Singer-Songwriter - Oh Mercy
It’s really important to really understand what is important to you and to what end you’re making music, and maybe get a little philosophical and understand why you are doing it. Are you doing it for yourself? Are you doing it for money? Is it purely artistic expression? Do you want to sound like someone else? Lots of people have too ambiguous or broad expectations and a general lack of understanding of what they’re producing. It’s important because you’re producing something that’s going to outlive you – on the Internet or wherever it might be. We have our expiry dates but recorded music doesn’t.
How you record depends on what’s important to you, so once you’ve worked that out it’s just a matter of being pragmatic to achieve that. So, if you want to be the singer songwriter guy, then maybe it’s OK to leave the blemishes in at the recording studio - if you want people to understand what kind of guy you are and the way you’re trying to approach music then you might not have to replay that guitar track or redo that vocal. Whereas if you want to be the perfect, modern pop Katy Perry, maybe you shouldn’t go in there and try to record 4 songs over a couple of days. Maybe you need to do one song over a week to get it to that kind of professional level that is acceptable on commercial radio.
No matter what happens, you’re always going to run into some sort of problem in the recording studio. Pedals don’t work, there’s a weird buzz in the bass amp and it takes two hours to fix it, the tom drum’s not ringing out in the way that you want it. It’s a really volatile environment with lots of variables, so just roll with the punches and try to be relaxed about it.
…Unless it is.
If I was to be able to pick and choose between playing live and recording I would never go out in public ever. For me playing live is too often like a watered down version of the things you want to express. That’s my personal view. I personally – as opposed to other artists – have decided that albums are the medium for me to express myself. People can differentiate between my different albums because of the emphasis that I’ve decided to put into it.