Questions For Tony Visconti

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by rhavers, Feb 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rhavers

    rhavers Active Member Thread Starter

    Someone suggested that it would be great if Tony would come online and answer questions about his career, the artists he has worked with and being a producer. Tony being the good sort of chap that he is readily agreed.

    So ask away and Tony will respond.
     
  2. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Which album does he feel is his best work. Why?
     
  3. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member

    Location:
    ....
    Hello Tony :wave:

    I'm a big fan of your work, and had a question about working with Dean and Britta (of Luna). Are those sessions all done in the studio, or are they working on tracks at home and bringing stuff in for overdubbing and mixing? Is it pretty smooth working with them, or do you guys spend a lot of time on arrangements and/or sounds?

    Looking forward to the new album!
     
  4. deadbirdie

    deadbirdie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Which artists/bands would Tony love to work with?
     
  5. Stateless

    Stateless New Member

    Location:
    USA
    Is he working on Bowie's next album? I know they did the last 2 together. I think HEATHEN is really strong. Thanks!
     
  6. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Anyway, I am sure that you know that pitchforkmedia.com, the alternative nation's musical bible, named Low the number one album of the 70's. People might want to hear about your role vs. Eno's, or about the "snare drum sound", etc., but I would like to hear your thoughts on Low as you look back on it today -- whether you view it as a special achievement, and how you feel about Low being regarded as a monumental album from the 70's, placed alongside, Exile, Blood on the Tracks, Innervisions, Dark Side of the Moon, and others.
     
  7. mark f.

    mark f. Forum Resident

    Hi Tony! I've been bugging Richard for stories on your work with the Move. Wondering if you can share some here?
     
  8. rhavers

    rhavers Active Member Thread Starter

    Just to update everyone. I've emailed Tony to tell him questions are coming in. He's here in the UK, doing book promtion stuff, so he's probably out to dinner at the moment.

    He'll get to you I know....
     
  9. jwoverho

    jwoverho Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    You've worked with an incredible array of artists. T-Rex seems to hold a special place in your heart. The mix of Marc's songs, Flo and Eddie's vocals, and your string arrangements is still fresh and exciting today. What were the creative challenges in bringing such diverse elements together, and do you think that there were any contemporaries even approaching the sound and style of Marc Bolan and T-Rex?
     
  10. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Location:
    Winchester, UK
  11. Horace Wimp

    Horace Wimp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    Not really a question, but I just wanted to say that my favorites that you have done are probably Bowie's LOW, "HEROES" and LODGER. "Heroes" is probably my alltime favorite song by anyone.

    I will leave you with a question:

    I know you are a New Utrecht boy (I graduated from Sheepshead Bay HS all those years ago), so DO YA MISS SPUMONI GARDENS??

    I sure do!
     
  12. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    Hi Richard,

    Thank you for the invitation.

    --T
     
    alexpop likes this.
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Welcome. Thanks for joining!
     
  14. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    Scary Monsters was the crowning glory of all the Bowie albums I'd produced. When I did the Space Oddity album I didn't know anything and I cut my teeth on that one. I had already produced Tyrannosaurus Rex but that was guitar, vocals and bongos -- hard to mess up, really.

    After the SO album David and I jokingly said at the beginning of the subsequent albums that we were going to make our "Sgt. Pepper." Along the way we made Young Americans, Heroes, etc (12 studio albums in all) but on Scary Monsters we consolidated everything we'd learned and got it right. His song writing is brilliant on that album. This was made pre-smpte code and pre-locking up two machines, so there were a lot of mixdowns of elements. A song like "It's No Game" had about 10 edits on the 1/4 " mixdown tape because we couldn't do certain moves fast enough without the aid of an SSL board (which wasn't invented yet).
     
    Bowie Fett and alexpop like this.
  15. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    My pleasure. :)
     
    Bowie Fett and alexpop like this.
  16. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    Dean and Britta did some recording at home, mainly with virtual synths in Logic on their laptops. I needed the files in Pro Tools format and Britta made the edits, which I had to undo and redo the crossfades. I loved working with these two, I didn't want the last album to end.
     
    alexpop likes this.
  17. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    I'd like to work with Kate Bush. She's fantastic. Still is.
     
    alexpop likes this.
  18. MHP

    MHP Forum Resident

    Location:
    DK
    Hi Tony.

    A big welcome to you here from Denmark, which I guess you know pretty well after you produced Kashmir.

    My question:

    What do you think was the greatest thing Bowie did, that you DIDN'T produce? -Especially in 1980's, when he in my opnion was on the wrong track...
     
  19. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Hello. Love "Mondo Bongo"& "The No Comprendo". A have a phiosophical question on the state of music today. Will it ever be the way it was, or is this a cyclical thing? (i.e. less foriegn music, style over substance, an actual thriving industry, and consolidation of labels)
    Sorry to be so deep, but I'd be interested to hear your opinion.
     
  20. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    Considering that Low was an experiment and it wasn't certain that it would be released if we didn't like it, by the third week we knew we were onto something amazing. I'll never forget when David asked me to do rough mixes of the show so far and put it on cassette for him. He waved it in the air and said, "We've got an album." He was extremely happy.

    I hate to say that I "twiddled this knob" and Brian got "this sound.": We were very much a team. Basically we all played something, sang something and shaped the dark, cosmic sounds. Brian started writing with David before I arrived. He stayed for the first three weeks and David and I finished the album in Berlin by ourselves. By the way, the so-called "Berlin Trilogy" was recorded in France (Chateau D'Hérouville), Berlin, Montreux and New York.

    Yeah, Low blows me away.
     
    alexpop likes this.
  21. Stateless

    Stateless New Member

    Location:
    USA
    What did you think of Philip Glass's take on it?
     
  22. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    The Move were very underrated. They had an overambitious manager who created infamy for them rather than -- "famy"? My mentor, Denny Cordell, was a singles producer, essentially.

    I was the assistant producer for the albums, The Move and Shazam. It was a period in pop music where everyone was trying to either emulate the Beatles or find some instrumentation they didn't use yet, which was almost impossible. I came up with the idea of using a Wind Quartet for "Flowers In The Rain" in the style of Mendelsohn (that's what I imagined I was doing). But the other purpose was to disguise the fact that the rhythm section slowed down a bit in the middle eight.

    They were a hard working group and they looked up to Denny as if he was King Arthur (I would've casted him in that role). Denny was obsessed with the low end of a recording and made Bev Bevan play the kick drum for about two hours, changing mics and equipment in the chain. Bev was literally reduced to tears. But no one in the band ever opposed Denny.

    I heard that after the Move Roy Wood used his royalties to buy every instrument in the orchestra and taught himself how to play them. You can hear some of his efforts in Wizzard (I think it's two "Zs")
     
  23. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    The challenges were mainly technical. Oh, if I could have ProTools back in the day. We really stood on our heads trying to get magical sounds with the limited equipment available at the time.

    Marc was a diamond in the rough musically, but he was very smart. He knew seven chords and look at what he did with them! I'm working with a band right now in New York called Semi Precious Weapons. I think they would give Marc a run for his money if they were both around at the same time.
     
  24. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    Without mentioning names, many mastering engineers perpetuate the loudness wars. One once turned to me after I made a request for more dynamics and said, "I have a reputation to uphold, I can't make it that quiet." Really, I was just asking for the carefully mixed quiet intro to stay quiet until the rest of the band crashed in.

    I can't easily read that link, I'm in a hotel room in London with a weak Wi-Fi signal and I have to sit right next to my door to get this far. It's only slightly faster than dial-up. For this I pay £12 a day.
     
    alexpop likes this.
  25. Tony Visconti

    Tony Visconti New Member

    Location:
    New York
    Low was good. I didn't get Heroes at all. Philip, nevertheless, is my favourite 20th and 21st century composer. Did you hear his music in the film The Illusionist?

    [Okay, I was bumped off three times with this Wi-fi service.]
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page