The Voices

If Shelly Yakus could see me now!
June 27 - October, 1988 (and longer)
Record/Mix  - Studio A / Record One

The Voices were a alternative band from San Diego that Andy Slater had gotten signed to MCA with a megabuck deal. Remember this was 1988 and alternative meant alternative, big hair bands were the flavor then. Niko Bolas used the Record Plant truck again and recorded a bunch of songs out at "Mate's Rehearsal Studios" that was supposed to be the record, but that version didn't fly, and the "surfer dudes" assaulted studio A with a vengeance. Niko and Andy were producing, which was a weird deal in itself. Andy was Niko's, Zevon's, and Henley's manager at the time, and a great guy, but didn't have a clue in the studio.

There was some serious live tracking going down on this one, with the band setup as if on stage. Larry Craig, Neil's guitar scientist, was there and awesome. He would sneak in and turn up the Boogie preamp during the solos while it was going down. Way cool! Peter bought a small bodied Martin acoustic that sounded great, and it turned into the heartbeat of the record.

Niko mixed the whole record and things started falling apart. They had spent a lot of money and people weren't happy. He and Andy working together sucked. I got involved more than I should have because it wasn't working, and that sucked. Niko remixed a lot of songs, but they were what they were, and MCA didn't like it. Time ran out so they went to Record One and mixed some more, fixed some stuff, I mixed some songs and all this went on into October and the vibe was gone for everyone. Peter was a State of California "certified nut case" which didn't help the project much.

Finally sometime in early '89, MCA got George Tutko to mix what they thought were the "hits" in the Mix Room. The band wasn't allowed in, and Tommy and Bert told me "make sure you can hear the acoustic dude, that's the record to us. We're counting on ya". Not long into it Tutko was on the phone with the A&R guy, "well, they didn't do a proper vocal".  Hey, it sounded like rock n' roll to us.

It was funny, when we started the 3324 tapes wouldn't play, to many CRC's (God's will). Well Tutko did his mixes burying the acoustic, and would have me do the TV mixes, and I did one with vocals and the acoustic up. I cut those into the master, their A&R guy got fired and the new A&R guy didn't care, theSlater '89 record came out and stiffed big, end of story.

Andy got fired by everybody and now manages The Wallflowers and Fiona Apple, and I think owns the Little Martin.

 

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  Bob Vogt - Recording Engineer
A&M Studios
The High Bias Years  1986 - 1996

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