Elton John, Chris Rea, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers and much more

by | Jun 1, 2022

Transcript (unedited)

hello i’m tony millward and this is part two of my interview with top recording engineer and producer stuart epps.

i’ve done everything been on tour with kiki i’ve fallen in love with a girl who lived in an ice cream band in hawaii and i thought that’s for me [Music]

so i went to see gus tommy and i’m leaving he said oh dear that’s a shame i’m building a studio i bought i’m buying this place in cookham anything that gus is going to be good so i said i’m i’m i’m with you i’m coming on board

the last zeppelin album was the first thing i did with jimmy yeah and and he was he’s an amazing producer really he’s he’s a very intelligent guy did the code round we did deathwish 2 which was pretty amazing project as well

and then we did the firm which was definitely an amazing project with paul rogers i was going to write a book called trouble at mill [Music] there’s definitely a curse on that do you really believe it’s haunted yes

i brought him to the mill yeah now he’s kicking me out yeah so we had a good row about that but he’s a great big bullies where is he i mean i was just wondering about um uh the mill rather right 1974 i decided to retire i’ve done everything been on tour with kiki i’d fallen in love with a girl who lived in an ice cream van in hawaii

and i thought that’s for me i’ve done everything been everywhere seen it all i’m now 23 getting well old time to retire so i thought right and anyway things that uh rocket weren’t great

john reader just fired kiki’s band roger pope because elton wanted him for his band and steve brown had left he’d gone he left and i didn’t get on with john particularly well at all trying to strangle me once and that was the least of the problems and kept telling me to off

it must have been him i think it could well have been yeah but anyway yeah he didn’t smoke cigar that wouldn’t have suited him but anyway um so

i thought i’ll go around and say goodbye to everyone i’ll take out now for a meal because we’ve always been nice to me and all that and then i’m off to hawaii

so i went to see gus who was up in uh rockfield a great studio up in rockfield uh making an album he was making an album with a band called solution for rocket records anyway i told him i’m leaving he said oh dear that’s a shame he said anyway i’m building a studio i bought i’m buying this place and cook them cookham on it mommy i used to go there when i was a kid

i loved cooking he said well go and look at it go and look at the place that i’ve bought anyway always remember that and uh austin haley sprite wobbling down the m4 came off the m4 axis 7 go down to this amazing admittedly broken down uh property but beautiful place by the river and cucumb’s amazing and i just thought wow this this is this is great and if gus whatever gus does is it’s got to be good and he’s talking about building this is and i hadn’t worked in a studio for years but anything that gusted is going to be good so i said i’m i’m i’m with you i’m coming on board

so uh we met and and he’s gonna pay me 60 pounds a week and uh i’m going to leave home because i was still at my parents this is after this big tour with kiki and um yeah so this was now embarking on building this studio downhill lane not a mile from here and um it wasn’t supposed to take as long as it did it took two years to build an incredible building project all encompassing loved it a bit i rented a well i was rent i rented a cottage in in the high street which was costing me 40 pounds a week and

i’m getting 60 pound a week and i was only telling this story to someone the other day i’ve never been shopping before i’ve been living with parents i went to the shop and a tin of baked beans it says three quid and uh i don’t know corn flakes six quid or something and i thought i’ve had it so it’s a two tin of baked beans and a box of corn flakes for the weekend i’m at it anyway it was a cash and carry

i didn’t know what cash and carry was that was for a dozen tins but anyway i love cooking took to it incredibly well and then we built this eventually unbelievable studio the best studio on the planet certainly the most expensive one cost a million pounds 1974 gus went totally mad only the best he did it like he like one of elton’s productions you know nothing was and um and the idea initially was to build it to remix elton’s albums in quadrophonic

which was the thing of the time quadrophonic didn’t really take off but uh it was also to for gus to now uh sign up new artists uh to experiment and actually i wasn’t the engineer when’s when the mill was built the the engineer was phil dunn who had mixed all elton’s albums with gus i was the assistant living there looking after the place the cleaner this that and the other but it was an amazing start um young guy came along from middlesbrough

we got really friendly he was a nice bloke i really liked his songs that’s chris rear and we did an album with a band called voyager great band yeah great banner hotel yeah i’m still mates with them i still use the keyboard player paul hirsch really he’s often here we he’s still brilliant musician and paul french yeah in fact i’m friends with uh all of them chris hook and um [Music] well we did some great stuff we did uh uh what’s that pound oh blimey from lindisfarne

lindisfarne thanks very much you read my mind run for home we did that the only problem was that gus and then on the second chris rear album uh phil dunn was always interested in doing something else because gus used to take forever so i started sitting in the engineers chair instead of the assistant engineers chair and because i i love gus’s productions and we go on like brilliantly anyway

I love gus and so i now was became gus’s engineer on that because i said this is you know i want to do the whole whole album not just come in on the end so so me and gus were now like a team engineer producer at the mill which was totally amazing the only drag was that he was just keeping awake you know you long hours oh particular sounds 18 hours a day wow crazy you didn’t know if it was getting light getting dark you know it was all that stuff so what was the learning curve

i mean you had an amazing 42 channel mixing desk which was big at the time and mci wasn’t it mci 40 channel desk uh and all that real estate i mean and gus when the when the equipment was bought then um you know four echo plates instead of one i mean whatever the the technology whatever the height of technology was then uh we had it at the mill so apart from microphones

which was still the best ones was still the ancient you know 67s and 8 and 47s or whatever yeah but we had everything there all that i mean and the main and now yeah i’d be it’s i obviously went to all these a lot of recording sessions well i was responsible in finding you know the studio in in france where the chateau where the yellow brick road was made and all that but i never spent hours and hours with gus in the studio

you know you’d probably just go at the end of a session we’ll be there for a couple of hours having a giant and listening to the new year i think that’s where he was inspired to get one of those desks wasn’t it the the chateau it was absolutely yeah the story behind that because he he went to uh i’m not sure it probably was the chateau actually and the story is that because gus was an amazing storyteller so everything that he experienced if it was something a bit whatever there’d be a and a two-hour story anyway the story is that

he was in the studio where the musicians are you know the studio part listening to a band and then he walked into the control room and he said it was the same sound and and although that sounds mad of course it’s the same sound in those days like with deca or ib road all these big studios when you went in the control room it was all this like different different noise you know with reverbs and so um and he just said what desk is that and they said mci but the thing is as i say gus never did anything by house and so he didn’t want the off-the-shelf mci

he wanted to part design it himself he wanted it in his own colours he crackers gus i mean amazing you just don’t get people like him anymore he didn’t wear the same clothes as anyone else he was always outrageously dressed but very smart elton called him the james bond of the recording industry he could lance your main artery on those creases because he used to used to wear his socks gus really yeah and his underpants as well probably not sure about that no

no i think that might be a bit pushing it a bit where would you put the crease well exactly you’d have loved us well everyone loved gus really yeah so if you’re into perfectionist yeah flamboyant yeah totally amazing i mean his house in in cobham was just my favorite house of all time he probably spent five million on that and it wasn’t any it wasn’t a mat it wasn’t a castle but every little area all right i’ll tell you one story about the male which is a good one

yeah um to show gus’s festivities fastidiousness thank you and immaculate whatever right so the controller is all being built i mean it’s just to have the most well the guy that was the architect was a guy called eddie veal who did uh that house next to uh your guy that you met he did lennon’s house he did ringo’s studio he did george’s studio you know eddie veal amazing uh architect and um

so they built this you know all that and they’re forming the control room anyway this day they’re putting this because it was the set mid 70s so everything was dark brown all that thick pile carpet anyway they’re putting this material up on the walls which is beautiful it’s like a brown it’s like um suede you know it’s like it probably was suede it was probably leather i don’t know actually putting it all over the controller and looked amazing beautiful you know with all the paneling between it and all that i spent weeks on it anyway

gus only used to because he’d be on tour he’d be somewhere rather make an album so so gus popped in um and he’s looking round at what they’re doing and all that and all that and he walks in the control room and he goes oh yeah he said hmm don’t think that’s that’s not the right color and what we’re talking about yeah he says that’s not the right color he goes into his pocket and pulls out what we used to call a swatch now that pulls out a swatch oh yeah like a color sample just happens so he puts it up against the wall like that yeah and to our amazement it isn’t the same color and he’s going yeah not the same what the anyway eddie veal comes along gets the swatch goes like that now it’s the same color ah so the way the light was falling on it and well immediately gus says oh there you go you’ve hung it upside down and

then this ridiculous conversation takes place which way up should have it should it have been home what exactly because it had a pile it had a pile on it basically yeah yeah so one way up it’s dark yeah anyway you can bet your life it all came off and went up again and gus would have paid for it you know how many times have i told that story hundreds well i’ve never heard it before but everything gus did was immaculate uh and he would and yeah of course we did the uh ice on fire was the last album uh was the was gus got this chance again really was to do another out now yeah and as far as he was concerned this was going to be the best out now we ever made in which case it had to take even longer than all the rest

t was going to cost more than all the rest we did it digitally it nearly drove me mad i nearly had a nervous breakdown when my son was being born and um it was murder basically and uh but anyway eventually this was because gus had to sell the studio this was after he sold it sold the studio to jimmy page so was it not making enough money it made a lot of money for gus but it didn’t make enough money to pay back the tax man who gus narrowed a million pounds to or something because his accountant who was a bit of a naughty man who had been juggling queen’s money and and el and gus’s money and all that wasn’t paying the tax man basically because gus kept spending it you see so the accountant i think was thinking i’ll pay the tax man with the next royalty statement and the royalty statements went down so eventually gus had to sell the mill

you know he had to sell the studio and that was when jimmy bought it and i started working for jimmy yeah which was a pretty amazing time as well right yeah because he’s quite a character quite a unusual character as well isn’t he slightly very eccentric yes totally excited have you got any stories about about him yes well i mean tell me one you haven’t told anybody else well that’s not likely um well no there’s no there’s no sort of um you know he’s very shy very quiet really sort of guy but we did a lot of work i was working with him for five years not that yeah in that time we only did the uh we did we mixed the last the last zeppelin album was the first thing i did with jimmy yeah and uh and he was he’s an amazing producer really he’s he’s a very intelligent guy so that was all um unreleased material wasn’t it so yeah what was left over remastered because i didn’t realize but they had to do another round for atlantic and they wanted to get out of their record deal

so it was like well actually that’s not why that was also the reason why he did it was because bonham died yeah i mean i was getting ready to record zeppelin at the middle and looking forward to it and then bonham was found dead at jimmy’s house that was the end of that didn’t hear from jimmy for a while and then eventually he said we’re gonna we he didn’t really he didn’t tell me everything we didn’t sort of discuss like oh what are we doing now you know things would sort of happen so um this was put this was really a tribute to to bonham yeah the uh the coder album we were doing this amazing drum track and uh yeah like six minutes yeah it was the first thing i got to do with jimmy and the thing is that he wasn’t the easiest guy to understand you know well he’s are you listening jimmy come on you were very out of it at the time hello trusting one two three he was very out of it at the time so you know he wasn’t easy to work with from that point of view

yeah but his ideas and what we were doing was all was all brilliant and uh so we did the code round we did deathwish too which was pretty amazing project as well and then we did the firm which was definitely an amazing project with paul rogers oh what it would be yeah brilliant yeah so i i should have had a producer’s credit but didn’t go from one but and also when jimmy owned the studio i was now running the whole place i’ve got no gus you know it’s only me doing everything really running the whole place we had a maintenance guide but um and then phil carson who was head of atlantic records with zeppelin and all that would bring in cl uh bands and he was the one that sent down twisted sister this mad bunch oh yes i ended up producing

yeah and vandenberg so actually uh from my point of view i was now getting to do some production you know which was uh which was great really and and that was a yeah it was a great period um mcfleetwood with george harrison and you know because uh jimmy would obviously tell bill wyman i’ve got the studio and then i’m working with bill so it was a great time really that five years yeah who’s frankie the fish well he wasn’t frankie the fish he was frankie fish oh just frankie and uh he’s he’s a guy called dick graves which you can imagine you might want to change your name if you’re becoming a pop star yeah it’s a frankie fish well you might not change it to frankie fish unless you were called elton john and uh anyway frankie richard dick frankie uh was signed to rocket as a young lad he came to rocket records it wasn’t me that i don’t think i saw him he’s a very good looking uh young chat great voice great singer great songwriter and we took him on you know we signed him to rocket yeah um and i used to take him to the studio to denmark street we started doing demos and it was elton that called him frankie fish

not quite sure why right but el i told you elton’s sense of fume was pretty mental yeah but frankie’s he died but uh he’s a great guy frankie he’s great he did change his name there’s a great website eric fish yeah that’s much more appealing fish yeah um yeah i was going to say i don’t know if you’ve come across it but there’s a great website called um mill recording studios of course i have you’ve seen it yeah of course you’re on it of course i am well that’s that’s rum that it was rod rod the spjard we used to call him but uh rod duggan who put that together yeah that’s he did that that’s very nice yeah there’s something great he’s got some great pictures yeah well the mills down it was down the road it was the most amazing place and

i used to love showing people around when we were building it i certainly used to love showing people around when it was built the only the the problem for me was the the work i did with uh because i also you know uh chris rear bought the mill yes and owned it for about 10 years lease it for like two years from no no he owned it when he owned it he worked in it all all the time oh right i’d i’ve read that another company bought it and then he built studio two and then he leads studio two for like a year or no you’ve got that kind of around the wrong way i’ll i’ll tell you the story i’ll go on there the story is that um what is the story the i no wait i left the mill i left the mill i don’t know what year but i’d had it with jimmy to be honest it was it was uh i mean he yeah i probably shouldn’t have left actually but i was getting a lot of freelance i could see a lot of freelance work and being stuck in them stuck in the mill even though i had the run of the mill but um yeah so i left and funnily enough i got divorced as well and then i rented the cottage right next to all the mill pretty weird really

but i’d always want i love living there yeah so i was renting this place next door and meanwhile jimmy had sold the studio to these two producers music guys guys sort of business guys they bought the mill and they ripped it apart to be honest they ripped out all the great equipment and they put in all modern stuff and kind of ripped out some of the nice things about it anyway they started running it as a more commercial studio and they stuck the old desk the mci in what was the garage and they built studio two right it was them that built studio two yeah so um at some point chris decides to rent studio 2 because he wants to get more into songwriting and all that so i heard about this and i thought okay that would be fun so i told chris how about i’ll come and engineer for you at studio two and he went yeah great so we set about doing uh a year in the studio too and while you’re getting some amazing stories out of me good my my yes it is so while we’re actually in there at some point yeah one of these guys comes over and says we’ve gone bust um the liquidators are coming in it’s all gone tits up

we’re off and so i immediately said to chris  great come come buy the mill come buy it well i don’t want it you buy it and i should have bought it but could you bought it at the time i should what could you could you know on what christmas paying me hardly but anyway anyway so um anyway chris should have bought them anyway so the mill then gets sold to a guy and his wife called mr and mrs tweeddale who don’t want the studio at all they sell all the gear he moves in moves into the house uh i can’t believe i’m telling this story chris says he’s going to france because we got oh we’ve all got to get out i guess we’ve all got to get out because he’s not buying the mill we’re all got to get out so he says come on we’re going to france i said well i’m not going to france i like it here so he goes to france loses half his um pancreas on the way oh yeah gets very sick over there

he gets ill he’s in france meanwhile i do a deal with mr and mrs tweedale to start running because he’s he hasn’t got rid of the gear the gear is still in studio two the mci oh right so i think  great i loved it in studio too of course you see so i said i did a deal with tweeddale to buy the mci and i started running studio two as my studio my first okay studio on my own and it was it was totally brilliant i had bill wyman coming in there and georgie and i all sorts of bit yeah george of fame and uh what’s his name um jeff beck you know i mean this guy used to go for dinner tweet out he’d be out with his he said well we had jeff back in the in the house and they go yeah right i know and bill wyman i suppose and elton john’s in there yeah it was yes as a matter of fact yeah and uh anyway i was having a great time see the story’s going on too long for you know that i’ve been a great time i’m getting my next question chris said  suddenly comes in half dead saying oh stuart made a terrible mistake general mistake you know

i got ill i got this that and the other i should have brought the meal shouldn’t have left here tell him i want to buy it when i was having a great time apart from all these people i’ve also been the brunei and recorded a live album with elton for this billionaire brunei chat and having a great time making quite a lot of money it’s all going very well i said well chris look he’s only just bought the mill he’s doing it up look anyway so i told tweedow he said no i don’t want to sell it anyway things happened to tweedle because to be honest i think the mill is haunted it’s been given a uh you know years ago it was um given a sort of a hex with the purp you know they’ve put put a whatsit on it what do you call it like a put a something on it so that anyone who has it’s going to die or whatever well like a curse curse yeah why can’t i think of that word curse sorry it was a bit too much level there when i said curse you’ve got a limiter on that say it again quieter you put a curse on it no it’s i was going to write a book called trouble at mill

there’s definitely a curse on that do you really believe it’s haunted yes did anything happen do you know when they say a mill round your neck yeah because they used they got that and from when i guess mill owners you know they got this big factory the paying people all but one way or another it used to cut me i mean the course they could have made a lot of money but i think a lot of millwork mill owners maybe and somehow because that was a mill a thousand years ago somehow i felt that atmosphere is lingering along because i saw well gus lost everything on the mill yeah right um jimmy page bought the mill and his bucking drummer dead you know i’ve got a whole list of things trouble at mill um gus dies and his wife who owned the mill tweeddale always wanted the mill a few months later or maybe it was a year later his son got almost died his wife can’t stand the water noise he wishes he never bought the mill so eventually he said chris said offering it was almost double what the guy paid

and he said all right i’ll sell it chris buys the mill the day after he buys the mill his manager decides to leave him it’s haunted it’s um it’s like the woman who bought the mill some years ago her husband died the people who owned the mill now spent the fortune on it and the wife never gets let out the house as far as i can see so i think it is haunted one more got a curse on it so if you look it up curse of the mill it’s actually you’ve got me going now yeah i’ve got to stop at some point so it’s about being residential again what happened was it was owned by a guy who became lord mayor of london the whole family are buried at cookham church

hey’re called the venables family right they owned it when it was a paper mill mr venables bit of a lad when they were doing up cook em high street there’s this great big rock at one end of the high street it’s some sort of boundary rock they had to move it he said put that in my garden you can put that in my garden while you’re doing the road they put it in his garden they did the road then they asked for the rock back and he said no you can’t have it i want it so it is written i know you’re like my rock back i know you’re laughing but it’s written historically that from then on the villagers put a curse on whoever owned the male student oh what the meal student and so that’s why i used to like telling people that who bought the mill but i would leave it a little while after yeah wait until they’ve settled in not before they moved in anyway what was the question um well the next question is so you move out you’ve got you’ve got oh yeah i’ve got you’ve got a whole encyclopedia

here let alone a book why was it called the sod as well is that just uh it was called the soul because of uh it was at one time owned by sir evelyn delarue but uh so even delaware is part of the delaware family who were very rich and they made banknotes for they’re in plastics but i don’t know they got involved they also made fountain pens i think they might have even invented the fountain pen right but uh sir evelyn was a bit of a lad but he was from huguenot french descent and that’s why it’s called the soul sol apparently that’s huguenot french yeah but apparently they weren’t allowed to put um recorded at the mill on on any of the album sleeves because of some planning thing with the local council and so instead they used to write recorded by moonlight yeah i mean you’ve got you’ve got some of the things right but not necessarily in the right order so what it is so what it is is that um i actually think that gus didn’t want to call it the mill right because there was already another studio called the mill okay so and and and maybe he thought that was a bit too obvious because as i say gus was quite unusual guy

so the fact is it the how i told him probably the house is called the soul and he liked that so so we called it the soul recording studios and and someone came up with recording by moonlight because we were  always recording by okay so there’s nothing to do with the council building rights and things the only thing that’s to do with the council which is part of the story yeah is that we spent two years building the place and got on some of the neighbors nerves right because there’d be concrete lorries going up and down every two seconds so in the building of it mr and mrs chalabear who lived halfway up mill lane got really pissed off mrs shella bear was a bit of a lawyer so they decided to spill the beans because they decided that we were building a commercial recording studio right and the the mill the studio the whatever didn’t have commercial planning right so suddenly we’re gonna get closed down

so gus hired sherlock holmes i mean the bloke normally does murder cases and stuff but gus is a multi-millionaire so he hires this amazing guy and we go to court there was a big court case and and they put up against their fight that we’re using it as a commercial studio and um and basically uh we had to prove that it wasn’t it was just gus’s house you know it was a music room in fact they spent a million quid on it and all this yeah and there was only four walls left you know it’s a big music room yeah but anyway we won the case and we we won limited commercial use couldn’t use it at weekends which was a  godsend for me and um and yeah we won limited commercial use which probably has run out by now and so that there might have been some sort of local authority thing why didn’t we is that because you were saying why didn’t we call it the mill then why was it it’s a good yeah yes um i don’t i think there must have been another studio called the mill i think possibly yeah and gus maybe thought was a bit obvious so when you left the mill you went on to alvin lee’s private studio

what happened was husted chris rear walked in one day oh because when he built when he before he bought you know he’s me and euster i’m going to buy the mill that would be great you’ll be here and he did a lot of the backing vocals on his albums as well did all the backing buttons on the first down yeah yeah i’m singing on paul if you think it’s over in the whole album yeah we were good mates but anyway cut off yeah cut along sorry so one day i’m chris has owns the meal now i’m paying him rent he walks in one day he pretty much says you’ve got to  off he said i want this clip from my accountant nice guy chris thanks a lot yeah my account’s moving in you’ve got to move out so i take it thank you very much i brought him to the mill yeah now he’s kicking me out yeah so he had a good row about that but he’s a great big bully ears where is he and um so now i gotta find somewhere for all this gear and i found wheeler end which was alvin lee’s alvin lee fled his wife and left like the mary celeste left this amazing studio and so i did a deal with his wife and i moved the mci in there and started this it was an amazing studio uh wheeler end and was there for a good couple of years paying rent wasn’t mine and all that great studio where i worked with oasis and robbie and mark owen and bill wyman and uh paul weller

the the only thing was that um although i was doing well making money i wasn’t like i know charging a fortune and i always try and look after them as best i could you know sort of lavish stuff on them and it was it was good anyway um what really happened was that uh null had decided he liked it and he wanted it for his studio so i got kicked out of there as well you keep getting kicked out it’s in the religion you know us jews we get kicked out everything so what happened to the gear gear was that i sold it to a guy called adam francis we used to run brave studios i should never have sold it but anyway i did so i i then moved back to cookham because i’ve been at wheeler and i’ve been living there where is wheeler end is it far from here it’s not far it’s just past marlow really on the way to uh to henley really round the back right beautiful little village and um i mean it was a great time you know it was great working with robbie and all these people still put it on me cv and all that yeah and um it was a great studio i should never have sold that desk 42 channel gorgeous 42 channel mci desk so the thing with the mill is yeah that first of all it was a concrete box the whole of the studio was in concrete because it’s built on the next to the river so they had to put a lot of mass in anyway there was also a lot of mass to keep the sound out

gus is can’t we do a part two the thing with the first day the the first day that i mean gus had these huge jbl’s left and right base driver and a top end you could buy them off they’re off the shelf really we had four originally yeah the quad they were enormous and we had a big crown 500 watt ham anyway we whopped it up it was loud but as i was telling you about the story with the stuff on here gus walks in he puts on a tape he goes that’s not loud enough it’s not loud enough it’s loud it’s not loud enough we all stand around in amazement i mean he’s just spent like 10 grand on this the biggest high five you know control room sound that you can imagine it’s not loud enough so then they’re all scratching their heads but basically what happened was what happened was eddie veal and the guy called steven court got together they looked at this opening two openings which was surrounded by concrete so the idea was we’re going to have to put more speakers in there but we can’t make the opening bigger without using a thermal outlance or something to melt the concrete i don’t know anyway they measured it and apparently they measured they could just about get instead of 115 inch two 15 inch speakers

yeah but then they devised this plan to double the size of the monitors two 15-inch speakers in either side they’re gonna try a tri-amp or whatever it was doubling the amp capacity and now it was  loud and it had no relation on human beings at all it was just ridiculous so because gus’s idea was that he wanted to hear every frequency coming out of the instrument so if it was a bass drum he wanted to hear the very high frequencies it could it was producing to the very very lowest um so that he could then twiddle and fiddle with it and you know get rid of the minute so that was why so the so the monitors actually were the opposite of flat they were extremely uh low end heavy you know right so basically people used to come in and when we’d finish a track you’ve never heard it sound like it i mean it was phenomenal i bet it was i mean you can feel it as much as hero it’s like listening to a live band you know through a massive uh ifi system the thing is it never sounded like that anywhere else so people actually used to get rather pissed off they’d play it on their transistor radio or something and they go didn’t sound like that at the mill you know of course it doesn’t because we got great big speakers and that was in the days when if you wanted to appreciate great sound you had to have a enormous system to play it back on yeah and that’s gone out out the window now that’s yeah that’s what i find amazing with music these days i mean we got the technology to to make it sound fantastic and people listen to mp3 i do mixes now and i i’m i try and make sure that they sound big [Music] and then someone will ring up and say i can’t hear the bass i said oh yeah well what’d you play on well your phone so now i find myself listening to my own mixes on a phone or honey the bass turner that’s one of the hardest things though isn’t it

getting it to sound good on everything especially the bass gus in his meticulousness had our maintenance guy built a transmitter so that you could go out into the car park turn your radio on in the car and hear the mix that was playing in there i have heard that story yeah yeah well interestingly i i quite often judge my mixes yeah in the car and if yeah if it doesn’t sound good in the car i think no i’ve got a problem with someone over that we’ve done six albums it’s a religious album philip his name he’s got some  amazing cars but he doesn’t have a hi-fi in the house he listens to it in the car now the only thing with listening to stuff in the car is it will tend to be very low endy yeah so if you’ve got to be honest getting the sound right for a car and it to sound right on there is impossible because if you’ve got enough bass where you can hear it on there it’s going to be too loud anyway so it’s a bit of a juggling all right admittedly one way or another it should be possible to do yeah i i’ve got my favorite way of listening to my mixes after i i don’t even bother too much about the stereo i mean it’s all up here i sort of do it so um i listen on headphones

i’ve got a great pair of sony headphones they’re not very not not a lot of top end but um i like to listen when i finish the mix if it sounds good in there i know i i know it it’s good when it comes out there but basically obviously what’s happened is the equipment has gone from the only way you get to do it is by booking a recording studio to everyone’s got a studio yeah on their wrist watch right in it which to some extent is great and to some extent it’s not because to some extent a lot of those people ought to be trying to be engineers they should stick to being artists yeah doing i always say do what you do best you know if you can got a great boys would be a great singer like paul rogers if you can play guitar be a great guitar yeah but a lot of people want to do it all especially the girls you know the women they want to be the singer the songwriter the engineer the producer the don’t want anyone else doing anything so they spend the next rest of their lives trying to come up with something in their room yeah i mean it’s a craft in itself isn’t it it’s a total craft which and also i always say making music was something that was done by teams of people and that’s where and they used to call those bands as well you know some pretty good teams there you know and now everyone wants to do it all themselves and [Music] very few people like we know that in history that have managed to do that stevie wonder or michael j or even michael jackson

how the producer but there’s not many artists that have been able to be great producers great this great there yeah that’s right paul mccartney has done a bit of that well yeah i mean yeah but even we can’t use i think most people would agree he was better when he was with john you know i mean so what a team you know what an amazing team brilliant team yeah incredible team well stuart it’s been fascinating talking to you absolutely amazing great stories um i mean we’ve run out of time but we have to just go on and on we can’t we can and we did we will in the future it’s been very nice talking to you and um [Music] it’s all good stuff yeah i’ve still got a pile of questions but that’s been great i appreciate it very much no problem thanks a lot we should meet again thank you thanks for listening to the rockfest podcast

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About Stuart Epps

Record Producer Stuart Epps has worked with numerous recording artists including Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Oasis, Robbie Williams, Bill Wyman, Chris Rea, and George Harrison. With his extensive experience of producing top artists, Epps is giving new bands and solo artists music production help, from re-mixing home recordings to full studio productions – all at competitive rates. Epps also recently launched Epps Records.