A little while back an old friend of mine from high school, David Martin,asked if he could refer someone from Arkansas to me for help with his “studio and music stuff”. I’m always game to hear music and meet new people, so I agreed to talk. Well, it turned out that what this guy really wanted was help with music he had already recorded – he needed someone to listen, critique, and mix. I asked him to send me what he had so that I could listen and get back to him. Well, after clearing my ears of a few back-to-back projects, I finally had a chance to dive into his repertoire. I’ll admit, I had some “Arkansas” preconceptions that might have made me a little skeptical about what I would be hearing, but the more I listened to the rough mixes Billy Ruben and the Elevated Enzymes sent, the more intrigued and enthused I became. By the time I had listened through a few times, I was pretty fired up by the well-crafted, high-energy, garage-rock-psychedelic amalgam Billy and crew had come up with. These tracks remind me of early Richard Hell, Stooges, Scene Creamers, and The Cramps… and I had to ask, “tell me what I can do to help!” The reply was that the band was looking for a mix engineer –and given the groovy stuff I was hearing, I was ready to get in there and shake/sharpen/some stuff up (or I jumped right in, I signed right on). First I needed to chisel down the list of eleven songs to four and create an interesting cross section of what Billy Rubens and the Elevated Enzymes are. To me these were the first of the bunch to introduce the world to.
I’m going to share “EP 1” with you. It’s a boisterous journey through 4 songs with Billy Ruben and the Elevated Enzymes. These four tunes will take you through the landscape of their imagination and remind you of how much fun music can be.
Finally! After months of teasing us with just a couple of tracks at a time,
AFI has released Bodies, their newest effort since the Missing Man
This super talented quartet has created a high energy, diverse collection of songs. Together with Adam, Jade and Hunter I worked to get some awesome drums recorded for this album at my studio, Dave’s Room.
The band returned to the studio In May 2021 and tracked live for a special Daniel P. Carter BBC Radio 1 Session.
As Elana Chris says for Alternative Press:
“Make no mistake: Bodies brings with it serious divergences from the AFI we last heard in 2018. But divergence is precisely where they thrive. The record, though far-reaching, is hardly a haphazard attempt to reclaim the spirit of the ’80s. Rather, it’s a carefully curated exhibition of the band’s diverse inclinations. Now 11 albums into their tenure, they refuse to stagnate. Where their creative process leads, they follow with utmost enthusiasm and commitment, favoring self-loyalty over arbitrary confines of genre. The new era is beckoning—will you hear it?”
Here is a fun tune I had the chance to mix for Phil demmel and crew.
as Blabbermouth.net says:
March 8, 2021
Former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel has teamed up with singer Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X, ADRENALINE MOB, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA), drummer Stix Zadinia (STEEL PANTHER) and bassist David Ellefson (MEGADETH) to record a “quarantine” cover version of the DOKKEN song “Tooth And Nail” as part of Phil‘s series “Collab-A-Jam”.
Phil uploaded the video to his YouTube channel, writing in an accompanying message: “Me and Stix has been wanting to jam on something for awhile and finally had the opportunity on one of my favorite tunes from this era.
“STEEL PANTHER took over the [MACHINE HEAD] practice gear in Germany after our sets at the Rock Am Park Festival in 2012 and were slaying a bunch of DOKKEN covers. This had to be one we did.
“I had realized that Dave hadn’t guested on a [‘Collab-A-Jam’] yet so he was a no-brainer. Dave and I have the same mind-set as things go and he’s one of my favorites in the business. Always quick with the tracks and loves to get things done.
“Russell was the final piece and came through big. Such a huge talent and gave the song all the sprinkles.
“Paul Fig has been such a rad connection through all of this and beefed up our mix while Wayne Marsala is always on point with the vid edits.
In addition, AFI just released two more tracks, “Looking Tragic” and “Begging For Trouble,” as well as a new video for the former. Both tracks will also be included on a limited edition seven-inch ahead of the album release.
“Twisted Tongues” “Far Too Near” “Dulceria” “On Your Back” “Escape From Los Angeles” “Begging For Trouble” “Back From The Flesh” “Looking Tragic” “Death Of The Party” “No Eyes” “Tied To A Tree”
I had an amazing time working with Adam Carson on drum tracks for the new AFI album. We recorded all drums at my studio, Dave’s Room, for these upcoming 2021 releases. We challenged ourselves during these sessions, capturing excellent performances and coming up with unique drum sounds and textures for these songs.
The two new songs mark the veteran California rock act’s first new music since they dropped the five song EP The Missing Man in December 2018. When a new LP arrives, it will be the band’s first since 2017’s AFI (The Blood Album).
“Twisted Tongues” explores AFI’s goth-rock side, while “Escape From Los Angeles” gives off more of a punk vibe — both highlighted by singer Davey Havok’s signature haunting vocals.
“Escape from Los Angeles”, Havok remarked, “Los Angeles, like most of my loves, is imbued with a darkness and radiance. Musically, ‘Escape from Los Angeles’ called for my own vantage to this classic theme of the city’s dichotomous allure.”
It was my extreme pleasure to oversee the audio recording of Alice in Chains live performance at MoPop for the Founders Award show. Performed and recorded in November, 2020, with Geoff Ott, I quickly mixed these songs for for the December 1st Broadcast.
Congratulations to Sean, Jerry, Mike, William as well as Layne Staley and Mike Starr, who are no longer with us, for receiving this very important award.
I am enormously proud of the latest project I engineered and recorded at Dave’s Room. Not only was it a privileged to work with the talented artists from System of a Down, but also it meant a lot to me to be involved with two such meaningful pieces of music. Both tracks, “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” focus on the terrible war being fought between the Armenia and the Armenian Republic of Artsahk and the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Daron, Serj, Shavo, and John decided that the best way to bring attention to the plight of Armenians in Artsahk was to make music. The band has not recorded or released anything in the past 15 years, but they felt that the recent attacks by Azerbaijan and Turkey on the Republic of Artsahk (Nagorno-Karabakh), a disputed territory within the borders of Azerbaijan, needed and deserved any support they could give. I too, believe that Azerbaijan, with the help of Turkey, is attempting to eradicate Armenians in Artsahk and that the international community needs to acknowledge the independence of this region and censure both Azerbaijan and Turkey for their actions. I am proud to have recorded these two important, historic tracks at Dave’s Room.
System of a Down will be donating all royalties earned from these two songs to the Armenian Fund. Their website, https://systemofadown.com/splash/ <%22>, eloquently explains the situation in Artsakh and tells you how you can purchase the music and support individuals with crucial and desperately needed aid as well as basic supplies. Each song is available for a minimum suggested donation of $1, which will be given to the US-based charity organization Armenia Fund, which assists those in need in Artsakh and Armenia with basic survival supplies.
I had a blast mixing Red Fang’s “Stereo Nucleosis” for Adult Swim’s Singles Series. This was the forty third and Final entry for Adults Swims 2019-2020 program. I look forward to hearing what’s next from Red Fang.
As Peter Mann from mxdwn.com says:
“Stereo Nucleosis” opens with hard hitting guitar strings that sound a bit more aggressive than your usual offering from the Portland collective. The drums hit with grit tenacity and complement the equally aggressive guitar strings featured in the track. The production sounds fuller and heavier than Red Fang’s 2019 standalone track “Antidote.”