Pete Anderson: The Future Is Now
Part 1: Recording Tomorrow's Sounds Today
Pete Anderson is well known as both a Grammy-winning, multi-platinum producer and a master roots-rock, bluesy, honky-tonk guitarist who has played, recorded, and toured with country superstar Dwight Yoakam since before Yoakam was recording and touring. Anderson's production credits are wide-ranging - from every one of the 20 million records Yoakam has sold, to Michelle Shocked to the Meat Puppets to Tex-Mex accordion whiz Flaco Jimenez to Buck Owens.
He is also the proud owner of a critically acclaimed indie label, Little Dog Records (which has major label distribution), a busy Pro Tools equipped project studio, and is a huge believer in the power of the Internet in the scheme of the future of the music industry.
In the following exclusive interview, Anderson talks about the cause and effect of the slightly out-of-sync production and touring schedule for Yoakam's latest release, Tomorrow's Sounds Today. And in the accompanying exclusive video interviews Anderson delves much deeper into the - in his opinion - bright technological future of the music industry, its vaunted past, and its creatively mucked-up present.
Musician.com: Tell us about the new album,
Pete Anderson: The Dwight record? It's called Tomorrow's Sounds Today,
Musician.com: Which is already the tour you're on,
Anderson: Yeah, we're sort of like, last year we did Last Chance for a Thousand Years. We basically toured off a greatest hits record and we had "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which was a Gap commercial but also on our greatest hits record. Then we started doing a new album, and we started doing it a little late in the spring, and we had booked a tour, and then it dawned on Dwight that we're gonna be touring on a tour called Tomorrow's Sounds Today, with an album called Tomorrow's Sounds Today that 's not going to come out until after the tour is almost over. [laughs] Oops! And then it was like, "Can we change the marketing or anything?" "Nope, we 've printed all the passes, all the T-shirts - everything says Tomorrow's Sounds Today." So we're doing four songs from the new album that will be released, but we'd like to keep the majority of the album under our hat until it's released. Ideas have a tendency to maybe permeate into the opening act's ideas, or somebody else's. We've had that happen before. It' s part of the business. It's just a natural thing, but if you come up with a cool idea, I'd rather them hear it on the radio than hear it off the bandstand and then go home and somehow go, "I think I should do that."
Musician.com: What is the theme of the new album?
Anderson: We've added a steel player to the band, which - we've had steel on various cuts where we've needed it but we've never had one on the road. But he toured with us last year as well, Gary Morris, who I worked with in Los Angeles many years ago. I got him involved in the situation. So there' s more steel on it. It's really country rock steel. We're doing very much a country rock thing: a lot of steel, kind of rock, kind of California, country rock steel. I don't know how to explain it. It's not like the real crying-in-your-beer - which we love as well. But it's more of that Burrito Brothers/the Emmylou band/Linda Ronstadt - the whole California country vibe. It's pretty heavy on this record. It's an interesting record.
There's one song that sounds like Hank Sr. wrote it. There's one that Dwight wrote with Buck Owens that just sounds sad. It's called "Sad Side of Town." And then there's this other stuff that's total country rock. And then there's one song called "For Love's Sake," which I really love. It's a style that I've never heard Dwight write before, which excites me about it. I had a lot of freedom in arranging that song. It's got a dub breakdown in the middle of it. It's pretty cool. It's kind of a Bob Marley-melodic-reggae-dub breakdown kind of thing.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3