The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 923: Studio stories with David Botrill

The new season (the 29th!) of The Ongoing History of New Music begins!

Long before I started doing this for a living, I had a notion that I was going to be a record producer. After all, I loved music and the idea of being able to help record it sounded like a great job. So as high school wound down, I started to look for schools that taught music production. That’s when reality set in.

All of the schools I applied to asked for a portfolio of past work. I was 18 years old and from a small prairie town. How was I supposed to have a portfolio of past work?

The schools also made it clear that I had to be musically adept. I was a pretty good drummer, but that wasn’t enough. I also had seven years of accordion lessons, but for some reason, that didn’t cut it, either. A guitar? Useless in my hands, if I’m honest.

Long story short, I gave up on that dream after a few rejection letters–and here we are. But I’m still fascinated by the talent and equipment that goes into making records. This is why anytime I get a chance to talk to someone who does that, I’m in.

David Botrill is one of those guys. He’s a Canadian record producer who has worked with Tool, Muse, Peter Gabriel, The Smashing Pumpkins, Rush, and a ton of others. He has three Grammys and has worked in some of the most famous recording studios from here to the UK.

Let’s get some insight, shall we?

Songs heard on this program:

  • Peter Gabriel, Sledgehammer
  • Tool, Schism
  • Muse, Plug in Baby
  • Silverchair, The Greatest View
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mustt Mustt

Here’s Eric Wilhite’s bespoke playlist for the show.

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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