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Zanimljivosti ZP Izdvojeno



Chris Hanzsek je američki producent, najpoznatiji po radu s scenom Seattlea. Za Solin Live govori o sebi, o svome radu, kao i o sceni Seattlea.

To begin with, can you introduce yourself to our readers and say something about

Certainly. I’m Chris Hanzsek. I’m married, father of two grown-up kids, I’ve been in the
music business for over 40 years if you count my early years in Boston. In the last decade or two, I’ve transitioned away from the recording, mixing, or producing role and focused almost entirely on mastering work. I operated studios in Seattle for over 2 decades but moved my operation to a home studio in 2005. Four years ago I decided to learn a new set of skills so I enrolled in ‘bike mechanic school’ and now I’m working in that industry as well. I’m a lifelong outdoor enthusiast – hiker, climber, backpacker. Most recently I’ve taken up long-distance endurance cycling, having just completed the GDMBR for the second time.

You are a music producer. What motivated you to engage in music production?

I think it was when I was a teenager, maybe 15 or 16 years old when “my ears opened up” and I started listening to music regularly. It was a period in my life when I needed an escape and suddenly I discovered a whole new world of art and expression that I hadn’t been exposed to previously. When I got to college (Penn State) it all really opened up for me. I’m sure I spent more time listening to records than all other school activities combined. For a brief period in 1980, I worked as a disc jockey at WDFM hosting “Too Much Too Soon”, the weekly “new wave and punk rock” show. I have never been comfortable with the term “producer” as it never quite seems correct to me. I’d prefer “Assistant to the process” or something but happy to just be a recording engineer, even if my contribution went well beyond the button-pushing aspect.

In 1985, together with Tina Casale, you founded the record company C/Z, but not long after (about 18 months) you sold it. Tell us more about the C/Z, as well as the very reason you sold it.

Well, first of all, the label was not sold. It was adopted. I sold a few boxes of Deep Six records to the new owner but no money was exchanged. Truthfully, it felt to me like the label was worthless. My experience trying to get C/Z started was pretty awful so I had no interest in continuing. My thought was that if someone wanted to continue the label name, that’s fine. I was hoping they’d give Sub Pop a run for their money.

Through your (i.e. then) record company C/Z, you released the album Deep Six, a compilation of local bands from which the grunge movement emerged. How did you come up with the idea to release that album and what is your opinion about the so-called grunge movement?

I’m a little fuzzy but I think it was either Mark Arm or Jeff Ament from Green River that suggested Tina and I release a comp as a way to introduce our new record label. Discussions about which bands to include followed. It all resonated and we met with each band to discuss the project and gain approval. Sessions were scheduled, and the project was recorded and subsequently mixed. Sessions were very tight, not a lot of extra time as the budget (supplied almost entirely by Tina) was threadbare. The mixes turned out a little bit uneven. Tina and I split up. The bands got peeved that C/Z wasn’t visibly promoting the record. The bulk of the marketing was direct contact with college radio and international publications. The grunge movement? Marketing term. I suppose if we actually need to define it as a sub-genre we should go with “complaining in drop D”.

Along with C/Z, you opened Reciprocal Studio, together with Jack Endino, where names like Nirvana, and Soundgarden were recorded. Please tell us more about the Reciprocal Studio.

Okay, so Reciprocal Recording was actually opened initially by myself and Tina Casale on Jan 1 1984 at its original location in Interbay. This is the location where I first recorded bands such as Green River, The Accused, The Rejectors, Cannibal, Coven, Bam Bam, and others. After 1 year we lost our lease and in May 1986, I briefly partnered with Jack Endino to re-open Reciprocal in location #2 in Ballard. After a couple of months, Jack decided to dissolve the partnership and explore his own independent career as a producer. That location flourished and many notable projects happened during that era including early releases by Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Coffin Break, Pure Joy, etc. In late 1991 I made the decision to close the studio with the intention of moving to a new, larger location with better-designed rooms. On Jan 1 1993 I opened Hanzsek Audio, just a few blocks away from the previous studio location. Hanzsek Audio continued until the decision to close in August 2005. I still operate under the name Hanzsek Audio, working as a mastering engineer from my home studio. For a little while longer, at least.

You also run your own studio, Hanzsek Audio, which you have been running for almost 30 years. I would like you to tell us more about Hanzsek Audio, and the advantages and disadvantages of your job.

Oh yes, you’re right. Coming up on 30 years since I started using that name….
Advantages of my current job: Working with great, gifted, amazing, wonderful people. Getting paid to do the thing I (mostly) love. Satisfaction from solving problems and finding that perfect balance of this and that…. Take long vacations if I feel the need.

Disadvantages of my current job: I don’t want to complain. Not the time. I’m grateful for all my experiences in the music business and wouldn’t trade it for anything. That said, all things have their limit. I’ve been mastering a long, long time now.

My “part-time” job has me doing tune-ups and occasionally building wheels for customers at a bike shop. For me, that’s all new and pretty darn exciting.

For the end, what are your future projects? What would you recommend to our readers?

I would absolutely love to record my second official album. Yes, that’s right, I have a 2017 release on Orbeatize Records out of Italy. Out of the blue, I received an offer to release “September and December” in a very unlikely fashion I became a recording artist. Who knew? I’d also like to write a book. Of course, I’m going to keep riding my bicycle. It’s good for me physically and mentally. Next Summer I plan to travel back to Pennsylvania and ride around the state where I grew up for a few weeks.
What do I recommend? Well, be like me, of course! Follow your interests, and pursue your passions. If it’s a skill you’re after, be the best. Learn from mistakes and you’ll eventually make fewer and smaller ones. Eventually, people will think you don’t make mistakes but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re perfect. Stay humble even when you’re sure you’re god’s gift to all.



Kako biste se predstavili našim čitateljima i rekli nešto o sebi?

Naravno. Ja sam Chris Hanzsek. Oženjen sam, otac dvoje odrasle djece, u glazbenoj industriji sam već više od 40 godina, ako u to uključimo i moje početke u Bostonu. Posljednje desetljeće ili dva sam prešao sa snimanja, miješanja i produkcije glazbe i gotovo se potpuno usmjerio na posao majstora za mastering. Vodio sam studije u Seattlu više od 2 desetljeća, ali svoje djelovanje sam preselio u kućni studio 2005. Prije četiri godine odlučio sam naučiti nove vještine, pa sam se upisao u “školu za biciklističke mehaničare” i sada radim u toj industriji. Cijeli život sam strastveni ljubitelj prirode – planinar, penjač, backpacker. Nedavno sam se posvetio biciklizmu izdržljivosti na duge staze, nedavno sam prevalio GDMBR (dugačka brdska ruta koja prolazi okomito duž čitavoga SAD-a) po drugi put.

Vi ste glazbeni producent. Što vas potaknulo da se bavite glazbenom produkcijom?

Mislim da je to bilo kada sam bio tinejdžer, možda s 15 ili 16 godina, kada su mi se uši “otvorile”, pa sam počeo redovito slušati glazbu. Bilo je to razdoblje u mom životu kada sam trebao bijeg, i odjednom sam otkrio potpuno novi svijet umjetnosti i izražavanja kojem nisam bio izložen ranije. Kad sam stigao na fakultet (Penn State), sve mi je stvarno postalo jasno. Mogu sa sigurnošću reći sam da sam više vremena provodio slušajući ploče, nego sve druge školske aktivnosti zajedno. Kratko vrijeme 1980. sam radio kao DJ na WDFM-u vodeći emisiju “Too Much Too Soon”, tjednu emisiju “new wave-a i punk rock-a”. Nikada nisam bio zadovoljan izrazom “producent”, jer mi se nije činio potpuno prikladnim. Radije bih to nazvao “Pomoćnikom u procesu” ili nešto slično, no u svakom slučaju me je radovalo što sam bio toncem, čak ako je moj doprinos uvelike nadilazio puko pritiskanje tipka.

1985. godine, zajedno s Tinom Casale, osnovali ste glazbenu izdavačku kuću C/Z, ali nešto više od godinu dana kasnije (otprilike 18 mjeseci) ste je prodali. Recite nam više o C/Z-u i razlogu prodaje.

Pa, prvo, izdavačka kuća nije prodana. Bila je preuzeta. Prodao sam nekoliko kutija Deep Six-ovih ploča novom vlasniku, jedino nije bilo novčane razmjene. Iskreno, meni se činilo da je izdavačka kuća bila bezvrijedna. Moje iskustvo pri pokretanju C/Z-a je bilo prilično loše, pa nisam imao interesa za nastavak. Moja je misao bila da, ako netko želi nastaviti s imenom etikete, to je u redu. Moja nada je bila da će izd. kuća postati ljuta konkurencija Sub Pop-u.

Putem svoje tadašnje izdavačke kuće C/Z-a ste objavili album Deep Six, kompilaciju lokalnih bendova iz kojih je nastao grunge pokret. Kako ste došli na ideju za objavu tog albuma i što mislite o takozvanom grunge pokretu?

Malčice sam neodređen, ali mislim da su ili Mark Arm ili Jeff Ament iz Green Rivera predložili Tini i meni da izdamo kompilaciju kako bismo predstavili našu novu izdavačku kuću. Uslijedili su razgovori o tome koje bendove uključiti. Sve je bilo uzbudljivo; sastali smo se s svakim bendom kako bismo razgovarali o projektu i dobili odobrenje. Snimanja su bile zakazana, projekt smo snimili i naposljetku miksali. Snimanja su bila vremenski jako ograničena, nije bilo puno dodatnog vremena budući da je proračun (gotovo u potpunosti osiguran od strane Tine) bio vrlo ograničen. Miksovi su ispali pomalo neujednačeni. Tina i ja smo prekinuli. Bendovi su bili ljuti što C/Z nije vidljivo promovirao ploču. Veći dio marketinga bio je usmjeren na izravni kontakt s radijskim postajama na sveučilištima i međunarodnim publikacijama. Grunge pokret? Marketinški izraz. Pretpostavljam da, ukoliko ga stvarno trebamo definirati kao podžanr, trebali bismo ga opisati kao “žaljenje u niskom D”.

Skupa s C/Z-om i Jackom Endinom ste otvorili studio Reciprocal, u kojem su snimali bendovi poput Nirvane i Soundgardena. Recite nam više o studiju Reciprocal.

Znači, Reciprocal Recording sam po prvi put otvorio zajedno s Tinom Casale 1. siječnja 1984. godine na prvotnoj lokaciji u Interbay-u. Na toj lokaciji sam prvi put snimao s bendovima poput Green Rivera, The Accused, The Rejectors, Cannibal, Coven, Bam Bam i drugih. Nakon godinu dana smo izgubili najam i u svibnju 1986. godine nakratko sam se udružio s Jackom Endinom, kako bismo ponovno otvorili Reciprocal na lokaciji broj 2 u Ballard-u. Nakon nekoliko mjeseci, Jack je odlučio prekinuti partnerstvo i produbiti vlastitu neovisnu karijeru kao producent. Ta lokacija je procvjetala i mnogi značajni projekti dogodili su se tijekom tog razdoblja, uključujući rane izdanke Soundgardena, Nirvane, Mudhoneya, Coffin Breaka, Pure Joy i drugih. Krajem 1991. sam odlučio zatvoriti studio s namjerom selidbe na novu, veću lokaciju s bolje dizajniranim prostorijama. 1. siječnja 1993. godine sam otvorio Hanzsek Audio, samo nekoliko zgrada dalje od prethodne lokacije studija. Hanzsek Audio je ostao otvoren do odluke o zatvaranju u kolovozu 2005. Još uvijek radim pod imenom Hanzsek Audio, kao majstor za mastering(uzimanje miksa i njegovo finaliziranje podizanjem određenih zvučnih karakteristika, op.prev.) iz svog kućnog studija. Barem ću tako još neko naredno vrijeme.

Također vodite svoj vlastiti studio — Hanzsek Audio, koji vodite već gotovo 30 godina. Želio bih da nam kažete više o Hanzsek Audio, te o prednostima i nedostacima vašeg posla.

Oh da, u pravu si. Približava se 30 godina otkako sam počeo koristiti to ime…. Prednosti mog trenutnog posla su: Rad s velikim, nadarenim, nevjerojatnim, divnim ljudima. Plaćen sam za rad na stvarima koje (većinom) volim. Pronašao sam zadovoljstvo u rješavanju problema i pronalaska savršene ravnoteže između ovoga i onoga… Mogu si priuštiti dugi odmor ako osjećam potrebu. Nedostaci mog trenutnog posla: Ne želim se žaliti. Nije vrijeme za takvo što. Zahvalan sam na svim svojim iskustvima u glazbenoj industriji i ne bih to mijenjao ni za što. Sve ima svoje granice. Dugo vremena se bavim masteringom. Moj posao na nepuno radno vrijeme podrazumijeva da moram obavljati nadogradnje i povremeno načiniti kotače za kupce u biciklističkoj trgovini. Za mene je to sve novo i prilično uzbudljivo.

Na kraju, kakvi su vaši budući projekti?

Što biste preporučili našim čitateljima?
Svakako bih volio snimiti svoj drugi službeni album. Da, točno, imam izdanje iz 2017. na Orbeatize Records iz Italije. Potpuno neočekivano sam dobio ponudu za izdanje “September and December-a”; na vrlo neobičan način sam postao glazbeni izvođač. Tko bi znao? Također bih želio napisati knjigu. Naravno, nastavit ću voziti bicikl. Dobro djeluje na mene fizički i mentalno. Sljedećeg ljeta planiram putovati natrag u Pennsylvaniju i voziti se po saveznoj državi u kojoj sam odrastao nekoliko tjedana. Što preporučujem? Pa, budite kao ja, naravno! Slijedite svoje interese i slijedite svoje strasti. Ako ganjate određenu vještinu, postanite najbolji u toj vještini. Učite iz pogrešaka i na kraju će ih biti sve manje. Na kraju će ljudi misliti da ne činite pogreške, ali nemojte učiniti pogrešku time da si umislite kako ste savršeni. Ostanite ponizni čak i kad ste sigurni da ste Božji dar svima.



Student morskog ribarstva u Splitu, član umjetničke udruge Dadanti gdje obavljam funkciju voditelja glazbenog odjela i glumačke družine Banana Split. Bavim se poezijom, glumom, glazbom, novinarstvom i performansima...