An interview with engineer/producer, Beau Hill!

An interview with engineer/producer, Beau Hill!
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#1

Hi guys,

I’ve mentioned that I’ve had this for a while. I’ll explain a little bit to set you up for how this all went down. So one day, I change management and go with this chic that was a real dominating force in marketing, selling artists and was just someone I felt good about. It’s 2008 at the time, and we’re ready to start touring and doing some cool stuff.

This chic managing me tells me that the new album I’m working on will be produced by Beau Hill. I stopped in my tracks and said “THE Beau Hill…as in the dude with over 90 million sales under his belt that worked with Winger, Warrant, Ratt, Alice Cooper, Dweezil Zappa, Europe and just about any 80’s band that had a killer guitar sound?!” She says “yep.” I didn’t buy into it at all. LOL!

One day she says he’s gonna call me. I play along. The phone rings and sure enough, caller ID read “Hill, Beau”. I nearly crapped myself because this guy was responsible for some killer productions in the 80’s and worked with some of my favorite players. Needless to say, I was as nervous as a kid going to a new school for the first time. But in 10 seconds, there was no need to be nervous. The guy was so unbelievably cool, I felt like I knew him. And then once we established that I had a clue, with two world wide releases and some decent production on my second album, he started asking ME questions.

At the time, Beau was just sort of getting into the whole digital recording thing. He was so used to tape machines, Neve’s and other goodies working for Atlantic and others that this was all new to him. From plugins to pro tools and all of the above. Solid analog guys can really have a learning curve…especially when they come from working with some of the top labels in the top studio’s. Then you try to transfer what you know to your new digital gear in your domain and well, you know how that can go.

Anyway, to make a long story short…errr…sort of…we began talking over the next few months and years like buds. I never expected to have a friend like this. But through him, others followed. He and others also shared some really great stories with me as well as tips and tricks from when they were in the spot light with the 80’s bands.

One day, I got this idea to interview Beau sometime in 2010. I wasn’t sure he’d go for it or ask for a fee etc. So I threw all caution to the wind and asked. He was as excited as I was to take part in it. I mean hell, how often can any of us interview a big name producer or just call them on the phone to shoot the breeze? I definitely feel gifted and quite lucky. Beau never did work with me on my album, but that wasn’t the fault of he or I. I sort of changed my direction a bit and decided to scrap that album and do something else.

So, here’s the interview in all of its glory…spelling and grammar errors…we even had some weird thing with html and his mac sending me weird text. LOL! So if you see a few anomalies, neither of us are stupid. I did just try to correct as many as I could because some stuff came out strange. Double " " and some weird characters. LOL!!! Enjoy.

Beau Hill Danny Interview.pdf (314.3 KB)


#2

Did you feel like you were only “Seventeen” and break out in a “Cold Sweat”?

I bet that cost a pretty “32 Pennies”.

When he answered did he say “Got Me On the Line”?

You decided to “Take A Chance” because it was “Dangerous But Worth the Risk”?

I’m glad it wasn’t a “Lack of Communication”.

Did he “Give It All” in the interview?

Did you think to yourself “I Want this Night To Last Forever”?


#3

Thanks Danny!


#4

That interview confirms my suspicions. Beau’s a guy that knows exactly what he wants and exactly how to get it. Funny how he talks about being dragged into digital kicking and screaming, because I thought the SPARS code on some of his later era CD’s were DDD or at least ADD, like Cherry Pie and the first two Winger albums. I really enjoyed that interview, he really stressed how a great musician is as important as any mic technique. He has worked with a ton of abnormally talented people. I wonder what he does at 7PM now that the time slot is open? Maybe you should ask Beau to join the forum. Needless to say it’s my kind of music, and my era. I think a lot of people on here are either too old or too young to have grown up with his records, but they gotta agree his GTR sounds are pretty darn good.


#5

Cool interview, Danny… On the subject of Beau, here is a fairly comprehensive interview I heard with him a while ago:


#6

Glad you guys enjoyed it. Yeah, it was my era as well. But I only really liked the guitar players and some of the singers. The songs were usually more image than talent, but we had a few greats. I was never a 90’s grunge guy, but one thing that I did like about that time…it brought bassists and drummers back into the mix as well as killed some of the image related things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for image to the point where someone looks like they are in a band. I dig the hair and cool clothes. I don’t miss the hairspray or the image selling the band over having talent within the music. I’m glad we are where we are today, but wish some of the talent was better in all areas. Singers are more unique than actually good. I always hate when “unique” is used in place of “talented”. I’m also glad the 80’s guitar Olympics are over. Whew, any time I thought I was really getting good, some lunatic came out that was better and faster than me. LOL! :slight_smile:


#7

Good one…checking it out now until my render is done. :slight_smile: Thanks for sharing!


#8

I finally had a chance to sit and read the interview. This is fantastic! I’d love to post this on here as a non-pdf version on the site too if that’s cool.

I wonder if he’d ever consider joining us on here for some Q&A some time? Maybe time it with a mix contest or something? Perhaps a guest judge?? Now my wheels are turning :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

@holster That’s what I thought. It would be great if Beau would visit us, or in a dreamland became an active member? It’d be pretty damn cool to have a real industry legend like Beau around.


#10

Sure B, go on and do a non PDF if you wish. As for Beau being on a forum, I’ve asked him about that in the past. He wasn’t really interested because of the potential disagreements that can come up. This is the reason most stars don’t participate. Just think how good it would look on the resume of some joker looking for entertainment…“I fought with Beau Hill and pissed him off to where he lost his composure, hahaha!”

He’s also a bit busy to take part in stuff like this. From our chats about 2 years ago (I need to call him) his schedule has gotten really tight. Then again, you have to want to be on a forum like this helping people and putting yourself out there. That’s not for everyone especially when you get to star status.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no star but I’ve gotten pretty close and have done some awesome things. The more things you do to where you get a little notoriety, the more people want to take you down and see you lose your way.

I’ve always vowed that no matter how popular I got, I’d never change who and what I am. I love helping people and setting the record straight for those that attempt to make this field harder than it needs to be. But I’m also a little more selective these days. I’ve curbed my forum habits considerably due to idiots ruining it for me and others. Who needs that? Police it or allow the place to lose good people over time ya know?

On the other hand, some of the popularity I’ve gained brought out people that were awesome. I just wish there were more of those kinds of people over those wanted to piss me off on purpose. And they succeeded. What can I say…this is more than words on a screen to me that I can’t just shut down. There are real people on here that are passionate just like me about this stuff.

But there are also people that thrive on the entertainment part that ruin it for everyone. These individuals are why you don’t see stars taking part other than in places that are heavily moderated. You wouldn’t get the chance to fight with a star on gesrslutz.

Anyway, if and when I do talk to.Beau, I’ll see what his thoughts are. I know he won’t have the time, but then again…you never know. This seems to be a cool enough place to where maybe he can choose another nic that isn’t his real name and it will be our little secret. We’d definitely get the idiots to come out if people knew he was here…but we’d also gain some really good ones too. We’ll see…I can’t promise anything. I’m probably as busy as he is or more and you see how limited my presence is. :frowning:


#11

Great interview, Danny. You asked him the right questions, and his responses were informative. In addition, he just sounds like a guy who loves what he does, and also enjoys the people he works with.
With his wealth of experience, he would be great just throwing some tips out there for us from time to time. Same format as your interview with a little more detail would be perfect.
Thanks for the post.


#12

Oh my god, you’re Beau Hill!


#13

Cool interview thanks Danny!


#14

Unfortunately, I’m really Danny Danzi. Sorry to disappoint. :frowning: Wishful thinking though.


#15

Had another thought. I’m putting together a Q&A for Larry at ADK mics on here and maybe he’d be up for doing something like that? We could put together the questions ahead of time from users and send them over to let him choose what he wants to answer :wink:


#16

Do you know if Beau was involved in the reissue of the Ratt EP? I FINALLY found a copy on CD today, and only $6! It’s hella rare. The original version of the EP was released on Time Coast Music (Marshall Berle’s label) and then remixed by Atlantic without “You’re In Trouble”. Both mixes are pretty rough, but I was wondering if Beau had a hand in remixing it because no one is credited for mixing. Only the original engineer Ed Stasium gets credit, but no one is credited for the remix. I don’t think the mix is bad, it’s just the original recording is super low budget. Doesn’t really sound like Beau and he’s never said anything about doing it.


#17

If I had to guess, I’d say you’re correct and he had nothing to do with that ep. Back then, name credits were super important. I believe if he were involved they would have given him a name credit. That album isn’t on his resume anywhere…if I happen to talk to him anytime soon, I’ll ask.