio prior to his arrival and I said, check this out.
And he played it so he didn't even take his own guitar. Other cases. It was beautiful. Yeah, off we went. But the we had a little secret weapon. We had a OCTA divider machines, just a little cheap contraption that you put the guitar through and the low strings trigger an octave below. So the acoustic guitar had suddenly had this seemingly a bass player playing with him, but it was just him on the guitar and then whatever, whatever, it didn't get tracked properly by this cheap device.
I then I supplemented. I went in repair. The notes weren't tracked with my motorised pedals. So I did overdub on on the record when Neil wasn't there. Does he know that now? Did you tell him he'll know? No.
After we talk, if he's listening, I think he's right. Maybe you got better things going on.
But that's sort of it's interesting because to me, a lot of, you know, you're the modern production, you know, does, you know, incorporate all these elements of of a sort of analog and kind of modern ancient sound that that I associate with with with with some sort of earlier time, you know, whether it be echo or noise textures, they seem to to be rooted in something nostalgic almost.
Well, it's an interesting Segway to the to the manipulation of sound. And I took an interest in that. In the 70s, I worked with a Canadian producer named Bill Bryan, and he was always pushing me to weird things up a little bit, you know, try adding this and that.
And that was the 70s, I guess. Yeah, that was the 70s.
And then I was already producing. Oh, yeah, I was already producing. And I was I made so many records through the 70s, you know, he was producing a lot of gospel records. Funny enough. Really? Yeah. I was associated with a Christian organization that brought quartets from all over the world to tour Canada and its stop studio to make a record in two days. So I did a lot of that. And but I was also doing the the more advanced experimental music.
And that's what led me to meet Brian Eno.
Well, that gospel stuff, I mean, how did that affect you that those kind of vocal harmonies? Because, like, you know, I do feel the history of something in the music when when I was into it, we.
Did you find that that that I mean, I assume that you had to record the gospel singers pretty straight ahead. Right? It was you didn't have to fuck with that too much.
Yeah, they were they were already very balanced acts. And so I, I had a four track studio in those days. I loved the gospel stuff because when I heard coming through the speakers was really my education about how parts fit together. How so? Well, you know, I got to got to hear. Obviously there's the fundamental there's the bass part and the lead singer, this one on there. There's the the the harmony below in the harmony books.
I got to hear layers. All the voices moved according to the chords, but serving the melody. Right. And it's the kind of stuff you might not get in a school. You know, you can be in a school for ten years and then be exposed to this kind of expertise. Right. So it happened that happened over the course of a couple of years. I got to hear some of the best singing, the best harmony singing from around the world just for doing gospel records.
And were you an engineer or actually producing? I was more of an engineer, but I didn't know what a producer was then, so I was just doing everything, you know. Sure. I just got called out eventually. Right.
And so tell me about this fellow from the 70s. What's his name again? Billy. Brian. Yeah, what's his story? His story.
He was in Toronto. Drummer, producer. And he was recording a lot of the art bands from from Toronto. And we recorded the Child Blues Band with Donnie Walsh. Tony wrote a lot of songs for the Blues Brothers. So was that association. But he was also recording a band called The Parachute Club Mama. And then the Time Twins and the Time Twins went to New York and took the demos we made from my place. And they met Eno and they played him the tape and he really liked it.
So that's how I got to meet Eno. And when you met him, what year was that? I met Eno late 79. Had you been a fan before? No, I didn't know anything. I didn't know anything about him. So did you. So when I lived in Hamilton. What do you think? I know, man. It's hard to find that show. You got to find a guy at a record store that turns you on to that stuff.
You're not just going to it's not going to land in your lap.
Yeah, I mean, there was no Internet in those days, so no man. I mean, if it wasn't for the guy who worked at. Record store next to the restaurant I worked in high school, I would never know about it or the residence or John Hassell, Harold Bud or Fred Frith. I mean, granted, I was 14 years old, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I lucked out that that guy dumped that stuff in my head.
But you kind of need one of those guys.
You need one of those guys. Yeah, well, yeah. On the one night I got introduced to Grandmaster Flash and Kraftwerk from hanging out with the time twins. It's a big night.
That is a big night. That's a brain changing night.
Yeah, absolutely. Man, I thought the best grooves and then the the the most clever stuff coming out of Germany. And it was so like you said, you know, we need those kind of those turning points. And it might be the guy in the record store. Maybe you get a girlfriend that's smarter than you, you know. Yeah, right. Yeah, exactly.
I have that that girlfriend that she she turned me on to Roxy Music all gets connected. Eventually everything gets connected. Then a guy left a living 69 Velvet Underground album in my apartment. I'm like, oh, and that's that's where that fits in, you know.
OK, well that'll do it. The whole New York chapter. Yeah. I never got to New York, you know. Well, I did, you know, around 1981. It's my first time. So with Eino though.
So this guy, you find out this dude likes you and how is that presented to you? Because, I mean, you know, that was, I assume, the beginning of, you know, what is a continuing creative relationship. And I imagine friendship. I mean, that's going on 30 some odd years, right?
Yeah, well, he came into my life and my studio with these piano recordings by Harold. But, yeah, and we he had already recorded the piano in New York. So he came to my studio with a view of processing on top of adding different sound because it was because of what he heard you do.
He thought you'd be the guy to work with on this.
He was tired of the studios in New York and he really appreciated you roll the dice on my place. And he really appreciated that. We were a small town. We were when I said we myself and my brother Bob, this was in Hamilton, in Hamilton. And then we were we had small town matters.
But it's your studio. I guess I missed that part. You had started a studio in Hamilton.
Yeah. We finally got out of the basement of my mother's house. Yeah. At this point, we'd bought a little building, one of those little Victorian houses, and we converted then to recording studio. So it was it was a sweet little spot. And what was nice about it didn't have a feeling of rushing around. You know, we write we paid attention to every project that came in. And I really I was very impressed with how directed he was.
His vision was very specific. And then he said, you know, I learned a little bit about him at that point. And this guy has done a lot. And he would devote himself to something that was seemingly quite obscure to me. Right. But I loved it. And I I appreciated that he was willing to spend so much time with the details. And I thought to myself, well, I'm going to jump in with him, you know, on this and not just be hitting the ball all over the place, doing too many, too many kind of records.
But before that, you had recorded a lot of different stuff. Well, mostly local stuff, right? Local. But I had it you know, there were I had a few hits in Canada because I was starting to rise up as a him as a Canadian record producer. But I you know, I had to pay the bills. So we were recording whoever banged on the door, you know, the studio. And I met, you know, anyone I know.
Well, that was speaking a rise up. A band called the Parachute Club we had hit can't rise up.
And that was the one that I heard. No, he heard the time twins. Oh, he heard it was a more obscure thing. And but it was very, very full of of adventure, not Sonic's. And that's OK. I responded. Oh, that's right. Right.
So you're making a couple of hits. You work with, you know, the Canadian accent.
Then, you know, he sort of shifted your attention to something more specific that became sort of a creatively life changing event, I imagine.
Yeah. I had never felt what I felt with him. And I thought, OK, I have reason to trust this man and I love what he's doing. And I decided that I would never do anything I don't want to do again.
What was it about him?
I mean, you know, obviously, I mean, it's interesting to me that, you know, your your core sort of love of melody. And I think that, you know, has that as well. Aside from, you know, what he's known for as a producer, the ambient records are not necessarily melody driven like his earlier records, but it does seem. That he when you talk about your recorder, what is the penny whistle that many of his early albums were kind of fun and romping and almost the melodies could have been penny whistle melodies, that he had an appreciation for those simple melodies.
He knows a good singer and he he came up singing. And so he always had an appreciation for the center of the picture. That way I was able to help them make those records because not only was I a good technician, I was musical. So, you know, maybe I had more music education than than him because he had come from art school. Yeah. So I was able to speed things along for him to move the process along according to his vision.
And he appreciated that I was playing a good supporting role to him and getting to where he wanted to get.
What was the first album that you did with him? It wasn't that, Harold, but was it or was.
Yeah. Was that Harold Oneone one called Plateau of Mirror? Yeah, I have that record. Yeah. Yeah.
And I have the John Hassel records too. Did you work with the John Hassell too.
I made three John Hassel records.
And what was the solo record that you worked on. Well then we went on to do another Harold Budd record called The Pearl, and then we did one called Apollo. And I was the one that I was more involved with because I played some get back the steel guitar here. I played some steel guitar on Apollo. In fact, there's one track on there called Deep Blue Day that shows up in the Trainspotting movie. Right.
And also, I kid brought something to it, you know, like was that like did you just suggest that to him?
Because I think that's like the fourth or third or fourth ambient record going up to that point. You know, it seemed like mostly in my memory to be synthesizers.
And then on that record, like those last few cuts are just sort of like, you know, I you know, the slide takes center stage and, you know, it introduces something entirely new into Eino Sound, whereas the discussions around that around you saying like, go lay down some country riffs in this ambient idea here.
Well, the Apollo record was meant to be a soundtrack for a documentary on the space missions. The Apollo. OK, OK. That's why it's called Apollo. And the astronauts were listening to country music when they were in outer space. So we decided we would. And I said, well, I got a steel guitar in the closet. Maybe we can add a little bit of twang that might relate to the film. And that's how it started.
Was it a steel guitar, a lap steel?
Was it a lap or it was that pedal or lap steel? The pedal steel. Oh, really? I had a little Shobha pedal steel. I still have it here. I think it's I don't know if you can see it in the camera.
I see it right there. Yeah. Right behind you. Yeah. Look at that thing. Yeah. So in that and so after doing all that stuff with Eno, you guys, you know, develop some sort of shorthand, you know, around how you worked together and and how you produce together.
Yeah. We always got results fast. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. You know, I was quick with the, you know, quick in the studio and quick to come up with a part. And everything always came our way quickly. And so we weren't scratching our heads or running into roadblocks.
You know, that's interesting that it happens quickly, but the sound the sound that you're creating is quite spacious. You would never you would never think that anything was moving too fast during the ambient records.
You know, in the tempos are. Well, the processes were quick because we we developed this technique because in most recording studios, people up to that point, people were listening to their effects almost as a as a side bar to the main components. And you might you know, you might have a reverb on a vocal as you're working along. And then when you finally mix, you would go back to then and recreate what you were most excited about.
But we had a technique whereby we those those effects were not just showing up as a temporary sound in the blende. They were yeah. They were assigned to a stereo pair ready to be printed all the time. So if we if we got lucky and we hit on something that was really cool, I just press record it and we printed the the sound effects, which would then allow us to take those, treat those as instruments and send them back to the effects again.
And so we just kept adding to the chain of effects and eventually we hit on these. Quite radical sounds for that time, and that's how we hit on a lot of those real spacious was active sounds on those celestial sounds, let's call them. And I got hooked on this. We never treated our processing as something that you just have as a convenience along the way. But we treated them like like the sounds that were the most important.
And it's interesting because that those sounds that you guys came upon are always sort of hovering in almost all of your records that you do that you do for other people.
It's sort of like, what's that in the background? That's just a space sound.
Right. And we got pretty good at it. And I have I have continued with it. I've even got better at it in modern times. You know, I found a way to find a way to finally, because the problem with reverbs and long textural sounds is they can bleed over chord changes and really screw things up, you know.
Oh, I see. Oh, right, right. And then it almost sounds out of tune. Yeah.
So let's say you've got a chord that's a semitone up from from the record. And yeah, if the root chord carries on with reverb then it's a train wreck. So I found a way of dealing with it now where as the chord change happened in the sound and the textures also shift harmonically. So you don't get the bleeding effect. I mean, it's getting into pretty technical stuff here. No, but it explains a lot.
I just like, you know, I noticed even on your on on your first solo album and, you know, I haven't listened to this new album, but that that you found out a way to blend these aural elements that you sort of perfected with Eno with something, you know, more almost acoustic. So there's this weird mixture of something where you put an instrument up front in a very clean way and it sort of moves around with each instrument. But but the bed of sort of celestial echo, you know, kind of is always present, you know, creating another texture.
But it doesn't take away from the almost analogue nature of some of the instruments you put up front.
That's because those textures are not just a reverb, right? They are samples of the front sound push back into the multitrack and laid in in such a way that they provide harmonic backing to the front melody.
And that's that's your magic, Daniel. That's that's that's that's the trick right there. Right.
It's are the new trick right there. That's right. It's very dubh driven, we call it now. Sort of. Yeah. We've gotten pretty good at it. It's great, man.
And it's like it's like, OK, so after the after you make these discoveries. So how does it happen that you produce like the biggest U2 record that, you know, ever existed and arguably probably one of the the biggest U2. Right. Well, I guess you did Unforgettable Fire First, which was pretty fucking big.
How did that why did you guys because I know that you have been producing people, John Cale and some other folks and you know, but how did you two happen while we were working on.
I think the let's say, the Apollo record in Yelton, you know, got an invitation sent in from his office. And the invitation was, well, there's this young Irishman that would love to produce that record. And he said, I'm not at all interested in producing anymore produce anybody. And he was living at my house at the time in Hamilton. Yeah. Yeah.
Just living with Brian Eno in Hamilton, like, I'm sorry, my my my memories of that city.
I mean, I think at that time was probably still like it would it was a little beat up when I was just there.
So I it's hard for me to picture it in its heyday, but it must have been it was pleasant. He was just hanging out at your house. Was he hiding?
Nobody knew who he was. We worked in the day in the studio, and then we drove to my house at night and listen to our mixes and, you know, how can party a little bit. It was a lot of fun in those days. Yeah. But yeah, we had a nice spot on the mountains, away from the factories, and it was nice. So we take the they sent it, they sent a demo tape and I said, well, let's at least listen to the tape, let's listen to these guys.
And I put on the tape and yeah, I thought, well, wait a minute, Singer's got something. He can really hit the high notes. Yeah, I think yeah. That seems to be kind of a bind here. He said, no, I'm not interested. I said, well, listen, I'm trying to get a foot in the door in this in this world of producing at this point, I said, why don't you introduce me and I'll produce the record?
He said, Well, I don't think I can pull that off. Yeah, but anyhow, we we got talked into going to Dublin to meet the guys and with the the ploy was, you know, was going to introduce me. He walks and I make the record.
Yeah. So that was the idea because he was trying to help me out. We were good friends, you know. Yeah, sure. And well there we found ourselves in a car crunched up in the back, the whole band and one car. I mean, you know, and and Bono did it. They played some tracks. They were working on a Bono stop shouting in the car because he's real. He's really good at convincing people, you know, uh, and before we knew it, we were convinced, you know, that we were going to do it all together.
Yeah. Bono has told you guys he turned on the charm. That's right. Yeah, it worked.
But that seemed to start something.
I mean, maybe for you and maybe for Eino as well, that, you know, to sort of apply the things that you guys were discovering in the studio that was you know, I mean, I would say not not it's not that it's not accessible, but it's a very small audience, you know, for what some of the stuff that he's doing.
So now you have this opportunity to apply these techniques and these sounds that you guys are discovering to, you know, what is, you know, a mainstream act.
So what was the negotiation?
How did you deliberate that they wanted to bring in a win because they knew that he'd have a fresh way of looking at things they didn't want. They didn't want to make the same record they had just made before. They wanted to move on. We took a lot of our our atmospherics and our celestial sonics to Dublin. And so it was kind of the next stage. That's why Unforgettable Fire has a has a lot of texture to it, because we we're excited about that technique that I describe to you.
Right. Right. And so we were able to apply that to what they were doing. Right. And they dug it. They dug it. And, you know, the it was a bit of a thing that was happening already. You know, the simple minds had new gold dream, which was a little bit was quite panoramic sonic itself. And so that and they were peers. And so that record was a point of reference for us. And so they welcome textures.
And so that's why that record went in that direction, because we're able to export from Canada to to Ireland.
So that was sort of caught in that almost, you know, bordering on Goth ish new wave thing.
Had gotten it. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. But after after we finish the unforgettable fire, I said to the edge that I thought we had something left to say and if he wanted to invite me back in and I think, you know, we could do another great record and and then we did the Joshua Tree.
But in between that you did a you did a Peter Gabriel record. You worked with with Enos. Is that Enos brother? Well, the the Peter Gabriel record, Peter called me because he had heard the ambient records. You heard the Herald records. Right. And he was doing a soundtrack for a film called. Birdie with Alan right after I was brought into a kind of weird things up a little bit to do a soundtrack, and I really liked it.
He had a nice studio in the country. He was just an old converted Siobhan, and he took me in this vault. He said, well, it was just a bunch of two inch tapes from his past work. He says, go through any of this stuff, pull out anything you want from the shelves. And if you if you bump into something that you want to weird up and you know that you think might have some kind of a might apply to the soundtrack, then by all means.
So that's it. I just kept taking two inch tapes off the shelf and I played them and I'd find some somewhat slow something down and pick out a melody. And then I surprised Peter with a whole bag of things that were new to him because I had changed the face of them. So where'd it come up?
I waited the month, but then you made a huge record with him. Well, after that, he said, well, why don't you stick around and make my song record? He said, you know, the going was good. You know, we are getting somewhere. And I said, OK. And I was that we went off and did, you know, recorded also in which had sledgehammer on it in your a huge record, huge record for.
So now you're a guy, you're, you're a big now you're a producer. You're in man. Yeah.
Yeah. I was my manager at the time was dragging me through every office in New York and all the doors were open to me.
Is the guy that weird things up. It's working. It's awesome man. And I love that you still make time like you do your own work and also get a a couple of John Hasso records in there.
Yeah. The John has John Hustle records are far out. I heard, I heard one of them somewhat recently and I was really impressed with him. My goodness. We went deep for the Fourth World music like I don't know.
Did you do the one where there was one that blew my fucking mind when I was in college in I guess it was probably eighty two.
And it was one. It was one were there. There was water being water slapping.
Pick me. Yeah that's right. Yeah. You did that record. Yeah. Yeah man did that. Oh man that changed my life.
Oh good. Like I had one of those. I was, it was a drug with astral projection experience. I was sitting in my room, my dorm room wasn't into that through big speakers and I left my body.
Yeah. Oh good. But with water slapping thing like that.
Yeah exactly. Yeah.
And then we went the distance with it and then I pulled out all the stops and we had this great sound on John's trumpet.
We were excited about this, this harmoniser at the time which were these weird kind of whoo hoo hoo. Yeah exactly.
What were those. Yeah. His tone was like that to begin with because he didn't blow the trumpet hard. He had found some wave of playing very softly and he kept this little this little Indian tuning instrument right by him. Right. A little tambura has always been watching you and it's not on the record, but right by him as his point of reference for pitch. Right. And then I had a mike real close. And then on the we had this box called the Arms Harmonizer, and we we dialed up the sound of fourth above.
So for every note that he played, he had a harmony up above him.
Right. So that's that's what my mind man. Yeah. I'm so glad that I made those records and it seemed normal to me at the time. But when I heard it back recently, I thought, oh my goodness. Well, things like that. Nothing's like that. That Yeah. To this day. Yeah. Yeah absolutely man. And it's just just great.
OK, so you talk to EJ, he brings you back for Joshua Tree and that was you and Brian again. Mostly you.
That was me and Brian again. We we decided to do tag team work. I did two weeks, you know, did two weeks.
Let me ask a question, personal question now. Not personal, but but it struck me on listening to that record that that some of the melodies were definitely either yours or Brian's or both that they they didn't come with the band.
Well, I think at that point they were appreciating that we we were able to have musical input into our work. I'm not saying we wrote the songs or anything, but we were able to suggest a melodic direction that that definitely felt like you guys like ba ba ba ba ba ba, you know.
Yeah, yeah. But that's right. That's that's a very well that's a Celtic melody, but it's also a penny whistle. A melody by. That that that, uh, that that that that the, uh huh, yeah, part of the success of that record, I mean, once the songs were done, we did on our own harmony singing. Uh, so it was always, you know, EJ and myself. Oh, really? Yeah.
Because we didn't want to bring in any outside singers, you know, might have been better singers. The road, let's say. But but we wanted to keep it in-house because it's something I think people really feel that in house feeling, you know, when you don't don't go outside of the the immediate talent of the band. And we were honoring honorary members of the band at that point. And so we did all our own background singing. And I think the the soul of that record is partly due to that.
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for. I still haven't found that I'm looking people, you know, the harmonies. A great singer, by the way, you know, is a great singer. Yeah.
And there you go. There's that that gospel layering.
Yeah, there it is. I think that song I might have whispered something in Bono's ear about a direction, you know, might have been a little more soul music driven. And it was a territory that he had not visited before they'd come up as a punk band. So sure. You know, they wouldn't have wanted to sound like, you know, the soul records that I grew up with because Hamilton's near Buffalo and Detroit. So I heard all the Motown stuff coming up as a kid.
So, yeah, that was obviously part of my upbringing and part of my musical fiber. And so I think I whispered something in his ear and was probably just something that was derived from the soul music time. Oh, yeah, I do.
I do want to ask you a quick question about the Robbie Robertson record. Is that did he sort of integrated, if I remember that record a bit? And also, you know, I remember, you know, I had a long conversation with Robbie that was there a conscious effort to integrate some of his native heritage into the texture of that recording?
We never talked about his native background as a tonality that should be in the record. We just got on with Robbie, had a whole batch of songs ready to roll when I write him. And and we recorded some of those. But new songs came along. And I think that's where because I was very looking forward to working with him, because he was, you know, a generation ahead of me and and a hero of mine because we grew up in the same neck of the woods.
Yeah. He was a trailblazer and went south and discovered a lot about American music. And so I really wanted to be in the arena with him. But I think he appreciated that he was working with a Canadian. And I brought a Canadian follow along with me named Bill Dillon as a great guitar player from Hamilton. And so we had a little bit of even though he was not working with his mates from the band at that point, we had a little mini band because he had me and he had Bill Dylan's.
We the three Canadians were there in the trenches together was very nice. Yeah. And I think I was able to get to certain places emotionally with Robbie that I'm not suggesting that he had forgotten about that, but he was living in Los Angeles and we were just coming fresh from Canada. So we had that naive searching spirit. And so I think I woke up that part of Robbie again, and then we were able to get on with some other songs, you know, The Fallen Angel, for example, his mate had just passed.
And what I think it was, Richard Manuel had terrible had passed. And so that's what Fallen Angel was about. And we're able to really align emotionally. And so the I think the it's not specifically native, the tones that we we bumped into, but I think they're very quite regional and quite concentrated in the area where we came from. So I think, yeah, that was an interesting emotional contribution to Robbie's work at that time.
Yeah, I thought I remember listening to it a lot at the time.
Now let's talk about about about Dylan a bit, because I recently listened to Oh Mercy a couple of times. Not the first time I didn't realize it was you. And then I realized I was like, oh, this is the beginning of this thing with this guy. So I know mercy.
What was the understanding between you and Bob in terms of how he wanted that record to be?
He had stopped into the studio when I was making Neville Brothers record. He was touring in New Orleans. And he stopped in and we played a few tracks from that, and he was impressed with the setting because we had built a custom studio for the Nevilles around the corner from from what did you do differently with the Nevilles that that they had not really done?
Because I don't know that record.
Well, we just I decided to just have the studio around right at the end of the street from where they lived and just built a studio for them. It was not a commercial studio. And I think they appreciated that it was. It was all kind of happening live in one room, we didn't have isolation and all that, and I think we got to very soulful place quite quickly at the Nevilles and we had quite a couple of pop songs we had cut down on our side.
And and I played him our version of God on our side. And Aaron Neville singing a very beautiful rendition, very powerful emotionally. And at the end of it, Bob said that sounds like a record. This is a big compliment from Bob. Yeah. And I played him a couple of other things and he said, well, how should we work? And I said, well, we could do it in New Orleans. I said, if you when are you available?
He says, well, I'm available in spring, which is three months away. I said, well, come down. You don't have to bring a band or anything. Just show up with your songs. You don't even need any instruments. I'll have the whole thing set up around this point. I you know, I rented a new house specifically for the Bob record in New Orleans, in New Orleans. And it was it was a very private setting.
We you know, we set up in a kitchen ready. And and, you know, I sat next to Bob and we played our guitars and I had just a roll in eight 08, which is a beat box, like a little hip hop beat box. Yeah. So I didn't have a band in the room. We cut everything to the rolling at 08. I just fed that threw a wedge in front of them. So I had a little bit of a singing on stage feeling, but it was very it was very private.
And I was determined to get the center of the record in a very strong position before having other people on it. And I wanted the words Bob's vocal and the songs to be powerful and clear. And so we concentrated on the role in 88. Bob's playing and singing and my playing along with them. So that's most of the record, just the two of us. And then we added stuff on top.
Really. So that's the intimate experience? Very much so.
I had visited Bob at his place prior to all this to listen to some of the songs and he already had a song called Most of the Time That song Kills Me.
That's the fucking song on that record, buddy, you know, and I it kills me, too.
And I hear it. And it's interesting because the getting back to textural work now, I overdubbed a quartet on that what would normally be a string quartet. I did it with four Les Paul for Les Paul single no performances. Then I played my Vox amp up to ten. And so most of the team clear focus, most of the boom almost playing, taking the role of a cello. Let's play the next one. Play the role of the viola.
Next one will be the violin and then maybe the contrabass. And and so what you hear in the background is a texture is for Les Paul. Parts of what it sounds like a string quartet, but it's but it's not, obviously. But we had the advantage of fixed time because we cut it to the role of NATO, which. Yeah, yeah. Almost an early hip hop beat, really. And then we had Willie Green played drums with the Neville Brothers.
He lived around the corner. So he came over and overdub the drums most of the time.
Yeah, well, one of the world's greatest funk drummers now playing on most of the time.
But because I had fixed time, I was able to apply an echo. So if you hear the drums, they sound really haunting and deep, but kind of hip hop, uh, interesting. On a song that's not meant to be hip hop at all. It's a real heartbreaker.
And I overdubbed the bass after a while, the Les Paul trip and the amazing story, different different guitars are one Les Paul overdubbed overdub the same Les Paul.
I think I got it here somewhere, though.
It seems to me that the other record, the time out of mind record when I heard that not that was, I think the first time I really acknowledged or knew about you and that you had brought, you know, the sound to this thing.
And, you know, when when that record came out, I thought, like, well, this is this.
The reason this is amazing is this guy Lenoir has figured out that this is the beginning of the tunnel for Bob and that he's moving towards the light.
Well, at that time, I had rented a a Mexican an old Mexican theater in cinema house in Oxnard, California, which is an hour north of L.A.. And so that's where my shop was and Bob came down there to to do some demos, and that was the beginning of the time out of mind sound. But I had met Bob in New York prior to that, but prior to oh, mercy me or, you know, in between.
Yeah, but prior to him coming to the it was called the Tatro, the place in Oxnard. And that's where Willie recorded two one there. That's correct. Yes. And Emmylou too. Yeah. Emily That's right. And then the soundtrack for Sling Blade, that was a great shot.
And like so you're in New Orleans for how long? Too long. 15 years or so.
But that was where you drew a lot of we drew a lot of creativity from that place in there. So you come to Oxnard and it was it was it the theater that drew you in or. I mean, there's nothing great about Oxnard.
Yeah, it was I was just driving on the PCH with a friend listening to records and and I saw the cinema that was for lease. I thought, oh, it looks pretty good. And so obviously an old place, you know, been closed down for a while. And and we we looked up to the owner and said, that's it. We rented that place. I was there for about five years. But prior to that, Bob had played me a had read me all the lyrics to Time Out of Mine in a hotel room.
Yeah. In New York. And I didn't hear a note.
You just read the lyrics. He said, what do you think then you'll have we got a record. I said, Yeah, I'll record it. But he said, there's records I want you to listen to. And he gave me a bunch of old blues records to listen to. Some of them I was already familiar with. Like what?
You know, some little Walter and Charley Patton all the way back, all records that he was very fond of in the way that they had a sound of urgency in them.
And it was not a bunch of studio trickery. And I listen to these records and I went to a friend of mine's place, a fellow by the name Tony Mingering in New York, and he's a drummer. And I play a bit of percussion and drums myself. We overdubbed on top of these records. Just play along with them, huh? And then we took the records away and just listened to our toppings. And the toppings had similar groups.
So things like Tom Trout picked up. We chose the best eight bars here. Yeah, 15 bars, four. And we made loops because I knew that Bob was about to make a blues based record and I didn't want to be the problem with making a blues based record is you might sound like a bar band and a lot of things had already been done with the blues. So tricky to have is right. Tricky. Anyone can play it. Well, it's if you could hit the tarp it pretty quick playing the blues if you don't get it right, I yeah.
So I came in with these prepared loops when we did time out of mine as an insurance policy that if things got a little too regular, a little too normal, I could pull out the loops and ask the drummers to play along with the loops. So time out of mine has loops in it that that Keltner and Brian Blade played along with, huh?
It just felt them. It felt to me like the shift in his it was not so much a reinvention, but it was sort of some kind of weird, profound acknowledgment of his mortality to me.
I felt that when he read the lyrics, I felt that, yeah, there was you know, there is a deep, deep melancholy and almost sadness and maybe even regret in there. But it was just so it was dripping in in in history. He had his own history. And I thought, wow, this could be really something, you know, it was a great record.
It's so interesting you say that about the blues, because I like to play blues myself.
But you realize that, like, this is a great music, but anyone can do it and anyone can do it, OK, you know, so, you know, what do you do with it?
It's traditional music, but at this point, you know, and and so we had to you know, the term I like to you have to fly Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the average blues, because I didn't want to make just something regular. The Bob singing on top of so but he had the wisdom to bring in again Myers and Jim Dickinson to great keyboard players ages from is more Tex Mex and it does that backbeat. Don't do that to me.
It's just a combo organ through a super reverb. Yeah. And it's got that stabbing sound. Yeah. And Dickenson from Memphis was he was in a whole other dimension because it was a very advanced, almost orchestral player, you know, with that kind of knowledge. So he was able to supply us with these cascading celestial complex emotional sounds and you playing in that theater.
So that's a whole other instrument to add that. Well, we did the demos in the theater, but we cut most of it in Miami. OK, interesting. Why Miami? I had the best piano sound there at the theater. You know, my beautiful old Steinway being rebuilt and Bob sounded great on it. And then Bob came in when Day says then it came to me that we need to record in Miami or Miami. What are you talking about?
Don't we just do it here? He said, no, no, we got to go to Miami. So we packed up all his shit and drove a truckload full of instruments and equipment to Miami. And we recorded the bulk of our criteria in Miami and then came back to finish it in Oxnard. What why did you want to go to Miami? I don't know. I just didn't I wasn't about to question. I mean, I was trying to get away from his kids or something, and I can't argue with it.
Bothered me to go to Miami. I guess we're going to Miami.
Yeah, we went to Miami. All right. But I like I got to like the studio in Miami. They were very accommodating people. And Bob doesn't like to discuss anything in front of the band. So we go out in parking lot and decide what the approach would be on the next song. So I liked our little gathering, a little get togethers in the parking lot.
We talked about standing in the doorway crying like a fool that were yeah, there's a little little melody that I provided Bob within an hour to go, but I'm not one. And I said to my I was I was love the groove on side I the lady of the Lowlands. Oh yeah. You know, Bob, I don't want go back to what you did before, but I got to tell you, that has always touched me as a as a.
As a time signature and as a as a pedestal for Lyrica, and so he said, OK, well, I think we can cut it and that's six four. So we went in after the parking lot discussion. We went in and cut it and I had that little melody. That's a little classic. I love that song.
So it seems like you guys had it. You know, you had a pretty good thing going. You only get so much of Bob's time. So where you got it, you got to roll fast. Really? Yeah. We had a big band with 11 people in the room, so that can be good or bad. You know, you get a lot of sound fast, but if it goes wrong, then, you know, if you you're in a hole, it's a it's a hardship to re redirect.
So let's let's talk about like more specifically now before we wrap up, is that it seems that your solo stuff, you kind of you kind of go all around a little bit.
Well, you know, I have I love I have brought taste and, you know, I like solo steel guitar. And I've done some some instrumentals that I stand by and the dub stuff and the dub stuff. You know, my studio experimentations, they never stop.
And and the Venetian snares, when I got that and I was like, what's this about, man? Daniel, I was doing this and I'm like, what is this? What is going on here? Who are the Venetian snares.
Yeah, Venetian snares record. I love that we made two albums out of a double album and I think it's some of some of my best sonic work. Yeah. Sonic, he's a great Canadian artist from from out West. So we you know, we teamed up and hit it off and off. We win is very, very far out and. Yeah, and I played it to play it to Bono. He said, why didn't you do the new Blade Runner with this?
I said, nobody called me. And, you know, he's a guy.
He's got you've got to get get me some soundtrack work.
But the track that you got sent is it's from a new body of work under the name of the song.
It's got a little Latin vibe to it. It's got a little Latin vibe to it. And the rest of the record, it's segues into some some gospel tonalities that I like a lot, a lot of great harmonies singing on the record. So I'm very pleased about that because I hadn't really done for part harmony for a long time. So this is great. This record called Heavy Sun will have a have. We've got a single coming out in January called Power.
And so I think you'll like that. I'll have to send you the whole album once after we hang up here, you know. So that'd be great, man.
I'm tired and and your health is OK. Are you feeling all right? I know you got into a wreck a while.
A few years back. Yeah, I had a motorcycle crash in L.A., but I'm good. Thanks for asking. Yeah, I got you know, you can die from I broke ten bones so. Yeah. When wish wish that upon anyone you know. I'm good. Thanks for asking. I've moved into some piano work. I'm playing more piano now than I ever have. So Margaret Merrison who I work with, she likes my piano playing shows. Why don't you make a piano record.
I love your touch and your sound. So over the holidays here, that's what I'm doing up here in Toronto. I got my a couple of nice pianos, my apartment and some nice ones here in the studio, so I might have a piano record coming up. That's great. The songs are always there, the music is always there, it never stops, and it's bleeding together more than ever. Mark, you know, there was a time.
Well, what are you producing? Are you making a solo record? Well, it's all intertwined now. And that's what's great about the modern world, that we can do things spontaneously and have them come out of. I've I've invented this little banner that I'm going to operate under for the next four years called the Maker series. And whatever I do will come out under that little heading and what label it's going to be on E one on Toronto. I'm the one nice people doing everything out of Toronto right now feels kind of nice.
You're home, man. Yeah, man, I got a I'm surrounded by people I admire. I work with Wayne Llorens, my coproducer, and all the new work, and he's an old friend and he stands by me. He puts up with me and, you know, he's driven by the right values. And it's nice to be reminded of that.
No matter what goes on in my life, I want to be driven by the right values, which are why music excellence try and make masterpieces and don't let anything slip on through, because for some kind of industry pressure or anything like that or a trend pressure or anything, whatever we touch, we try and have it be the very best we can do that it goes back to Inoke.
You're never going to do something you don't want to do again.
That's right. Yeah. I hope is that with you, you know, you you've done a lot of things, and I guess you know that I'm not doing anything I don't want to do, I may sometimes they're not even doing things I kind of want to do.
So, I mean, I'll take it as a compliment if if you choose the people you like to have a conversation with. I appreciate you asking questions about me and my childhood and everything. We should have said more about you, Marc. Oh, it's OK. I talk about me all the time, Daniel. It's an honor to talk to you, and it's great to meet you. And I'm a big fan. And I was always sort of, you know, enchanted by your work with yourself and with others.
And and the high point for me was that John Hasso moment, buddy. I mean, that was I'm going to go into my house and listen to that fucking record right now.
Yeah, man. That they get high without drugs. Exactly. Yeah. Take care of yourself now. It's great talking to you. Thank you, Mark. OK, huh? You know, stories doing stories, Vono that guy, man, he's he's he's the real thing and he's his own thing. Love it. Daniel Menuha has the new album Heavy Sun coming out this spring. And you can check out the single. The first single under the Heavy Sun wherever you listen to music.
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Boomer lives. Monkey in Lavander. There's cat angels everywhere, man.