Producer

ETHAN JOHNS

ETHAN JOHNS
ETHAN JOHNS A second-generation production wiz moves to the other side of the glass By Michael Gallant For Ethan Johns, producing rock stars means carrying on the family business. After all, his father is famed producer Glyn Johns, whose credits include Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan and the Who. “It wasn’t a big deal for me to have any of those people show up at the house,” says Johns, who grew up... 

EDDIE KRAMER

EDDIE KRAMER
EDDIE KRAMER The legendary producer recalls creating some of rock’s greatest recordings By Michael Gallant Eddie Kramer is a rock icon. The sheer number of superstars whose music he’s shaped is stunning—from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to Buddy Guy, Anthrax and Carly Simon. “I’m still standing and still making records,” the 72-year-old says with a laugh. Born in South Africa, Kramer studied classical piano before... 

BUTCH VIG

BUTCH VIG
BUTCH VIG The pioneering platinum producer continues to explore new sonic landscapes By Michael Gallant When Butch Vig helped create Nirvana’s 1991 masterpiece Nevermind, little did he know the project would fundamentally transform the rock world. Though the Grammy-winning, multiplatinum producer had been toiling behind the glass for nearly a decade, that iconic album marked the beginning of a singular career. Following Nevermind, Vig helmed groundbreaking... 

LINDA PERRY

LINDA PERRY
LINDA PERRY Blending the tried-and-true and the unorthodox is her hit-making secret By Michael Gallant “If you want to make music that’s safe, something that’s been done before, I’m not that person,” says Linda Perry. “If you want to go edgier, get heavier and dig deeper, I’m your guy.” After gaining recognition as the charismatic lead singer and chief songwriter for ’90s rock band 4 Non Blondes, Perry has built a singular hit-making... 

BUTCH VIG

BUTCH VIG
BUTCH VIG The pioneering platinum producer continues to explore new sonic landscapes By Michael Gallant When Butch Vig helped create Nirvana’s 1991 masterpiece Nevermind, little did he know the project would fundamentally transform the rock world. Though the Grammy-winning, multiplatinum producer had been toiling behind the glass for nearly a decade, that iconic album marked the beginning of a singular career. Following Nevermind, Vig helmed groundbreaking... 

GLEN BALLARD

GLEN BALLARD
GLEN BALLARD The acclaimed producer favors artistic relationships over one-hit flings By Michael Gallant Glen Ballard’s resume is stuffed with big names. He’s collaborated with everyone from Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones and Alanis Morissette to Dave Matthews, Annie Lennox and Christina Aguilera. His production and songwriting chops have earned him six Grammy Awards, worldwide sales of more than 150 million records, and a reputation as one of... 

DESMOND CHILD

DESMOND CHILD
DESMOND CHILD For the renowned studio master, everything begins with the lyric By Michael Gallant For Desmond Child, music comes down to honesty. “What makes something desirable has a worthwhile element—and in the case of music, it has to have truth. When that element isn’t there, people don’t pay attention.” For more than three decades, the world has been paying close attention to the innovative songwriter-producer, who helped create and... 

DESMOND CHILD

DESMOND CHILD
DESMOND CHILD For the renowned studio master, everything begins with the lyric By Michael Gallant For Desmond Child, music comes down to honesty. “What makes something desirable has a worthwhile element—and in the case of music, it has to have truth. When that element isn’t there, people don’t pay attention.” For more than three decades, the world has been paying close attention to the innovative songwriter-producer, who helped create and... 

T BONE BURNETT

T BONE BURNETT
T BONE BURNETT The innovative uberproducer helms another stellar roots-rich soundtrack By Michael Gallant With fistfuls of hit records and more than a dozen Grammys under his belt, T Bone Burnett is one of music’s most accomplished producers. His credits run the gamut from Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison and Robert Plant to B.B. King, Elton John and Alison Krauss. But the big names only scratch the surface of his talent. Burnett toured as a guitarist... 

BUTCH WALKER

BUTCH WALKER
BUTCH WALKER One of pop’s hottest producers likes to play rough—when they let him By Michael Gallant Butch Walker’s not only a jack of all musical trades, he’s a master as well. From the producer’s chair, Butch Walker has crafted hit records for everyone from Pink, Fall Out Boy, and Keith Urban to Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry. From the stage and studio, he’s the frontman of Butch Walker and the Black Widows, which has... 

Val Garay

Val Garay
Val Garay Sharing the studio secrets behind some of music’s best vocal performances By Michael Gallant Even among top-tier producer-engineers, Val Garay’s credentials are impressive: more than 125 million worldwide record sales and over 200 gold and platinum albums, spread across a vast array of artists that include Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, Santana, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt and many more. Garay’s talents have... 

JOE BOYD

JOE BOYD
JOE BOYD From Clapton to Kubrick, this creative giant has worked with them all  By Michael Gallant “If you had told me 25 years ago I would be producing tribute concerts about Nick Drake’s music, it might have depressed me,” says Joe Boyd with a chuckle. Fortunately for Boyd the experience turned out to be “kind of wonderful.” It’s a fitting project for the veteran producer. Having helped pioneer the British folk-rock movement, Boyd... 

RYAN TEDDER

RYAN TEDDER
RYAN TEDDER Rock star, songwriter, hit producer—he does it all and makes it look easy  By Michael Gallant To call Ryan Tedder a master of musical trades is an understatement—the Grammy-winning wiz is an international rock-star-songwriter-producer phenom. Tedder’s most visible gig is as frontman of OneRepublic, but pull away the curtain and his superstar production and songwriting credits are revealed. He’s helmed landmark albums and penned... 

DAVID KAHNE

DAVID KAHNE
DAVID KAHNE A studio maestro shares the secrets to some of his timeless collaborations  By Michael Gallant “Somebody once asked George Bernard Shaw what a great play was,” says David Kahne. “He said that it’s when you go to the theater, and you know what’s going to happen—but when it does, you’re still surprised. That’s a great description of a single as well. You can hear it over and over again, but it still gets you every time.”... 

GREG KURSTIN

GREG KURSTIN
GREG KURSTIN Blazing his own trail from jazz scholar to pop hit-maker By Michael Gallant He’s produced a bevy of wildly successful artists including Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Ke$ha, Tegan and Sara, James Blunt, Dido and the Shins. But Greg Kurstin came to his hit-making career through an unconventional route—as a student of jazz piano. “I loved arranging songs and finding different voicings for chords,” says Kurstin, who studied at New York’s... 

KEITH STEGALL

KEITH STEGALL
KEITH STEGALL Artist, songwriter, producer—he’s seen success from all sides By Michael Gallant When it comes to country music, few producers have made as profound a mark as Nashville’s Keith Stegall. The multitalented studio master has produced more than 20 platinum albums and sold more than 70 million records. His résumé includes 50 No. 1 hits, four Country Music Association Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music Awards—and the list goes... 

JOE CHICCARELLI

JOE CHICCARELLI
JOE CHICCARELLI Rock, pop, country or jazz, it’s all about serving the music       By Michael Gallant In more than three decades, Joe Chiccarelli has amassed an impressive roster of production and engineering credits—from Alanis Morissette, My Morning Jacket and the White Stripes to Jason Mraz, Elton John, Christina Perri and the Shins. But it all began humbly for the multiple Grammy winner. “I started in music as a bass player in rock bands,... 

BENNY BLANCO

BENNY BLANCO
BENNY BLANCO A prodigious talent schools the music business in Hit-making 101         By Michael Gallant Benny Blanco has crafted pop magic in the studio for today’s biggest stars, including Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Rihanna and Bruno Mars. He’s scored more than a dozen No. 1 hits and was named Songwriter of the Year at this year’s BMI Pop Awards. Oh, and he’s 24. That’s an impressive career at any age, but only more so considering its... 

RON ANIELLO

RON ANIELLO
RON ANIELLO  Doing whatever it takes to make the record great             By Michael Gallant When Ron Aniello was selected to produce Bruce Springsteen’s 2012 album Wrecking Ball, he faced a daunting challenge—how to offer constructive criticism to a personal hero. “Being in the studio, and hearing the voice of my childhood was the main thing I had to get over,” Aniello says with a laugh. “Telling an artist like Bruce that a certain... 

MATT SERLETIC

MATT SERLETIC
MATT SERLETIC Creating big hits takes talent, toil and the ability to thrive under pressure            By Michael Gallant When Grammy-winning producer Matt Serletic steps into the studio to record with the likes of Rob Thomas, Carlos Santana, Aerosmith or Joe Cocker, he brings lots more than a knack for piecing together catchy tunes. Thanks to exceptional talents as a musician, songwriter, arranger and music business executive, Serletic has... 

HOWARD BENSON

HOWARD BENSON
HOWARD BENSON  From aircraft to songcraft and from aerospace to star power            By Michael Gallant For multiplatinum, Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson, the crucial skill that led to success in the music business was … aerospace engineering? “Music has a math component to me,” Benson explains. “It’s complicated and fun, and I’m blessed to do it every day. Plus the same organizational skills apply. Just instead of making... 
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