Who do you really like? Slipknot? Amen? At The Drive-In? All three are high-profile bands that have received much attention from the public and press alike in the past year. Is it just because they are truly brilliant bands with absolute music genius? Probably - but would it surprise you that none of these bands are on their debut album? No? "It's just down to lack of early exposure. " I hear you say. Would it surprise you that all three bands have recently released an album produced by Mr. Ross Robinson? Probably not as you have no idea where I'm headed with this, do you.
I, myself, am a fan of all three bands, as well as Glassjaw - also with a Ross Robinson produced record. I never paid attention to the producer before as I just assumed that they had no real bearing on the record. Then I began to understand exactly what it is that a producer does during the creation of a record. They determine what it will sound like once fully mastered. They have been given the job of producer because the band or artist trusts them to produce a good sound and to know what a good sound is. This means that the record will inevitably sound how the producer wants it to sound. This is, of course, very much up to personal taste. This also means that any record made with that producer will have a similar sound. Was it mere coincidence that the bands mentioned above were my three favourite bands at the Reading Festival of August 2000 or that their records all sound superb to my ear?
A comparison made by many is that of Muse and Radiohead. I believe that to be as lazy a comparison as that of Silverchair to Nirvana. I can see the point to their argument; I even see where they're coming from, but Muse and Silverchair can no way be called cover bands. Both have distinct styles and although their influences are plain to be seen, the music speaks for itself. I am a Silverchair fan, but I am a Nirvana geek - they are the ultimate band for me. I am not a Radiohead fan, but I am a Muse fan. This is a contradiction of my views so far, for Muse gained the production skills of one Mr. John Leckie - long-time Radiohead producer. If I am not a fan of Radiohead, or their records, then I wouldn't be a Muse fan either would I? I discovered Radiohead via CD - The Bends. I thought it was alright but it was nothing special. I thought the same of their other records. I gave them a fair go. Then Muse came along. I saw them on their February 2000 UK tour at London ULU. It was mind-blowing. They were an amazing live act and everybody there knew it. I fell in love with this band and when I got their album I was not disappointed. The production was amazing. I knew it was John Leckie but I did not know what production entailed at that time. Now as Muse prepare another record, this time without the services of Mr. Leckie, I find myself enjoying the records much more. It reminded me of their live performances.
So maybe this has proven my theory that it is the producer that I am fan of and not the band. The band must, of course, write the music and lyrics. Someone listening to a CD as their first experience of a band is more likely to be a fan of the producer while someone watching a band play a live set is more likely to be a fan of the band. But maybe this is actually bollocks and it really is just a coincidence.