This month, Prudence Clark from Off the Record went behind the scenes of the music industry and spoke to one of Australia’s highly regarded producers, Jordan Power, whose worked with some fabulous local musicians, producing and fine-tuning their up-coming albums. As much as we all love music and listening to a new song or album, it’s sometimes nice to recognise the people behind the scenes who actually make it all happen.
Could you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself, your projects and any new music/tours you are currently working on/about to release/bands you’re working with?
I am a music producer and recording/mix engineer based in Byron Bay where I have a studio in the Byron hinterland. It’s bloody paradise! I’ve been in the recording industry for 13 years, being in-house at Studios 301 and then in Byron Bay before going freelance and setting up my own space six years ago. The studio has been absolutely pumping this year with so many releases dropping lately and more coming soon. I’ve been working on records with Ben Gillies, Ash Grunwald, MT WARNING, Nick Cunningham, Luke Morris, El Cosgrove, Israeli Chicks, Grizzlee Train, Maximillian and many others. I also managed to snag myself a Golden Guitar award this year for Kasey Chambers latest record which is an absolute cracker.
What have you been listening to lately?
So much! Looking at my Spotify, my high rotation artists have been Andy Shauf, Kevin Morby, Mac DeMarco and Damien Jurado. There’s always Some Sturgill Simpson and Colter Wall in there too! A lot of the time after a day’s work though, I like listening to instrumental music, and that lately has been Chilly Gonzales’ records ‘Solo Piano 1,2 and 3’. They’re incredible
Any musicians that you have worked with that have influenced your music/production style or your life in some way? How so?
I try to keep evolving my production style and a lot of the time this comes from the artists I collaborate with so, honestly, most bands I work with. I guess more specifically, recording and mixing with Dope Lemon on their first two releases and also on the MT WARNING albums has helped me focus on songs and performance, rather than being hung ups on the precision on the engineering side of things. There is of course, often a place for that, but I’ll always take a great performance and vibe over a technically correct mic position.
What advice would you give to up and coming producers looking to crack into the industry? What would you say to new musicians looking to make it in the cut-throat industry?
I came into the industry in a really “traditional” way, through a big studio with hierarchy. I loved that process, as I got to sit next to my favourite producers for years and learn off them. I’d suggest to up and coming producers that they hassle studios and producers on their preferred style, then gain some experience and soak it up. As for musicians, I really think being true to your songs is important, as well as getting some solid management behind you.
What makes you want to work with a musician?
Stories! That’s the big one for me. Helping an artist or band tell their story and shaping it into some alt country goodness, indie rock or wherever it needs to go.
If I came over to your place, what albums would I find on your coffee/bedside table?
Such a mix. But physically out at the moment has been Kevin Morby’s ‘City Music’ record, Father John Misty’s ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ and I’ve been revisiting John Frusciante’s back catalogue on vinyl. So good.
A world without books and music would be….
Unimaginable really! I’m not going to go too deep on this but, damn. That’d be shit.
IMAGE: Jane Rantail for Rebel on a Rainbow