So, Ross Robinson made Korn cry, eh? He's got a ways to go to out crazy these five producers.
Korn's new album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are came out this past Tuesday, and word has it that the album's producer, Ross Robinson, who produced the act's first two records, brought the band to tears several times while recording it. Jonathan Davis's shrink was evidently incensed, and the drummer, although he's pleased with the results now, reportedly didn't speak to Robinson "for a long time" afterward.
Robinson clearly has a knack for getting the best out of a band by pushing them to their limits. And while this may seem unorthodox, he's hardly the most crazy producer. After the jump, we run down five of the most crazed recording sessions and their respective producers. While we had heard many lines of gossip and rumor regarding the likes of Brian Eno, Captain Beefheart and Lee 'Scratch' Perry, among others, these are the five most bizarre album production stories.
05. Brian Wilson Brian Wilson's story is pretty well known -- he produced one of the greatest pop records of all time, Pet Sounds, while being completely deaf in one ear. He also went completely insane while recording Smile in 1966 and 1967. He believed one of the songs had started several fires near the studio (and therefore had musicians wear fireman hats), and eventually, his paranoia, depression and drug use broke the band apart, leaving Smile unfinished. Of course, everything else he did up to this point marked him as one of the most innovative and promising producers at the time -- pushing the Beach Boys from a surf pop fascination to something far more interesting.
04. Martin Hannett The creator of the Manchester Sound has a slew of rumors and stories about him, our favorite being that he once told Joy Division drummer Stephen Morris to assemble his drum kit with parts of a toilet. He also reportedly had him set up his drums on the roof a neighboring building. He went on to sue Factory Records, get addicted to heroin and booze and then eventually die of heart failure at the ripe old age of 41.
03. Guy Stevens Stevens is best known for being a producer of the Clash's London Calling -- that and reports that he would swing ladders and throw chairs at the band in order to create some type of emotional atmosphere. We'd have recorded one of the greatest albums of all time, too, we imagine, if we had chairs flying at our faces.
02. Joe Meek Do we start with the fact that he was tone-deaf, or do we start with the fact he eventually murdered his landlady with a shotgun before killing himself? Or maybe we should mention the fact that he thought Decca Records hid microphones in his wallpaper in order to steal his ideas -- or that he would set up tape recorders in graveyards attempting to record voices from the dead. Or we could just mention he pioneered a few modern recording techniques, including sampling and certain reverb effects, and was a innovator in using electronic instruments in his studio.
01. Phil Spector While there are hundreds of stories to pull from Phil Spector's career to prove the point that he's the most insane, uncompromising and the most rewarded of record producers -- we decided the tale told by Johnny Ramone pretty much sums up Spector's techniques: "He reaches into his jacket and well, he pulls out a gun, puts it on the table right in front of us and says, 'You guys don't really have to go yet, do you?'" Well shit, it's too bad he couldn't hold that same restraint when Lana Clarkson was in his house.
Korn, with Rob Zombie, Lamb of God, Hatebreed and more, KBPI Birthday Bash/Rockstar Mayhem Festival, 2:15 p.m. Sunday, July 18, Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Englewood, $31-$75.50.
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