This all started when Sam West asked to meet for a beer to chat one sunny California summer day in 2016. After catching up with life, Sam asked if I would like to produce the new Stavesacre album. Sam and I played together in Scaterd Few and in Human Rights with HR from Bad Brains, so I know he can beat a drum. Without hearing any demos I agreed to work with Stavesacre. The next few months (in between engineering gigs) I helped them arrange and shape their demos. Half a year later we started tracking drums and guitars (lots of guitars) with Ryan Dennee and Jeff Bellew, and then finally tracked bass in one weekend after Dirk Lemmenes flew out from Atlanta, Georgia.
In January 2017, Mark Salomon materialized from the east coast where he had been working hard on lyrics and melody. He sang for nine straight days. Two with his vocal coach Jason Martin at his Bull Shed studio, then seven days with me at my space, Underbrow production. Stavesacre knocked this one out of the park. While wrapping up Fireball Ministry’s Remember the Story and Ironaut’s Sick Stupid Lies, AND gearing up for Alice in Chain’s recording session in Seattle, we mixed at fever pace. I am extremely proud of to have produced this Stavesacre record, and I hope we can do it again.
Review excerpt by Loyd Harp Indie Vision Music:
From the first notes of “The Dead Rejoice” you can tell its Stavesacre, as the Bellew/Dennee twin guitar attack is immediately recognizable. This opening track (not counting the sound collage, “Intro”) speaks of spiritual death and reawakening and brings hints of the joy the title implies.
“Sleepy Head” reminds me of Friction’s “At the Moment” in that melodic, quasi-ballad-that-rocks sort of way. “On Being Human” is a straight forward rocker that grab’s the attention of any listener in danger of drifting off track. Interestingly, penultimate track “Moonstone” intro could almost pass for a lost SF59 track, and while it shifts when the song kicks in, there is a remarkable similarity (influence?) of later period Starflyer stuff (post-2005 or so). “Breathe Me” is incredibly emotional and atmospheric (Sia Cover) performed in a way I haven’t heard them do before, which drives the point made above the band’s maturity during their lengthy silence.
Jim Rota and I hit it off while co-producing Huntress’s Static Album in 2015. A couple years later, Fireball Ministry landed a deal with Cleopatra Records and Jim and Emily asked if I would like to produce their new record. Hell yes! I’m a big Fireball Ministry fan. How can you go wrong with Rota, Burton, Scott f’ing Reeder, and Big John O!
With my hands full of class A mic pres from Shadow Hills Industries and Aurora Audio, tracking when we could, I set up for drums with John O in the middle of Angel City Drum Works’ warehouse. Then I tackled guitars with Emily and Jim. Once we had a nice pile of tracks we headed toward Palm Springs to Banning to track bass with the left handed, barefooted beast of a desert rock low-end player, Scott Reeder, at the studio on his ranch.
The Obelisk’s review of the album said, “…as opener “End of Our Truth” and the following “Everything You Wanted” set a tone through hook, comfortable tempo and a purposeful fervency of groove, the contribution of producer/engineer Paul Fig — who has helmed records for post-reunion Alice in Chains as well as Rush and Ghost, among others of a more metallic ilk — shines through in presenting the songs with a clean sense that nonetheless doesn’t detract from their harder-hitting aspects”.
The Sick Stupid Lies EP is the third installment from Ironaut, and it was a great to hear how they have grown together musically since their Iron Vessel EP. Tracking live again at my no frills production space (Underbrow), Ivan Najor (drums), Pat McHugh (guitar), and Erik Kluiber (bass, vocals) never cease to amaze me. Standing back once the dust had settled, I have to say that World of Shit is my favorite track. From the epic intro to the first set of lyrics “In a world that tries to crush your dreams and nail you to the ground” Kluiber sets the tone of reality in Ironaut’s universe.
According to Pat (Riot) Whitaker from Riff Relevant (Riffrelevant.com):
It’s their third offering in just as many years as well, following the bands two previous EPs Iron Vessel 2016, and the “Ironaut” self –titled début from 2015.
The same trio of musicians that crafted those previous albums have returned once more again for their latest outing.
Ironaut deliver the goods once again as only they can, with flare and unique sense of purpose. These guys are the very embodiment of the hard rock underground as
So, they remain a secret that many music fans are oblivious too.
Marty Friedman’s new album Wall of Sound is out. Marty, Anup Sastry and I had a great time working on it. We tracked Anup’s Tama drums at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. We then set up to track guitars, piano and violin at Dave’s Room in North Hollywood.
Blabbermouth CD review:
“It’s been three years since Marty‘s last album, “Inferno”, and if that album was mind-melding, “Wall of Sound” is a maestro’s pronouncement.”
Ironaut are back at it again, tracking live, then doubling or tripling guitar solos. This three piece have crafted three new crushing tracks, staying true to their roots is psych-doom, thrash metal. We tracked this beast of an EP in one day, finishing up with vocals. Once again, it was an absolute treat to work with these talented musicians.
As Dragon from Metal Nexus says,
“Los Angeles has long been called the “City Of Angels” but it has recently bestowed upon us all a rather darkened amp worshiping trio of crusty blackened punks named Ironaut. And these guys are not fucking around with their highly volatile style of groovy speed freak biker metal but that should really be expected once you realize who is in this band. Formerly of The Sixth Chamber, guitarist Pat McHugh, bassist/vocalist Erik Kluiber (ex-Gypsyhawk / White Wizzard), and former Level drummer Ivan Najor are just musically merciless in this genre-distorting three piece…
Ironaut are yet another incredible discovery I have made recently and based on the versatility exemplified on this EP, I have no doubt that this band will gain ground quickly with their widely appealing balance of varying genres. For fans of High On Fire, Mastodon, and (the) Melvins.”
Here it is! The Lost Weekend stepping it up with a new full length record. Tracked Live at Dave’s Room. Serious talent brewing here, along with great players. Stand Outs: The One You Keep, The Fall of November and It’s Over. Wide range of country tinged rock. Enjoy.
I had a blast recording Ironaut’s new EP. Tracked live with minimal overdubs. Raw and loud!
Ironaut has been spawned from the primordial ooze brewed from the cauldron of riffs conjured by Pat McHugh (formerly of The Sixth Chamber), then transmuted through the sonic rhythmic alchemy of Erik Kluiber (formerly of Overloaded/White Wizzard/Gypsyhawk) and Ivan Najor (formerly of Level).
I am proud to have co-produced the new Huntress album Static with Jim Rota for Napalm Records. I also engineered and mixed this record, which be released this September.
California Metallers HUNTRESS have completed their third studio album titled Static to be released via Napalm Records on September 25, 2015. The highly-anticipated record was produced by Paul Fig (Grammy nominated engineer, Alice in Chains, Deftones, Trivium, Ghost BC) and Jim Rota (Fireball Ministry, Executive Producer Sonic Highways series, Producer Sound City Movie), engineered and mixed by Paul Fig.
HUNTRESS has teamed up with Pledge Music to offer pre-sales of the new album. When you order Static, their Pledge Music page is “unlocked” giving fans an exclusive pass to HUNTRESS content. Unique pre-sale packages have been created just for their fans. In true HUNTRESS fashion, the band filmed a hilarious promotional video. You can watch it now on the band’s Pledge Music page, and get the new album today.
I am excited to have worked with Zach Jones mixing his new album Love what you Love. Check out this talented fellow!
Love What You Love is the fifth album from Zach Jones. With keyboard and guitar driven, melodic, rock/ pop songs, loaded with hooks, harmony, pounding drums, and pumping bass; Love What You Love marks a return to Jones’s power-pop roots.
Love What You Love continues to explore themes of love, life, relationships, and growing older. It attempts to examine life’s hardships and complications through the eyes of a positive lens and address how the things we perceive as being negative, can actually strengthen our positive experiences.