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Interview: Skeletonwitch Talk Recording with Kurt Ballou

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Skeletonwitch Nate Garnette

I really enjoy reading about the experiences bands have recording with different producers. Producers are like lovers — they’ve each got a different dynamic and way of working (fucking) and communicating (talking through your emotions and shit), and as such some producers and bands just don’t match up all that well together while others get along famously.

According to a new interview posted at Gear Gods with guitarist Nate Garnette, Skeletonwitch and Kurt Ballou got on quite well during the recording sessions for Serpents Unleashed:

How was working with Kurt Ballou? Is he the type to ride you hard to coax a good performance or does he step back and let you do your thing?

I had a great time working with Kurt!  Every producer has a different way of doing things, so there is always a butt sniffing period you have to go through, but I feel like we got along quite well.  He certainly isn’t a person to let crap slide, but he didn’t come off like he was riding you.  You could say “I nailed it” and he would say ‘let’s try it again’.  He basically wants what everybody is working for, which is the best record you can make.

Was there something different that you were looking to get out of your sound by going to Kurt, and if so, did you get it?

Yes there was.  Throughout the years the only major complaint, other than basement dweller bullshit, is that our records have never captured the live feel, how we sound live.  When listening to Kurt’s recordings you get that live feeling of energy and balls.  I think he absolutely nailed it!  Everyone we’ve talked to agrees, even sound engineers we’ve had in the past have said things like “I have mixed and seen you guys a ton of times and this is the first recording that does your live sound justice”.  It’s a great feeling to know you’ve achieved what you set out to do.

Is it important, with several albums to your discography, to change producers for sonic variety?

I don’t know if sonic variety is the reason.  I think it just keeps you on your toes.  You don’t become complacent.  If you record every record with same guy it seems to me that it would take away from the experience and excitement.  Not to say I wouldn’t work with the same producer twice, (cough, cough….Kurt?) but it’s just something we’ve done along the way with artists and producers alike.

Read the rest of the interview at Gear Gods, in which the members of Skeletonwitch talk amps, amp modellers, guitar tone, mixing and more.

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