Michael Beck is a man in demand. As the owner, engineer, and producer at SoundVision Recording Studio, he has worked with clients including Soilwork, Marilyn Manson, Abigail Williams, Black Dahlia Murder, Daath, and many many more.
Why are we talking about him here on BadassConcert.com then? Well, because we’re super f*cking pumped about the upcoming Slantpiece record, and HE engineered and produced it, that’s why!
Beck is originally from Lincoln, NE, and has worked with several bands from his home state, including Johnny Legion and Paisty Jenny. He also produced and engineered the first Slantpiece album, Get you Some, and will be working with Empires End on their debut release.
I was fortunate enough to get a few minutes of Michael’s time to ask him some questions about his career and his work with Slantpiece.
Damascus Wootz: Most of our readers are probably going to know you best for your work with Slantpiece. Your studio is in Mesa, AZ, so tell me, how did you get hooked up with Slantpiece from Kearney, NE?
Michael Beck: I did a record for Johnny Legion (Omaha,Nebraska), then for Cronus (Kansas), who were managed by Christy from Code Blue. They were friends & had heard the records I did for them, as well as the “Head in a Haze” release for Paisty Jenny (Lincoln,Neb) I did for Direct Hit Records. Small worlds. Lol.
DW: What studio do you work at when you are working in Nebraska?
MB: I mainly work out of Fuse Recording in Lincoln, NE. They have the best live room in the area, great gear that is similar to my studio, and I have known Tim from Fuse for a long time. I’m originally from Lincoln before moving to Arizona in 1994 to pursue my “rock & roll dreams.”
DW: How long have you been doing this kind of work, and how did you get started?
MB: I was a singer in several touring bands & realized at some point that a touring musician really only makes money when touring (Go figure). So I did a demo for a band, they were subsequently signed, and it just went from there. I was able to work doing recording & had a knack for it, when I wasn’t touring. Incidentally, a producer who I had worked with previously on one of my own releases, noticed my “knack” several years earlier and told me he would help me if I was ever interested. But at the time, I was too busy being a singer in a rock band to focus on anything else. I’ve always been pretty motivated, but when I was ready, he was there for me. Still is! Tom Tatman (Stone Sour, Tora Tora) from Catamount Recording.
DW: What are some of the biggest differences in working with local bands
compared to working with big name acts?
MB: Not much really. Most of the bands I work with are pretty career motivated. So label or not, I run a pretty tight session. And although we have a ton-o-fun, we WORK! All for naught if you walk away from a cool session with an average release. Not on my watch!!!
DW: What kind of preparation would you suggest to bands that are getting ready to record?
MB: Know your songs BPMs. Even if we change them, it’s nice to have a starting point. And again, have fun, but realize this is a career move. Not your chance to play rockstar. That can only happen after the work is done, or that will be all you get out of it.
DW: You knocked out the tracking for the upcoming Slantpiece record “Second Wind” in just a couple days. What’s the key to getting a lot of work done in a short amount of time?
MB: Well, I think it was 5 days. But this was my second record for those guys (I did their “Get You Some” release as well). So, they were more familiar with how I work, and what I expect, and came in with that in mind. So things moved quickly.
DW: What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t live without?
MB: My ears. No, seriously! They are my most precious possession and I’ve learned to trust them. I hear things in puzzle pieces, and if it don’t fit – redo it! Sometimes I don’t even know why, I just know. You gotta have quality gear, it just makes things work quicker and easier, but I’ve heard horrible records on great gear. It’s the ears, not the gear, man! Lol.
Well if you need some quality recording work, I think you know where to go. If you need some quality metal, make sure you watch out for the new Slantpiece album. If you need to have a good time…..
…get out and pay some cover charges f*ckers!!