The Earache/Wicked World Records web site has posted a lengthy interview with acclaimed British metal producer Andy Sneap. Sneap, a former guitarist for the once-promising U.K. metal outfit SABBAT (which featured in its ranks future SKYCLAD frontman Martin Walkyier), has worked with a number of the top underground heavy metal acts of the last few years, including MACHINE HEAD, ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE, SKINLAB and STUCK MOJO. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Q: What was your big break in getting your foot in the door for producing work? Did you take any courses in studio engineering etc before deciding on it as a career, or where you able to apply your practical experience from being in bands as a springboard?
Andy Sneap: No, I lied quite convincingly, telling people I knew I could do this and that, though I'd had more experience than most by doing demo's and albums etc. I bought my own little set up and just learnt from there, then started doing some live sound, getting to know the basics.
"I went out on THE CULT's last European tour in '94 doing front of house for the support band MOTHER TONGUE, which was good experience and then did some engineering for Colin Richardson which led to me working with MACHINE HEAD. I had my own small studio going pretty well by this time also. That was probably the biggest break as it got me to America to work."
Q: Do you ever catch yourself in awe of the people you are working with, sometimes it must be hard not to act like a fan rather than the man in charge of the production? Generally do you find bands receptive to technical studio advancements or are some reluctant to deviate from that they know has worked for them in the past - how much of achieving a good production is basically doing the simple things well?
Andy Sneap: "No not really, I find it refreshing to find these guys are still down to earth, to be honest. I gave [IRON MAIDEN's] Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith a lift to their hotel a few years ago, and we sat outside and just talked about metal and what was going on with music in the US. I couldn't shut them up actually. It was cool that people who I once looked up to, valued and agreed with my opinion. Same as with the TESTAMENT and EXODUS guys, we were all playing around the same time back in the Eighties but it's nice that we're such good friends now. No egos, we just all have a common love of all things metal. It's all down to doing the simple things well, and that's why a lot of the older guys are better because you had to be able to play in their day."
Read the entire interview at this location.