While as a music fan and musician I was always interested who the engineers and producers were, I first started recording my music to capture my music. A practical endeavor. I’m sure paying attention to all that stuff helped inspire me to do it (with a Fostex X-15, probably the first cassette “porta-studio” on the market) and gave me some clues what to try and how to experiment. I had no training and very little information, just did the best I could. It was actually an interesting learning experience to do it that way. Later, of course, I began to look more to industry icons and got more involved in production. Then the digital age turned things on their head a bit, but it was a very exciting time. Now it just seems like “how it is”.
I think an early influence on me was the early Alice Cooper records. I loved Alice in the ACB and at least through Welcome to my Nightmare. Also “Clones (We’re All)” from Flush the Fashion.
Black Sabbath and Budgie came up too, I think that was Rodger Bain. I was big on Bachman-Turner Overdrive which I think Randy Bachman produced. I was really big on Sweet who were produced by Mike Chapman and Nikki Chinn. I thought the songwriting and performing was great, and they had some cool production tricks to make the music jump out with excitement.
Other early influences were AC/DC (Vanda & Young), Scorpions (Dieter Diercks), Judas Priest (Rodger Bain, Chris Tsangarides, Roger Glover, etc), Van Halen (Ted Templeman), Def Leppard (Mutt Lange) … the list could go on and on.
I saw Eddie Kramer on a “Waves Signature” tour or something like that, pitching his line of plugins basically. But he gave a full presentation that was really cool. He talked about the old days working with Hendrix and Zeppelin, the Woodstock recordings, etc. Then the modern DAW of course. One thing he said really stuck with me; “make decisions and move on”. That was his creative process and it worked well for him. Back in the days of tape you didn’t have much choice, unless you were into fancy tricks and splicing. As technology has given us tons more options, it’s easy to get caught up in too many choices.