The following interview was conducted via email in June 2008.
(Interviewed by Ronny & John)
1. How and why did you get started in the music business?
Al Sutton: I started when I was about 19, It was just more interesting than college.
2. How do you decide which artists to work with?
Al Sutton: I’ve always heard that you’re only as good as the artists you work with. While I never had any kind of screening process I do like to watch out for artist with a vision and a drive to succeed.
3. What do you think are the most important qualities a record producer needs to be successful?
Al Sutton: An understanding of music and personalities.
4. What criteria would you use to define a ‘great’ album?
Al Sutton: If you finish listening to the whole album and want to hear it again from the top.
5. Tell us about “Rustbelt Studios” and some of the key features and equipment Detroit artists seem to enjoy using the most?
Al Sutton: We are, or were all analog until about five years ago. Now we use Pro Tools like everybody else. But we still have all the vintage analog gear and mix on a desk, which is Neve.
6. When did you first meet Kid Rock and how has the experience been producing and mixing his records since 1998?
Al Sutton: He use to work at my old studio, White Room. The experience has been good for the most part.
7. After the huge success of Kid Rocks ‘Devil Without a Cause’ album there must have been a huge amount of pressure to repeat the success of this album with his future releases. As a producer how did you deal with this added pressure?
Al Sutton: Everybody would ask us the question, but you can’t think about a record in that context. You just have the make the best possible record you can. And in the end you have to be happy with what you created.
8. Do you find it challenging mixing different styles of sound and music for an artist as diversified as Kid Rock?
Al Sutton: No
9. Which Kid Rock album did you enjoy working on the most and why?
Al Sutton: Devil. It was all on tape and we used a lot of Mpc 60. Track management was a fun challenge. Now with Pro Tools you can just keep adding tracks and you have no limitations.
10. What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of music?
Al Sutton: Motorcycle collecting and restoration.
11. Which big-name artist would you most like to work with and why?
Al Sutton: U2. They came out when I was a young kid and are still here today. And they always seem to put out great albums.
12. What are your thoughts on internet piracy issue and the effect it is having on album sales?
Al Sutton: I think if the major labels had handled things better we would not be in this mess.
13. Finally do you have any current projects you would like to mention to our visitors?
Al Sutton: Giant Brain……..