Hrvoje Bubić: SCOTT BURNS INTERVIEW
Scott Burns je glazbeni producent, najpoznatiji po radu s death metal bandovima. Za Solin Live govori o svom radu s bandovima, o tom glabenom pravcu i kontroverzama koje je taj glazbeni pravac pratio.
1.To begin with, can you introduce yourself to our readers and say something about yourself?
I am best known for my work as an engineer of the death metal scene and Morrisound Recording in the Late 80 early 90s with bands like Atheist, Cannibal Corpse, Cynic, Deicide, Death, Exhorder, Malevolent Creation, Napalm Death and Sepultura and many other awesome bands. I left the music industry to become a computer programmer. John Tardy from Obituary got me my very first PC from his job where they tested electronics. Thanks John!
2. Even though you are a computer engineer by profession, how did your career as a music producer begin?
I always loved music and collected records since I was very young. I played trombone in my school band for close to 10 years. When punk rock came out in the late 1970’s I really liked the change in attitude and the energy it brought to music and radio. I liked the thought that you didn’t have to be an expert musician and that it was more DIY. My friends had a band and needed a soundman, so the guitarist taught me as much as he knew to get me started. Eventually we won a battle of the bands and got to record a song at a recording studio. I was hooked even though the studio was bad, and the engineer could have cared less about recording us. I went around Tampa looking for a better studio and found Morrisound thankfully. Tom, Jim, and Rick Miller had a great place, and you knew it was professional and what a real studio should be like. Luckily, they gave me a job as an assistant engineer and well the rest is history I suppose. Tampa always had a great rock music scene and as you know some great bands Avatar(Savatage) who were produced by Dan Johnson. Nasty Savage produced by Jim Morris, Executioner (Obituary) Rick Miller and Morbid Angel produced by Tom Morris. I got to record some great bands myself ended up being part of a great studio and a great music scene. I loved the rawness and energy of death metal and I got to record and be friends with so many great bands and people. It was a great time!
3. You are known as a “death metal producer” (even if you’ve worked with performers of a different music genre), how do you look at that musical direction after all these years?
I think it is amazing how influential death metal has been on the metal scene. When it started it out it was completely underground, now you hear death metal vocals in very well-known commercial bands and everyone thinks of death metal just as metal which is great. It has been amazing to see bands like Cannibal Corpse become so popular. As far as new bands I don’t listen to music like I used to when I was a kid, but Kelly from Atheist turned me on to Cattle Decapitation and I think they are incredible. The recording world has changed so much it amazes me how bands record now days. The technology really makes it even more easy to DIY these days. With plug ins and drum replacements tasks that used to take us a long time are done very quickly now. I do think that a lot of the new records sound amazing but perhaps they tend to sound too perfect and too similar. Sometimes I miss the rawness from lack of technology but boy do today’s records sound heavy for sure!
4. Death metal has been the subject of various controversies, especially in the case of bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Morbid Angel, so I was wondering what your opinion is about that?
I suppose when death metal started it was underground and controversial. Even a lot of metal people did not care for it when it started. Power and Thrash metal were the popular trends. The PMRC (Al Gore and his wife Tipper) tried to ban cannibal corpse etc. and we see how that worked out.
Now days I think just like Jane says, Nothing’s Shocking….
5. You have worked with various names, of which I would like to mention is the collaboration with Sepultura and Death. Please, tell us more about that.
Sepultura was a great experience. I went down to Brazil and we recorded at Nas Nuvens Studio for Beneath the Remains. We spent about 4 days rehearsing and hanging out in Rio and then recorded for 7-10 days I guess. We had to record at night so we worked from 6pm to 6am. The back photo of the album was taken on copa cabana beach after one of the sessions at 7 am:) We mixed the album at Morrisound and Max flew out and stayed at my house. Sarney was the president of Brazil and they were experiencing hyper inflation . Everyday the prices went up. By the time I had to pay for the rental equipment I think it was like 50-100$ more due to inflation. Monte Conner had to send us more money to pay the bill. The Sepultura guys were serious about making a great record, and having the opportunity to record for a large American/International label. I think everyone had high hopes for the record but I don’t think anyone thought it would take off like it did. The artwork was supposed to be the Cause of Death cover for Obituary but Obituary had already taken it so they had to have the artist create a new cover.
Rio was a great place and we had a lot of fun and ate and drank excellent Brazilian fare. A lot of great memories.
For Arise the band was successful at this time and they came to Morrisound to record. The guys were well prepared again and we had more time to record than in Brazil. The record decided that someone else should mix the record so we sent the tapes off to Andy Wallace to have it mixed and the rest is history.
I was lucky enough to be around Chuck and the Death members for Leprosy (Dan Johnson Producer), Spiritual Healing, Human and Individual Thought Patterns. Chuck was the consummate musician, always prepared before entering the studio. The beauty of the Death records was the ever changing lineups which made each record sound fresh. I have a lot of good memories from my days with Death and I appreciate Chuck allowing me to work with him for so long. RIP in Peace Metal Brother.
6. For the end, what would you say to our readers? Will we see you in Croatia, Split?
I would just like to say thank you on behalf of all the great bands that I was fortunate enough to record. Without those great bands I would have been just another engineer working away recording karaoke…..
It truly was a great time to be apart of such a great scene in the Tampa area and worldwide. I am very proud of the work we did together and xto see bands still doing so well to this day 30 years later.To all the Bands I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was also very lucking to get hired my Tom and Jim at Morrisound. They had the best studio you could ever work at!!!!
I would love to visit Croatia and hopefully someday I can come over and meet all the and have a drink and reminisce about the good old days!!!!!
Once again thank you the interest and thank you for supporting the bands.
1. Možete li nam se za početak predstaviti i reći nešto o sebi?
Najpoznatiji sam po svom radu kao inženjer (audio inženjer, op.prev.) death metal scene i Morrisound Recording kasnih 80-ih i ranih 90-ih s bendovima kao što su Atheist, Cannibal Corpse, Cynic, Deicide, Death, Exhorder, Malevolent Creation, Napalm Death i Sepultura i mnogi drugi odlicni bendovi. Napustio sam glazbenu industriju kako bih postao računalni programer. John Tardy iz Obituary mi je dao moje prvo računalo sa svog posla gdje su testirali elektroniku. Hvala John!
2. Iako ste po struci inženjer informatike, kako je započela Vaša karijera glazbenog producenta?
Uvijek sam volio glazbu i skupljao ploče od malih nogu. Svirao sam trombon u svom školskom bendu skoro 10 godina. Kad se punk rock pojavio kasnih 1970-ih, jako mi se svidjela promjena u stavu i energija koju je donio glazbi i radiju. Svidjela mi se pomisao da ne morate biti glazbeni stručnjak i da je to više DIY (do-it-yourself, URADI SAM, op.prev..). Moji prijatelji su imali bend i trebao im je tonac, pa me gitarist naučio koliko je znao da bih počeo. Na kraju smo dobili bitku bendova i snimili pjesmu u studiju za snimanje. Bio sam navučen iako je studio bio loš, a inženjeru je bilo manje stalo da nas snimi. Obišao sam Tampu tražeći bolji studio i srećom našao Morrisound. Tom, Jim i Rick Miller imali su sjajno mjesto i znali ste da je profesionalno i kakav bi trebao biti pravi studio. Srećom, dali su mi posao pomoćnog inženjera i ostalo je valjda povijest. Tampa je oduvijek imala sjajnu rock glazbenu scenu i kao što znate neke sjajne bendove Avatar (Savatage) koje je producirao Dan Johnson. Nasty Savage u produkciji Jima Morrisa, Executioner (Obituary) Rick Miller i Morbid Angel u produkciji Toma Morrisa. I sam sam morao snimiti neke sjajne bendove i na kraju sam postao dio sjajnog studija i sjajne glazbene scene. Volio sam sirovost i energiju death metala i snimao sam i bio prijatelj s toliko sjajnih bendova i ljudi. Bilo je super vrijeme!
4. Death metal je bio predmet raznih kontroverzi, posebno u slučaju bendova kao što su Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Morbid Angel, pa me zanima kakvo je vaše mišljenje o tome
Pretpostavljam da je death metal, kad je počeo, bio underground i kontroverzan. Čak i mnogi metalci nisu marili za to kad je počelo. Power i Thrash metal bili su popularni trendovi. PMRC (Al Gore (bivši amer. dopredsjednik, op.prev.) i njegova supruga Tipper,) pokušali su zabraniti Cannibal Corpse itd. i vidimo kako je to uspjelo.
Danas mislim baš kao što Jane kaže, Ništa nije šokantno…. (Nothing Shocking, pjesma benda Jane’s Addiction, op.prev.)
5. Radili ste s raznim imenima, od kojih bih želio spomenuti suradnju sa Sepulturom i Deathom. Recite nam nešto više o tome.
Sepultura je bila sjajno iskustvo. Otišao sam u Brazil i snimali smo u studiju Nas Nuvens za Beneath the Remains (album Sepulture, op.prev.). Proveli smo oko 4 dana na probama i druženju u Riju, a onda smo snimali 7-10 dana, pretpostavljam. Morali smo snimati noću pa smo radili od 18 do 6 ujutro. Zadnja slika albuma je snimljena na plaži Copa Cabana nakon jedne od sesija u 7 ujutro 🙂 Miksali smo album u Morrisoundu i Max je odletio i ostao kod mene. Sarney je bio predsjednik Brazila i oni su doživljavali hiperinflaciju. Svaki dan su cijene rasle. U trenutku kad sam morao platiti opremu za najam, mislim da je to bilo oko 50-100 $ više zbog inflacije. Monte Conner (dopredsjednik A&R diskografske kuće Roadrunner,op.prev.) nam je morao poslati još novca da platimo račun. Momci iz Sepulture bili su ozbiljni u namjeri da naprave sjajnu ploču i da imaju priliku snimati za veliku američku/međunarodnu izdavačku kuću. Mislim da su svi polagali velike nade u rekord, ali mislim da nitko nije mislio da će uspjeti kao što jest.
Ilustracija je trebala biti naslovnica Cause of Death za Obituary, ali Obituary ju je već uzeo pa je umjetnik morao napraviti novu naslovnicu.
Rio je bio sjajno mjesto i jako smo se zabavili te jeli i pili izvrsnu brazilsku hranu. Puno lijepih uspomena.
Za Arise (album Sepulture, op.prev.) bend je bio uspješan u to vrijeme i došli su u Morrisound snimati. Dečki su opet bili dobro pripremljeni i imali smo više vremena za snimanje nego u Brazilu. Diskografska kuća je odlučila da netko drugi treba miksati ploču pa smo poslali trake Andyju Wallaceu (glazbeni producent, op.prev.) da ih miksa i ostalo je povijest.
Imao sam dovoljno sreće da budem u društvu Chucka (gitarist Death koji preminuo 2001., op.prev.) i članova Deatha za Leprosy (Dan Johnson producent), Spiritual Healing, Human and Individual Thought Patterns (albumi Deatha, op.prev.). Chuck je bio vrhunski glazbenik, uvijek spreman prije ulaska u studio. Ljepota ploča Deatha bila je postava koja se neprestano mijenjala zbog čega je svaka ploča zvučala svježe. Imam puno dobrih uspomena iz dana sa Deathom i cijenim Chucka što mi je dopustio da tako dugo radim s njim. RIP u miru Metal Brother.
6. Za kraj, što biste željeli preporučiti našim čitateljima? Hoćemo li imati prilike vidjeti Vas u Splitu?
Htio bih samo reći hvala u ime svih sjajnih bendova koje sam imao sreću snimiti. Bez tih sjajnih bendova bio bih samo još jedan inženjer koji radi na snimanju karaoka …..
Bilo je to uistinu sjajno vrijeme biti dio tako sjajne scene u području Tampe i diljem svijeta. Jako sam ponosan na posao koji smo radili zajedno i vidim da bendovi i danas rade tako dobro, 30 godina kasnije. Svim Bendovima zahvaljujem od srca. Također sam imao veliku sreću što sam zaposlio svoje Toma i Jima u Morrisoundu. Imali su najbolji studio u kojem ste ikada mogli raditi!!!!
Volio bih posjetiti Hrvatsku i nadam se da ću jednog dana moći doći i upoznati sve te popiti piće i prisjetiti se dobrih starih vremena!!!!!
Još jednom hvala na interesu i hvala što podržavate bendove.