Interviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Mar 19, 2014  |  31 comments
On Wednesday March 12th Blue Note President Don Was sat down with me to talk about the Blue Note vinyl reissues he's producing for the label.
Michael Fremer  |  Nov 03, 2013  |  5 comments
I drove to record producer and musician John Simon’s Catskill mountaintop home on a gorgeous, unusually mild November 1st day. Simon is best known for producing Songs of Leonard Cohen, BS&T’s Child is Father to the Man, Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills and of course The Band albums Music From Big Pink, The Band and The Last Waltz
Michael Fremer  |  May 30, 2013  |  1 comments
Before touring the Record Industry pressing plant Analogplanet's Michael Fremer sat down with Ton Vermeulen to get the factory's history and a figurative finger on the pulse of a man who would buy a record pressing plant as the vinyl record lay on its supposed death bed.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 17, 2012  |  11 comments
While effective isolation from both air and ground borne vibrational energy is important throughout the audio playback chain, it is essential for vinyl playback. It can be built into a turntable in the form of spring or "O" ring suspensions but current thinking downplays that in favor of separate isolation stands rather than incorporating it into the turntable itself.

Harvey Kubernik  |  Dec 31, 2011  |  0 comments
Harvey Kubernik Interviews Brian Wilson Part 3

Q: You presented the SMiLEtracks to the Beach Boys when they returned from the tour. I seem to recall, with the exception of Dennis, there seemed to be some real hesitancy from band mates to really get involved singing to these instrumentals. Mike Love did not like the stuff presented.

A: No he didn’t.

Q And some other band members weren’t super thrilled, either.

Q: And some didn’t like Van Dyke Parks’ lyrics.

A: Right.

Roger Hahn  |  Dec 31, 2011  |  0 comments

Editor’s note: When contemporary roots rockers My Morning Jacket stopped by New Orleans’ Preservation Hall for an unplugged midnight show that served as a prelude to MMJ’s spring tour with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as opening act, Rolling Stone made due note of the event in its May 27th issue with feature coverage.

Preservation Hall

The MMJ gig is one of many changes happening at the world-renowned French Quarter home to New Orleans jazz, all part of an historic attempt to forge a new identity as the Hall approaches its 50th anniversary and looks forward to a new life in the 21st century.Our Man in New Orleans, Roger Hahn, has the full story.

Roger Hahn  |  Dec 31, 2011  |  0 comments

Growing up, the younger Jaffe never intended to become the caretaker of the Preservation Hall legacy. In fact, he never thought he would be a professional musician. Coming of age in the musty rooms, dank carriageway, and inner courtyard of Preservation Hall—the French Quarter’s living shrine to traditional New Orleans jazz—Jaffe assumed music would play a secondary role in his life.

Harvey Kubernik  |  Dec 31, 2011  |  0 comments
In director David Leaf's 2004 Grammy nominated film, “Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the story of SMiLE,” songwriter Jimmy Webb pointed to the tune “Surf’s Up” as evidence that Brian Wilson instinctively knew that the miraculous musical moment that was “SMiLE” was rapidly coming to an end.
Harvey Kubernik  |  Dec 31, 2011  |  1 comments
Harvey Kubernik Interviews Brian Wilson Part 2

Q: During Pet Sounds and then SMiLE, the recording studio became an instrument.

A: Yes. It became an environment to record music. It’s a place to make music. Right?

Q: How about working with engineers like Chuck Britz at Western, Stan Ross and Larry Levine and Doc Siegel at Gold Star. Then, Bruce Botnick at Sunset Sound, along with several engineers at Columbia, including Ralph Balantin and a session for “Vege-Tables” with Armin Steiner at his studio.

A: The best trip is that they know music. They are good at music and engineering, too.

Matthew Greenwald  |  Apr 30, 2010  |  2 comments

This interview, conducted by Matthew Greenwald back in 1997, first appeared in issue 14 of The Tracking Angle. As Rhino readies the new Doors LP box set (now set for April, 2008), we figured it was a good time to present it here-ed.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2010  |  3 comments

Swiss-born recording engineer Marc Aubort began his career in the late 1940’s working first with wire recorders and later with tape. Aubort first came to America in 1955 to inspect the American operation of European budget label MMS (Musical Masterpiece Society).

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2010  |  0 comments

Five years ago, during a visit to the Hi-Fi News “Heathrow” audio show someone passed along an intriguing tidbit: EMI’s mothballed record pressing plant was back in business on the Hayes-Middlesex campus. Since it was but a short cab ride from the show venue, I paid an unscheduled visit.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2009  |  0 comments

Part II:Building Gold Star Studios, Phil Spector and Alvin & The Chipmunks Come to Play:

FREMER: Where did you get all this (recording)stuff?

ROSS: We bought the parts. There were no recording consoles available. We had a broadcast console that was available to us. It was a stereo console because one channel was for cuing and the right was for the air. It was gorgeous. A guy had this wonderful board with the colored knobs and [it was] just what we wanted. And so we got it for a good price and I said, ah, we got the console.

FREMER: So you had to make an investment. So you had to have savings? You borrowed?

ROSS: We borrowed the difference, whatever. Hey, I wasn’t a GI so I had a problem. Anyway, we found out that this console was hot. [LAUGHTER]

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2009  |  0 comments

Chico Hamilton Plays Demo Dates, "The Happy Whistler," "Ina Goda Da Vida" and the Closing of Gold Star— Part III

ROSS: When we closed Gold Star, we called up Atlantic, “We got a lot of tape here for you.” Black Oak Arkansas we did for them, and Sonny and Cher.

FREMER: And they didn’t care about the master tapes?

ROSS: No, they couldn’t care less.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 30, 2009  |  0 comments

Part IV: Pet Sounds, “The Wayward Wind,” Dwayne Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser" and more

FREMER: Now, what about the Beach Boys?

ROSS: Oh, sure. “Good Vibrations.” We did some of Pet Sounds at Gold Star.

FREMER: Really?

ROSS: We did some tracks there.They vocaled elsewhere because they had the sound (they liked elsewhere), but they had their music sound at our place. He (Brian) tried out studios all over town.

FREMER: Because he liked that sound.

ROSS: Phil Spector was – he liked going where Phil was.

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