Few people have helped shape the electronic and indie music sound as much as Gareth Jones. An influential record producer and recording engineer, Gareth Jones has worked with legendary acts including Depeche Mode, Erasure, Garbage, Goldfrapp, Grizzly Bear, Interpol, Madness, Maps, Mogwai, and Orbital to name a few. Gareth has built a reputation for having some of the best ears in the biz, and being extremely adventerous in acheiving new sounds. Recently, Gareth got a hold of DrumCore, and has been using it to sketch out demos for his latest projects. We caught up with Gareth by email to ask how he's been enjoying the software.
How did you get into the music industry?
After many years I realised I got into the music industry because my dad used to love playing around with his old gramophone and loved his vinyl records. That inspired a lifelong love music and music technology. Though I thought for a long time that I got into rock and roll because I was a rebel.
When I left college I managed to get a job at the BBC (UK National Radio) and get a basic training in sound engineering principles. This meant I was lucky enough to blag a job in a small 8 track analog studio called Pathway where I worked as a freelancer, recording and mixing loads of different bands.
Of all the projects you have worked on, do any stand out? What are you most proud of?
The projects I work on are bit like foster children for me, or family members. They're not actually my children but I have an important part in caring for them and helping them grow. So I don't have a favourite. I love all my virtual children as best I can.
However I am susceptible to flattery, and the opinion of my peers and the public is important to me as well, so I was particularly pleased and proud when I got my first silver disc which was for the first single I made with Depeche Mode called "Everything Counts" and it was the best-selling single I had made at the time as well, so that was a personal high. More recently at the end of 2011 I was also very pleased and proud to be a part of Josh T Pearson's record "The Last of the Country Gentleman that was the Rough Trade Shop's 'Record of the Year 2011.'
What artists or genres of music inspire you these days?
I feel inspired by excellence of all kinds - books and paintings and movies and sculpture and art work of all kinds, as well as the great outdoors. Musically I enjoy very much the classical music radio station in the UK, BBC Radio3.
My 5 most recent pieces of vinyl (I love vinyl) are:
FC Judd "Electronics Without Tears"
James Ferrar "Farside Virtual"
Flying Locust "Cosmogramma"
The Caretaker "Patience (After Sebald)
George Harrison "All Things Must Pass"
Do you have any favorite pieces of gear?
I'm not really about gear. I always preach(!) to my younger colleagues and anyone else who will listen, that the gear is just not important. For me it's all about ideas and people and what we do with what's available to us. (Creative limitations) After all if I were to pick up Jimi Hendrix's guitar it would sound complete shit, but when he picked it up it was a different thing. So, gear? I can't say I've got a favourite. My favourite piece of gear is the gear I'm using at the time.
Do you have any advice you can give someone who wants to become a record producer?
I'm sorry, but the best piece of advice I can give to someone who wants to become a record producer is just to keep on doing it, don't give up, keep on doing it all the time, really do it. AND LISTEN A LOT. PLEASE. Good Luck.
Recently you've been using DrumCore. How do you feel about the way DrumCore sounds? Do you use it on your demos or final mixes?
I like playing about with DrumCore. It is simple and inspirational, with a good sound and a good feel. I always use it as a plug-in, and I love being able to simply drag the MIDI to the instrument track in logic. That way I can mix and match different beats and different sounds really easily. In a way, I feel like I'm working with the drummers, and that's a really good starting point, for me, to create a beat.
So far I have been using DrumCore in the demo phase of my productions, where it has been a really useful tool. Sometimes it has been challenging to beat DrumCore when we tracked the real drums, and in the future I can definitely see using DrumCore on some remixes where I need "acoustic sounding' beats.
What are you current projects?
I have just finished a remix for "To Rococo Rot" on City Slang. Currently I am mixing an LP for a band called "Young Dreams" on Modular Records.
Where can people hear more of your work?
Complete CV and more info at www.garethjones.com.