Friday, September 4, 2009

NEW LOBH interview with Mike Elizondo, producer for "Hello Hurricane"

Pasted partially from our friends over at LOBH ALL CREDIT GOES TO THEM.

Switchfoot's new CD, "Hello Hurricane", is being hailed as their most surprising release to date. It's a whole new side of Switchfoot... a side that hip-hop producer Mike Elizondo helped to bring out. With the release of the album just months away, I thought an interview with Mike Elizondo was definitely in order. I knew you guys had lots of questions about Hello Hurricane and the recording process, so I solicited questions from YOU, our site visitors. Thanks to everyone who submitted a questions - even if we didn't use your question, we appreciate the fact that you took the time to send one in - and please enjoy this EXCLUSIVE interview with producer extraordinaire, Mike Elizondo.

LOBH: Mike, thanks so much for your time. Most of the questions I'm going to ask you today were submitted by our site visitors, and they're very eager to hear your thoughts on the new album. First question comes from our friend Clifton: "How aware were you of Switchfoot's music before you helped with the new record, and thus what led to you being a part of it?"

MIKE ELIZONDO: I had been a fan of the band from pretty early on. I was always inspired by their sound as well as the lyrics. To me, Switchfoot is the complete package of great musicians, a great singer and great songs. As for getting to be a part of the record, I met Jon through Sean Watkins (Fiction Family) and his sister Sara. We all played together at a show in LA. After the show Jon and I hung out for a bit. Sometime after that I was approached by their manager to meet with Jon. After a few phone conversations with Jon, we got together and wrote "Your Love Is A Song". Needless to say it was a great first meeting. The next day Tim and Chad came over to hang. Soon after I was asked if I would help them finish the record. I went through 60 songs and picked what I felt made the strongest statement for the band. Then we all narrowed it down to what has become "Hello Hurricane". I made some production comments on some of the songs the band had produced themselves. We worked on the songs "Mess Of Me", "Your Love Is A Song", "The Sound" and "Bullet Soul" from scratch.

LOBH: From Jesse: "How has your association with the hip-hop genre affected the production of Hello Hurricane?"

MIKE ELIZONDO: Once I started working with Dr. Dre, I really watched how he would put songs together. He would only use parts and sounds that enhanced the song. He would also try to keep things sparse so the music would have room to breathe. Those concepts have stuck with me and I feel have played a part in the way "Hello Hurricane" comes across.

LOBH: I'd agree with that. Here is one from Stephen: "Were you brought on board specifically for "Hello Hurricane" or did you work on Vice Verses/others? If yes, was it difficult to stay focused on the theme/direction of "Hello Hurricane"?"

MIKE ELIZONDO: We only worked on songs for the record "Hello Hurricane". Once the songs were mutually selected by me and the band, the direction became very clear. There was no problem staying focused. Because there were too many great songs to fit on one album the band decided to put them aside for "Vice Versus". I really hope I get to be a part of that as well.

LOBH: From x2wolf: "Mike, what personal impression did you get about the members of Switchfoot?"

MIKE ELIZONDO: They are all the most genuine group of guys I've ever had the pleasure of working with. They care so much about what Switchfoot represents. It goes beyond just the music. I respect each one of them very much.

LOBH: From Job: ""Was there any difference in the way Switchfoot handled themselves in the studio as an independent band, as opposed to other artists you've worked with who are under a major label contract?"

MIKE ELIZONDO: It was great to not have a major label adding any additional pressure while we made the record. I think it allowed the band to make the record they wanted to make. It was truly a dream situation for me. I got to work on an album with amazing songs, talented musicians and great people. It doesn't get any better than that for me.

LOBH: It does sound ideal... speaking of the album making process, we got this question from onesandzeros: "Were there any crazy or funny studio moments?"

MIKE ELIZONDO: It's hard to pinpoint a few moments. The whole record was such a blast. It shouldn't be legal to have as much fun as we did.

There is so much more interesting information in this interview. To read the rest, GO HERE NOW Thanks Jeanna, and LOBH.

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