Interview with Guitarist/Songwriter/Producer Justin Stabler!

November 8, 2011

This interview has GREAT information if you are just starting to think about recording songs! Justin is full of knowledge about this part of the music industry and I’m so happy I had the chance to interview him!
What has been the hardest thing about being a producer?
-The hardest thing about being a producer that I’ve experience so far is envisioning the end product for the artist and making sure that they share at least a similar direction, whether that’s on one song or 10. To help the artist focus & develop their sound on a record.
How do you obtain clients?
-Honestly, I obtain clients through word of mouth, I usually develop a friendship with the artist or band and that usually leads to us working together once I’ve gained their trust and share a similar goal for them.
How should a musician prepare to record/play live?
-Preparation is KEY! There are several things a musician can do to prepare for recording. 1. Rehearse your material, 2. If you have the ability to demo some ideas out to the best of your ability, helps the producer see the direction you are trying to achieve. 3. In the case of playing live, I think the most important to that you in do in preparation would be, practice your songs, buy a tuner (lol), and learn to take the advice of a sound guy, remember they are your best friend.
What should a musician do before a show? After?
-For me personally, I like to get to a show nice and early, it gives me time to relax, set up, and get excited to perform. Rushing or running late to a show only puts you in a stressful state, which will affect your playing and your enjoyment of playing. After the show, it’s important to communicate with the new fans you made and develop a friendship with them. Even if you had a bad show, if someone comes up to you and says “Hey! great set!” don’t reply with “Oh, i could have played this better or that”. They may have no idea you messed up and you just put down their opinion of whats good or not” It’s silly, but the positive reaction usually works out better, in my experience at least.
How do you keep your good reputation as a producer?
-Don’t screw them! I keep a good reputation as a producer by delivering exactly what the artist wants. Their are times, when I may not agree with a certain part or vocal line, but they love it. So I learn to work with it and its those things that make the song for the artist, then I did my job. The most important thing is that we created something together that the artist is proud of.
Do you find certain musicians easier to work with?
-Absolutely, there are artists who know what you do and trusts what you do and works with you to create something great!. Those are the songs that usually come out the best. I’ll admit, sometimes you have to trust one another (producer & songwriter) and you have to choose the part that best fits the song, not just a cool part you like.
How should a musician pick who to record with?
First step is to find someone you trust and personality wise you get along with or work well with. The next step is make sure you check out their other work, if you are a pop song writer, I wouldn’t suggest working with a producer who does a ton of metal records. They are different worlds and that plays a huge role when trying to develop a sound for yourself.
Where does a musician start when wanting to record?
-Well, I’m assuming this question is in regards to someone regarding their first song or record. With that being said, I think a good place to start is knowing simple things like, how many songs do I want to record (this may depend on budget) which leads me to my next thing, what do you want to spend on recording. If you have no idea, maybe ask around to a few local artists who have recordings you like. Once you answer those questions, find someone. I’ll suggest working with someone you know through a mutual friend, there are a lot of people looking to rip off first time recording artists, instead of showing them the ropes and giving them a good experience.
What is your outlook on recording contracts?
-Well, it depends on the situation for me. It also depends on the money involved. I typically don’t do contracts if I don’t have to, but when you develop a relationship with the producer and artist, and you see the project unfolding, it may not be a bad idea, as long as having the contract will benefit both you and the artist. The industry has gotten so far away from that relationship that contracts have become such a scary part of the industry. but if done right, it really does protect the artist and producer. But for recording local artists and situations of that nature, I think it’s a little over kill.

Justin Stabler
Guitarist, Songwriter, Producer
If you would like to contact Justin for more questions, songwriting or recording, feel free to message him on his gmail, listed above!

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