GuitarWorld.com's Alison Richter has issued an interview with award-winning producer/songwriter/guitarist John Shanks, his most recent accomplishment: producing VAN HALEN’s A Different Kind Of Truth.
This month, Shanks begins work on his fifth album with BON JOVI. A few weeks prior to joining the band in New Jersey for tracking, he called Alison to talk about his recording and songwriting career, as well as his work with Van Halen. An excerpt follows:
Q: How did you become involved with the Van Halen album?
A: "I was working in my room, Studio C, and David Lee Roth was across the hall working on solo stuff. He stays in the studio. He’s always in there doing something. It’s like a boxer — he’s always training. He’s always writing and trying stuff and experimenting. He’s always creating. It’s just staying ready. So he comes in the studio and he’s working on a project. I don’t know what it was specifically. I introduced myself one day and we chatted a bit and became social. He’s very bright and communicative, and we would talk about his dogs, photography, songs, and the current state of pop music.
I’d met Eddie a couple of times [through a mutual colleague]. I got a call, I’m sure through Dave talking to Eddie, because I think collectively they come up with, 'Let’s try this guy', or 'Let’s have a conversation with John'. I know they talked to a couple of other people too. Anyway, Eddie called. I went up to the house and met with Alex, Dave, Eddie and Wolf, and they talked about scheduling and what they wanted to do. Somehow we worked it out so we recorded at Henson.
Dave felt comfortable at Henson, I certainly knew the room, I think Eddie wanted to try it, and collectively, that’s what we ended up doing. That’s how it started. Eddie wanted to mix it at his house and work on it there [with engineer Ross Hogarth]. I’m sure they worked on it up there a bit more, but they have their process and you respect their process and doing whatever they need to do to get it there."
Read the full interview at this location