Sony Smith – Spotify for artists about building mentor relationships in music

Although many artists proudly claim control-freak trends, Sonny Smith Not one of them. He set a solo record with his name band album, Sony and the Sunset, But Bay Area Indie Pop Whois is always happy to put the reins in someone else’s name in the name of cooperation.

Thanks to that diplomatic attitude, which echoes the amazing warmth of his genre-hopping song writing, Smith has worked with other artists ’dream actors. In 2018, Black key The guy in front Dan Auerbach Smith’s Wild, Ear Insect-solo album Rod for your love And it leaves it up to him Simple eye sounds Label Smith himself had previously made albums Shannon and The Clams And Cool ghosts, And its Meryl Garbus listed Tune-yard To create the album The Sunset2016, Mood Baby Moods.

The new Sunset album, Hairdressers from Heaven, which was released on April 1, continues to thrive, as produced by James Mercer and Yuki Mathews. Shins At the Burn Studio in the backyard of Mercer’s in Portland. In addition to featuring contributions from such Bay Area Indie All-Star Kelly Stoltz And perhaps Sartin (The Fresh and Onalis, Skygreen cheetah), The album was first released on Smith’s newly established label, Rocks in Your Head. The label plans to release a compilation highlighting lesser-known Bay Area bands in mid-July এবং and will include a handmade zine with each copy এর followed by a tie-in celebration a week later.

Smith wants to make all the releases in Rocks in Your Head himself, and work with emerging works like Galloway and Pre-school. With all his experience on both sides of the Mentor / Protege relationship, we asked Smith about the advantages and challenges of working with others.

Spotify for Artists: How did James and Yuki come from The Shins to create your new album?

Sonny Smith: I was in contact with the deceased Richard Swift It’s been a long time coming. We were sending demos again and again, but he died [before it was finalized]. We had [also] Mercer was talked about doing it and he was interested. He said he wasn’t really a producer, but he wanted to try it anyway.

Looks like there were a lot of happy surprises in terms of instruments and ideas.

I think so. I really wanted to create a record where the sound jumps everywhere and still sounds like an integrated record. This instrument, there are almost jazz songs [“Man Without a Past”] After a country song with a sax and stuff, a jingle tune [“Take a Hard Look Down the Long Corridor”], Before a drum machine jam [“Drug Lake”]. I just didn’t want to keep a record that would be easily pigeonholed.

You have recorded a lot so far. Why do you need an outside producer?

Need is probably not the right word, because yes, I can make records. [But] In all my records, I have tried something new. They tend to be different. There was one that was somewhat the opposite [2012’s Longtime Companion] It was the choice of many people, right after that which was more synth-heavy and New Wave-Y [2013’s Antenna to the Afterworld]. Whenever I get a producer, it’s about how we can make it different.

Last year you did a solo album with Dan Auerbach. How was it

He is a much more classic producer. You go to Nashville and work in his studio, which is set up the way he wants. He works very fast – we were doing four to six songs a day, bringing them to the end point. He’s got his system, and he’s one of those producers who really printed his own word. He likes to play on the record, adding guitar and stuff, which I totally was. Although I made records where I didn’t want to play them.

How does your work as a producer fit into the picture?

As a producer I have never advertised myself very hard. But I’ve been producing a lot lately for new labels. I’ve just made a few new bands this year, and moved to San Francisco [more]. Galloway Hall is the one I made and put out; Pre-school, I just made a song of them for the compilation. They are pretty great.

Did you learn anything from Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound?

I did, actually. I liked the idea I gave to create all the records on the label. I don’t know how long he can humanely keep it, but it’s a great way to create a word for your label. When he first talked about doing a label, I thought, “You know, it sounds like a headache.” But then after a while, I appreciated that he was doing it. Mostly I liked that model of band production.

Did you have a mentor in the beginning?

Not really. When I was in my 20s, I was always trying to play with older musicians – who had a lot of skills, because I was still trying to learn. But I did [now] I went the other way, where I started to feel that all these guys in their 50s knew everything. [Laughs] I’m back to trying to play with people who don’t necessarily find it all and learn from them.

You are probably exploiting the enthusiasm that they have at that age.

Yes, their minds are more open in certain ways. There are some creative things where I thought maybe I knew the best way, and then [younger] The band says something else and I’m glad I was wrong. For example, we don’t have to go back to the chorus after the bridge. [Laughs]

It is good that you are open like this.

Those who are just starting out, and just writing songs for the first time, can’t always run them well enough. But if they are executed very well, by session boys or something, it just takes life out of it. So there is this beautiful place to find [in the middle].

– Doug Wallen

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