Owner of Dollhouse Studios in Tape Op!

in Blog, Dollhouse Studios

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In the January 2015 issue of Tape Op Magazine, drummer/producer Jim Sclavunos discusses his work with Peter Mavrogeorgis, owner and producer/engineer of Dollhouse Studios, on their production duo Silver Alert and the tiny basement studio in Long Island that was the birthplace of Dollhouse Studios.

 

Read the full story below:

 

jim_black_bg_1_inlineJIM SCLAVUNOS HAS KICKED IT WITH THE BEST OF THEM FOR OVER 35 YEARS: Red Transistor, Beirut Slump, 8 Eyed Spy, Sonic Youth, The Cramps, Alex Chilton, Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Congo Norvell, AND — OF COURSE — Grinderman, ANDNick Cave & The Bad Seeds, ALL LAY TESTAMENT TO THAT. AND AS A RECORD PRODUCER THE LIST IS JUST AS IMPRESSIVE: The Jim Jones Revue, The Horrors, Gogol Bordello, Black Moth, David J. Roch, Beth Orton, Lola Colt, The Callas, and Boss HogHAVE ALL CALLED ON JIM TO HELP CARVE OUT THEIR TRACKS OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS OR SO.

 

You’ve produced a lot of different bands and artists from an array of different genres. Do you only ever work with bands that you really like, or are you happy to work with anyone? 

I’ve never worked with a band I didn’t like, but I do like the idea of taking on things that other people might find difficult, or even uncool. As a musician I’ve got a history of working with so-called “difficult” acts. Some would say that a lot of people I’ve worked with were a handful — Lydia Lunch, Alex Chilton, Rowland S. Howard, The Cramps, and bands like that. And, okay, maybe they were not all the most straightforward personalities, but I’ve met so-called normal people that were far more difficult to work with! But no, I don’t shy away from any potentially tricky proposition. The more unlikely it is the more intriguing it is to me. When Black Moth’s label proposed me as their producer it was not an obvious match. The band challenged me, “Why do you think you should be producing us — a heavy metal band?” And I said, “Well, because I don’t think you’re heavy enough and I aim to make you heavier!” [laughs] 

Are you very technically hands-on when you’re producing? 

Well, I’ve had a couple of studios over the years, which were modest operations, but I always shared them with an engineer. I don’t consider myself, by any means, an engineer, but I can do a little bit of the basic stuff. I certainly don’t like spending hours and hours squinting at a tiny screen. I prefer to be interacting with the artist at all times and trying to find great engineers that I trust. Neil Quinlan, for example, helped us mix Lola Colt’s debut album. Andy Hawkins at Cottage Road Studios in Leeds is really good, and Dave Sanderson at 2fly Studios in Sheffield is another engineer that I’ve enjoyed working with a lot over the years. Kevin Paul’s another guy I’ve worked with a lot; he’s made some Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman records with us. I did The Horrors and Jim Jones Revue with him. I also really enjoyed working with Dan Cox at Urchin Studios here in London for the latest Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project album. 

How do you like the producer/engineer relationship to work when you’re in the studio? 

I have a great deal of respect for the engineers I’ve worked with, and I always want to hear what they have to say about everything. I don’t consider production to be a one-man show. But, at the end of the day, obviously the artist has to be happy with the end result, to say nothing of the label or the manager, and I feel obliged to strive for that. Sometimes, whatever the engineer thinks — whether he’s right or wrong — it’s irrelevant in the bigger picture of what the band wants, what the label wants, or the sheer unstoppable dynamics of the situation we find ourselves in. I do like to think that everybody can have a strong voice in the production and not just a confined role. 

At what point did you become interested in recording and production? 

I came to it in a funny way because I had gone to film school and, if you go to film school, there’s a natural assumption that you’re interested in visuals. I was, but in my naivety, I hadn’t realized that you couldn’t just go in there and everybody would get a camera; at least not in those days at NYU. You had to have your films voted on; otherwise you couldn’t easily get your hands on the funding or the equipment. I never put together a project that my fellow students deemed “good enough” to put into production (mainly because they largely thought my ideas were weird or abhorrent), so I ended up on crews, working on other people’s productions. Because of my height — I’m 6′ 7″ — I made for a natural boom man. In the course of working as a boom man, I became acquainted with all the other aspects of sound, starting with the microphones, the Nagra and Tandberg [tape] recorders; and then with tape editing, sound effects, and eventually mixing. 

What were your earliest recording sessions as a musician like, and what did you learn from them? 

Well, I actually dropped out of college to go on tour in Europe with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks — I was playing bass for them. I didn’t really think graduating would mean much to me in the long run, and the prospect of going to Europe with a band was a lot more exciting. I’d never been to Europe, and my fellow band members in Teenage Jesus and the Jerks had a nihilistic and reckless swagger that made for exciting, depraved escapades at all times. That was much more enticing than staying in film school, working on other people’s shitty films. When I started moving into drumming with other bands, I became very quickly frustrated with some of the producers I was working with because they made my drums sound different than how they sounded when I was playing them. In particular, they made the bass drum very clicky because it was the late-’70s era of disco drums and everything was very, very flat. When I wanted to put bottom skins on my drums, the engineer and the producer would be like, “No, no. You’ll ruin the sound!” I started becoming interested in having more control over my own sound and being able to put up a little bit of a fight in these situations. I figured, “Okay, I know a little bit about sound from my film production background, so I’ll start collecting mics and I’ll learn what the attributes of certain mics are. Even if I can’t talk tech specs, I’ll try to figure out which mics capture the sound I’m hoping to capture out of my drums.” That’s how it started… 

So were you essentially teaching yourself? 

Yeah. Through trial and error, a little bit of experience of previous positive results, recommendations from people, and sometimes from reading about what people did under certain circumstances. I sort of pieced together a basic mic setup, which became my default if I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the producer and engineer. I would say, “This is what I would like to use.” Sometimes they would counter that with, “Oh, yeah, but if you use this…” or, “Oh, really? Hmmm, okay.” Sometimes they were like, “Oh, that sounds pretty good, actually!” 

Can you say what that fallback drum setup is? 

I think that would be a misleading and irresponsible thing to do, because people might tend to place far too much value on an individual piece of gear. It’s not that simple. It would all be vintage gear anyway, so all it’s going to do is make people spend a lot of money! A few years ago, everything was much more reasonably priced on eBay, but some of this gear is on its last legs. It’s not about the gear, and I think sometimes you get great sounds out of the most unlikely combinations of things. You have to use your ears, a bit of sense, and a bit of imagination. It’s not just the mic, it’s the preamp and things like, “Are you using EQ, or are you not using EQ? Is the EQ from the console, or is it from something else?” There are too many things in the chain to laud only particular bits of gear. I’d like to say there’s no such thing as bad gear, but that simply isn’t true either. Good gear with a great engineer? It’s a winning combination. Good gear with a bad engineer? Not so hot. Good gear with a great engineer and a great player? The best. 

So a good drum sound’s all about context? 

It’s always all about context for me. It’s great when you solo something out; you listen to it, and you can examine all the microscopic detail. But then it depends on where it sits in the mix and what other things are surrounding it. It can sound completely different in the mix to how it does in solo. You might be hearing all this rich, low-end warmth and detail, and then you put it in the middle of this noisy, cacophonous rock tune and all you’re hearing is this high-pitched squeaky thing that’s kind of poking out. It’s like, “What happened to all the low-end?” Room has to be made for it obviously, otherwise you’re not going to hear it properly. Some say you can’t hear the difference of less than a 2 dB [change]. Well, maybe so, but it doesn’t mean that there’s not some effect in making such a slight change. It can still impact on where something sits in the balance. Even if you can’t objectively hear a +2 dB difference, you might well be able to feel the difference. Sometimes you might perceive something as being louder, when it’s actually been made quieter. I know I’ve been surprised sometimes how much better something sits when it’s quieter, as opposed to when it’s louder. It can suddenly seem so much clearer. I can’t explain it. 

You were heavily involved in the so-called “no wave” scene in New York in the late-1970s, playing in bands like Red Transistor, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Beirut Slump, and 8 Eyed Spy. Would you say the no wave scene has influenced your approach to record production? 

Well, I never really thought about that. I don’t even know what no wave means to people these days, compared to what it meant to us then. It was this little clique of like-minded outsiders who didn’t really fit in with the punk scene and didn’t feel like punk was extreme enough. Over time, things that might have sounded extreme in their day maybe don’t sound so extreme anymore. Certainly the no wave music we were making back then sounds pretty reasonable to me now. I remember when Lydia Lunch first proposed doing a Teenage Jesus and the Jerks reunion show and I couldn’t quite reconcile in my head what relevance we would have. Back in the late-’70s we were this bratty aberration, full of hate and venom for everything around us. We couldn’t possibly now be the same creatures we were in the past. No wave was the product of a certain scene and time, as well as a certain debauched mentality, a lot of anger, frustration, rage, and immature impulses that were all seething and roiling like a molten vat of maggots. How can that possibly be recreated, let alone be relevant in the same way decades later? 

Sure, yeah, I can completely see that… 

We had absolutely no self-respect or respect for anyone else. First of all, I’m not the same person now so I can’t really bring that no wave spirit to a recording. And, secondly, I don’t really see it in any bands that are out there. Just because you listen to some no wave records doesn’t mean you can partake in what it was about. No wave wasn’t just a style of music; it was a form of psychosis and social disease. I really don’t think you can commodify it and imbue a session, or imbue a song or the style of an album, with such a thing. The bands were all also quite different from each other. I guess the only thread that I can draw between them was a certain attitude, which was sonically aggressive. 

Would you say you have a general approach to production, or does it tend to vary from project to project? 

It’s not that different, at least not from my perspective. I think if you keep your ears open, your mind open, and you don’t hasten to judge things just because they’re unfamiliar-sounding or wrong-sounding, then interesting things are likely to happen. Sometimes, the wrong things are the perfect things for the recording or mix. There’s no formula for being able to say, “Okay, that wrong thing is the right thing, and that right thing is the wrong thing.” It’s a judgement call that you have to stick your neck out for and say, “Okay, I’m going to try and do something different here. It could be a complete and utter disaster, but I’m going to do it.” People are a lot more adventurous in their acceptance of different sounds these days. Hip-hop and rap have made sounds that might have been considered completely bizarre and ugly in the past, suddenly very much the norm in pop records. Grunge brought things that were punk rock into the mainstream. I always keep hoping that I’ll come across some sound that is totally unacceptable, but also sounds fresh and somehow works. 

Could you give us some examples of the extreme, or “unfamiliar-sounding,” elements you’ve introduced to particular records? 

Again, it’s all a matter of perspective. Some artists think that doing a single edit is quite extreme — “You’re chopping up the most important part of the song!” [laughter] Whereas I’d like to think that I’m distilling the song to its essence and creating an alternative to the album version of a song that’s just as listenable. It’s a version where some of the elements are juxtaposed in a different way, and thereby you’ve created a different listening experience in the same way a remix creates a different listening experience, or a live version of a song is a different listening experience. They’re all the same song, but you’re highlighting different facets, or introducing different kinds of elements. People tend to look at such things as extreme if they’re a bit precious about what they’ve created. While it’s quite right for artists to want to protect the integrity of their work, I do like people to have an open mind so they’re able to see their music in other ways. That’s one of the reasons a producer’s brought in, normally; to bring something to the session that the artist cannot quite grasp ahold of themselves. 

What things would you say they could be failing to grasp? 

Well, maybe it’s a taste thing, or the artist simply cannot meet deadlines, or they can’t imagine how to bring off their masterwork within budget. Maybe they have an idea of what the music should sound like in their heads, but they can’t quite articulate it clearly enough to capture it on their own. Maybe they simply don’t have the confidence. I don’t think I’ve ever behaved like a dictator in the studio, because ultimately it’s the artist’s record, and they have to be satisfied. Maybe it’s more important that they’re happy as opposed to me or the label being totally happy; but I like to think that everybody can end up happy. When push comes to shove, the artist has to walk away feeling good about what they’ve done, and I’m sure the artist usually knows when it’s right… it’s just that sometimes they don’t know how to get there. 

When you’ve signed up to produce a record, do you immediately have a vision in your head as to how you think it should sound, once you’ve heard the songs or the demos? 

I like to do pre-production, ideally. I like to be in there before it all starts — in rehearsals, or even at the songwriting stage — and then see it through all the way to mastering. If there are demos, those are always good to have. But do I have a vision? Well, anyone can see room for improvement in a demo, can’t they? The harder thing sometimes is when you’ve been recording, and then you go back to the original demo and you’ve lost some ineffable aspect of those original rough takes. You’ve then got to figure out, “Where did we lose it? What did we lose? Or is it apples and oranges?” If the demo had something that you’re not capturing in the final mix, it’s always going to be frustrating to the artist. A lot of time can be spent chasing that, so it’s great if you don’t lose it to begin with. But really, I think it’s easy to impose a vision on something and to say, “Oh, well, let’s bring in a string section. Let’s throw in a few fancy chords. Here, sing through this microphone from 1940.” I mean if an artist needs “a vision,” I’ve got a few dozen in my pocket at any given time. Some of them may be preposterous, and some of them may be applicable; but I don’t think that’s really the point, as much as capturing what the band or the artist is really all about and then making them even more so. 

You produced two killer albums for The Jim Jones Revue — Burning Your House Down andThe Savage Heart — and they sound pretty different, as far as the approach goes. Could you shed some light on that? 

Well, Jim was very much involved on that first album I did with them. He was very much hands-on, and he wanted to be a part of every component of it as much as I did. Sometimes it was like an arm-wrestling match, and sometimes we were in complete synchronicity; but we both knew that it had to be a certain thing, and whatever it took to get there was what it was going to take. The idea with [Burning Your House Down] was, “The Jim Jones Revue is this unique thing in the world right now. There’s no other rock ‘n’ roll band like this, at the moment. Let’s capture that and make it as an intense a rock ‘n’ roll experience as possible!” They were a great live band, and somehow we had to translate the ferocity of the live experience onto the record. It wasn’t so much about using vintage equipment — although there was a little bit of that — it was more about capturing what the band were like in real life, and making sure the energy in the recording had that same feeling. 

So how did you achieve that? 

How did we do it? I don’t know! [laughs] They played real well, we left things a bit messy and dirty, and it was like holding up a greasy mirror to the reality of the band. It was meant to be mimetic, not contrived. It had to be something that evoked the reality of the live experience, and I like to think we managed it. 

And how did you approach The Savage Heart? 

That was a completely different thing, because it was time to move on. They wanted to broaden the scope of the songwriting, and we wanted to move forward with the style of the production. The sessions were just as intense, but there was a little bit more experimentation going on with the song formats, and also with the kind of sounds that we went for. It wasn’t going to be, “Does this sound as raw and out of control as a Little Richard record?” We agreed it was time to move on from that. With the first album, we really wanted a record that could stand up to all the classic rock ‘n’ roll stuff. We didn’t want it to be a retro thing, but by the same token we wanted it to have all that unbridled, nasty, raucous energy of the old rock ‘n’ roll recordings. We didn’t go about recording it in one room with three microphones and a tube console or anything like that. It was a modern record, made in a modern way — Pro Tools, unashamedly Pro Tools! [laughs] 

 

I was going to ask where you sit regarding the analogue versus digital debate?

The two little studios I had in the past were analog, because it was in that wonderful little transitional period when people were dispensing with analog equipment. It was very affordable and accessible through the newfound wonders of eBay. I went on a buying spree and ended up with a whole bunch of equipment, which has subsequently been languishing in a storage unit for the past couple of years now because I no longer have a studio in New York. I was sharing studios with a couple of different engineers there. My last partner, Peter Mavrogeorgis [a member of both Bellmer Dolls and The Vanity Set, a band fronted by Sclavunos], and I had a little place in a basement in Long Island. But he decided he needed a bigger place, so he has moved to Savannah and set up a studio there called Dollhouse. We had a fully functional, purely analog studio. Peter got a really nice Amek Angela console, and we had Ric Ocasek’s old 2-inch machine that Ric had recorded Suicide on, so it had great provenance. I had a whole bunch of outboard gear, both practical and impractical, and I had a whole shitload of microphones in various states that I’d bought. The thing was that a lot of the clients for that studio were very, very young bands that had no experience with analog; and they weren’t always open to it either. Some couldn’t afford tape; and some struggled even to deliver the goods, in terms of the kind of performance that tape requires. 

And how do you feel about it now? 

A lot of the time I do record in digital. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all listening to it in a rather shitty form anyway so I can’t really be stressing out about how we get there too much, as long as the end result is musical and the band are happy with it, and we meet the deadline. Without those criteria being met, we have nothing. In an ideal world, of course I’d prefer to do it all analog. I’ve been working in analog technology since 1977, so the bulk of my experience has been recording with tape on big, clumsy, unwieldy pieces of equipment that were built really well and sound really good. I didn’t ever really see any need to change things, but you can do things a lot easier and cheaper with digital, so why should I make a fuss? Digital sounds better all the time, or maybe I want to believe it sounds better! Most of the time budgets are often driving the course that a project’s going to take, and how one is going to go about recording.

What production approach did you take on those early tracks with The Horrors, like “Count In Fives” and “Gloves”?

My plan had been to do a lot of pre-production, but they were in the middle of a promotional, publicity maelstrom at the time. They were constantly running off to do photo shoots and it was very hard to pin them down. We didn’t even have proper songs written for the whole session, and some of them took shape by the skin of their teeth. But the plan was — from my point of view — to capture the anarchy of their live performances at the time, and give them some real musical credibility. They were really into the garage sound at the time, and that’s pretty much what we went for. I chose The Chapel [Recording Studio, in Lincolnshire UK], mainly because I wanted to get them out of London. I wanted to keep them out of trouble, but Faris [Badwan, lead singer] still managed to get punched in the mouth the day before his vocal takes! If he sounds a bit angry on the recording, it’s probably because he was in a considerable amount of pain while he was singing. It didn’t take much to get a performance out of him. He immediately started screaming at the top of his lungs! It was definitely one of these cases where clarity and articulation had to be sacrificed on the altar of sheer attitude and energy. It was pretty much a live session, apart from the fact that our singer was slightly detained in the hospital for a little while. I sat in on guide vocals. Hopefully those have been permanently erased! [laughs]

One band you’ve produced this year are Lola Colt. They seem to be getting a real buzz going in the UK…

Yeah, people call them a psychedelic band, but they’re much more than that. I don’t want to do them a disservice with any glib comparisons, but if you can imagine Ennio Morricone, meets Sonic Youth, meets Jefferson Airplane, plus a bit more — that’s where they’re at. Their guitarist, James Hurst, has a very nice “home” studio and they base their operation out of that. There was a long process of demos, and those demos literally turned into the basic tracks for the recording, which then got layered, and layered, and layered, and then sorted, filtered, and now mixed.

Did you always plan to use the demos as the basis?

Well, I suggested it to them because they’re very, very, very hands-on; and having a proper, decent, little studio at your disposal makes that option very affordable. To call it a home studio doesn’t really give the full picture, because it’s got a nice board, they’ve got great mics, and there’s enough space to fit a band in it. James is a very good engineer. It gave them a great opportunity to really take their time, move things around, and try different combinations. They were very excited about the idea of going about it that way, rather than just, “Okay, everybody in. Let’s record!” That approach suited the music and material that they wanted to experiment with, so I definitely encouraged that. In fact, I took a similar approach with this band in Greece called The Callas.

I love that record [Am I Vertical?].

Thanks. The Callas had recorded all their demos at the same studio that we were going to be doing the real album at; but we only had about two weeks to record and mix, and it wasn’t a full band. It was clear that it was going to require a lot of overdubs. I thought that the demos for it were so vibe-y. They had such a great, weird character to them, and they seemed to really capture the band at their least self-conscious. There were so many quirky aspects, and it was well recorded by the engineer, Nik Angloupas. With those demos, it didn’t take much to move a few things around and, suddenly, we had a really great foundation for a proper album. The songs were meant to be very raucous and slightly chaotic, and there was a little bit of looseness too — particularly with some of the drums — which was fine. Somebody else would have said, “We’ve got to do a proper drum part!” But I don’t like to hasten to judge things just because they’re a little sloppy. I ascribe to the Memphis school of thinking about that, where there’s quite a bit of value in a loose vibe.

The Memphis school of thinking?

Yeah, and I think the person who best exemplified the extreme of that would have been Alex Chilton on Like Flies on Sherbertand the third Big Star album [Third/Sister Lovers], where he pushed the limit on how loose something can be; teetering on the edge of everything falling apart, yet still having this wonderful cohesiveness. That’s what I was looking for and — with The Callas’ demos — whenever I found an instance of it, I highlighted it rather than tried to fix it.

Tell us about Axels & Sockets, the recent Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project album, on which you’re credited as Associate Producer.

I have been involved with the overall Sessions Project from the beginning, but I never was an active part. It’s always been more of a networker role, “Oh, here’s so and so’s phone number. This would be a good person for you to hook up with.” But this was the first one that I actually actively participated in, and it was nice to be invited to do it. I co-produced the Mark Stewart duet with Jeffrey, which also has Thurston Moore on it. I also played this noisy fuzz bass and some organ on that one. It’s in the spirit of that duet between Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, but with pretty different results. I also mixed the duet with Iggy Pop and Nick Cave, and played drums on that, which was cool. I produced Black Moth’s version of “Just Like a Mexican Love.” I produced and played drums on “Body and Soul” by James Johnston. I also played drums on the Debbie Harry/Nick Cave duet, and the Mark Lanegan/Bertrand Cantat duet. And then there’s “The Journey Is Long,” the spoken word piece by Lydia Lunch and Jeffrey Lee Pierce, which I mixed and produced. There’s an old cassette recording of Jeffrey Lee Pierce reading the beginning of this story that he’d written, and it’s intercut with Lydia reading the same story years apart. Both are inter-mixed, along with some tribal drums and some insect sounds that I processed. I did a lot of drumming and all sorts of stuff on this album, basically anything that was needed, at any given point — mixing, ham-fisted bass playing, a little bit of organ, handclaps, tambourines, backing vocals; you name it. It was also a lot of fun working on this record with [producer] Cypress Grove.

Did you know Jeffrey well?

I knew Jeffrey for years, almost as long as I knew Kid Congo — from way, way, way back. The first Panther Burns gig I played on the West Coast was a double bill with The Gun Club [both were members], and that’s how I met him. I never played with Jeffrey, but way back in the early-’90s — shortly before he died and before I joined The Bad Seeds — I was totally broke and living in New York. He called me from his parents’ home and said, “Hey, do you want to do some Gun Club together?” So that was in the works, and I was really looking forward to it. But a few months later, while I was on tour with Panther Burns in Europe, a message was relayed to me backstage that Jeffrey was dead. It was a shock that he died, and so sad that we never got to play together, but I was very glad to be part of this.

You also remix other peoples’ tracks under your own name, or with Peter Mavrogeorgis under the moniker Silver Alert…

That’s right. We also had this band, The Vanity Set, but we started using the Silver Alert name for some projects that were taking on a different character. Sometimes we also did live performances for special events under Silver Alert. We did a multimedia production of Faust at the Perth International Arts Festival, which involved a deconstructed version of F. W. Murnau’s Faust film, along with some live magical ritual performances, directed by Micki Pellerano, who’s a performance artist and film-maker from New York. Peter and I did a soundtrack for it, plus we did another layer of live accompaniment. Silver Alert was, and is — whenever we get the chance to work together again — something to cover all of those bases. We have a very intuitive way of working.

You guys did a really dark and dubby remix of “Evil” by Grinderman. Tell us about how that came together.

We approached it in a rather silly way! [laughs] We had some reels of used tape in our studio that we kept recycling for bands with no budget. There was one reel with these random tracks on it that had been used for some completely unrelated things, including a hip-hop session at one point. We decided we wanted to do the remix on tape, and this was the only tape lying around. When Peter first put it on, he put it on at the wrong speed and I was like, “Oh, that sounds great!” So the whole idea was to somehow shoehorn “Evil” into this weird dubby-sounding reel of randomness. It wasn’t a dub track, but it ended up sounding dubby because of the things that happened to have been recorded on this tape. We took the Lee “Scratch” Perry approach to the proceedings. I heard this great story about him coming into a session once, putting this big rock on top of the console, and saying to the engineer, “You have to mix around the rock!” [laughs] These sorts of anecdotes are a little bit silly, really; but they can inspire you to do things in a different way and they can be helpful. It’s almost like an Oblique Strategy [Brian Eno, Tape Op #85], and most of those are pretty silly too. I decided, “Well, let’s leave all the random noises in place, and we’ll shape everything else around them. If the vibraslap comes in really loud, and stays loud — then, that’s great. That will be our template.”

What did the other guys in the band think?

I didn’t ask. I didn’t dare ask! [laughs] It made the record though [Grinderman 2: RMX]. I think Warren [Ellis] said he liked it. I don’t know if Nick [Cave] even listened to it. I mean who listens to remixes anyway?