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Creating Imaginary Backdrops (Innerviews 1993)

You're known for being highly critical of your own playing. What do you think of it on Wardenclyffe Tower?

The problem I have with Wardenclyffe Tower is that the album was recorded a long time before it was mixed. It was recorded over a year prior to releasing it and the reason is that we recorded it and the scheduling was such that I could never get to mix it. I started to mix it one time and I wasn't happy with the mixes so I stopped and we went out on the road. I came back and tried it again. I usually go to Front Page [studios] in Costa Mesa and I mixed it there pretty quick. I thought it was going okay, and then when I listened to the mixes I wasn't happy with them, so I didn't release it. I was gonna do it again, but because of the amount of time that had gone by, I started to get really fed up. I was getting very tired of it. So I thought, having played the mixes to my friends and the guys, to release the mixes that I had done at Front Page, which is how the album is now. But I'm not completely happy with the way the mixes are now.

Why didn't you mix the new album at home?

I decided to go to the studio at that time with Wardenclyffe Tower because I didn't have my home studio set-up working because we had just moved. So, otherwise I would have tried to do it at home again, but I didn't have a set-up going at the house. We moved everything and I lost the set-up I had, so I had to start again. I think the album is what it is. I think it's pretty good. The thing that lets it down for me is just that I would have liked to mix a couple of tracks again—not everything.

Makin’ Trax (Guitar 1994)

Why do it at home?

It's cheaper. It's very difficult to make the kind of album I want to make with the budgets we get. The basic tracks are done very quickly, usually in three or four days. But the critical thing for me is mixing; that's what's done at home. That takes a while because I go at my own speed and I don't do it all the time. What I try to do these days is get it where I want it and then walk away for a bit...go out on my bike or go for a beer. Then when I come back I can hear it much more clearly. I find when I do it too quickly I focus on the EQ of the guitar or bass, say, and I miss other things. After I come back, I'll be shocked. I'll say, "Jeez, the bass drum is way too loud."