Every once in a while I tend to wonder how the music becomes transformed into what we actually hear as a finished product, a polished sound, the sonic completion. Producer Aaron Connor, the behind the scenes mastermind of the up and coming sensational psych band, “Revolushn”, agreed to explain the secrets of the recording finales.
As a music producer, what exactly do you do?
Well, I just don’t produce. I engineer and I mix so there are different definitions for each project. Some projects I might be involved in from the very beginning to help shape what becomes the final product. Some projects come to me and they have already been tracked, I just mix them. As far as Revolushn go, I first heard the demos for that when I was out in LA for the Grammys. Then when I got some skeleton recordings as a producer I start to shape that. “Okay, let’s do it this way, lets do a different arrangement or let’s try some more guitar parts”, or things like that. The songs are already written, but as a producer you have to shape how the final product comes out. You’re always trying to realize the artists final vision, you’re not trying to realize your own vision. You’re always trying to make it the best for the artist.
You have a tough job.
It is tough, sometimes you’re just pulling all your hair out. I don’t have any hair anymore, I pulled it all out. But it’s a fun job.
Tell me about Aaron.
I’m a musician, I play guitar. I went out to Hollywood to go to music school and while I was there I had a really great time. I met a lot of big heroes of mine, a lot of celebrities, and I realized I needed to stay in LA. I found out about a scholarship to go to engineering and production school. I applied for that, and sort of talked them into giving it to me so I could stay in LA a little bit longer. I really learned that side of the music business besides the players side. I really just fell in love with it. I was really excelling at that and they asked me to help other kids who were struggling and sort of tutor them, and they would give me free studio time to do that. So I started doing that and built up studio time, and I started producing bands in LA for free, using my studio time, and using the knowledge that they were giving me, and it all worked out. By the time I graduated I produced nine records and immediately started working on records in LA. I had a couple successes with some soundtracks right in the very beginning. I had the “Menace to Society” soundtrack, that sold about a half million. So I got my first gold record really like a couple of years out of school, and that snowballed the whole thing to where I started getting hit up by major labels, and different successful acts. Then I met Eazy-E and he had already had success with N.W.A.. He already had a very successful record label. I started working with some of his acts, trying to develop some of them. One of them was Bones Thugs-N-Harmony. They had just come in from Cleveland and were asking Eazy-E about signing them. I work with them and ended up getting a hit record out of that. Their first EP sold 3 million copies. The next one was a huge success, I did everything through my production company called, “Studio Cat Productions”, that I had just formed in LA, and was running it out of the studio in Hollywood. I just made that my home for the next nine years. I had a really successful decade of mixing records. Then in 2001 I put a studio in my house and did that for another couple of years. After that I decided it was time to come back to Kansas City where I was originally from. That’s because I started having kids, and besides the music business was starting to slow down. I left in 2003, and the music business was really way down and the real estate market was really way up. Kind of made sense to come home. I’m over here now at “Cypher Sound Studio.”
Who was the most famous person you have ever worked with?
My gosh, good question. Probably Tupac. I cut his vocals. We spent a day in the studio together. I worked on a Cher song called, “Believe”. I didn’t cut her vocals. I worked with Eminem. That was in the very beginning before he was famous. We clicked because he’s also from Missouri. Ed Sheeran is one of the most famous people I have worked with for sure. He has many Spotify records and billions of views on YouTube and millions of records sold and is heading for a stadium tour next year.
What’s it like working with Revolushn?
No and David are really great talents. I love working with some people that were in a band that were one of my favorite bands when I was a kid, Devo. That’s incredible, and I get to work with a couple of guys from Devo. They have some great stories about Bob Casale, and his brother. They are great stories. That’s a lot of what the business, everybody sitting around and telling stories about people they worked with. About Revolushn, definitely an interesting type of music. The song writing is really good, and it’s just a lot of fun to work hard on it. It’s not like digging ditches.
I bet No makes you work hard too.
Yeah, he does. He’s always good about delivering a mess of ideas. I love this guy.
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