MORE Face to Face, Indie Invaders

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David Bendeth is an A list music producer who has produced many acts you hear today including Breaking Benjamin, Red Jump Suit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights and the most recent Paramore. Bendeth has long history in the music biz. He was also the VP of A&R at RCA where he signed Vertical Horizon, Crash Test Dummies and discovered KD Lang.

KOAR frequently visits Bendeth at his newly owned studio “House of Loud” in NJ and our discussions usually evolve around music shop.

Here it is…………..

Kelly Clarkson has been in the news lately. Word leaked that Clive Davis hated the record and that Kelly should’ve stuck with hitmaking songwriters. Clive offered Clarkson 8 million to ditch her songs and replace them with ‘Hits’. Would you take the 8 Million?

Well here is the real deal on that one. I highly doubt anyone offered Kelly that much money. I think they could have offered her 100 million and she would not have done it. The fact is the girl wanted to make her record the way she wanted. The problem with that is she had already sold 15 million records and the expectations are high. I really admire her for trying to do her own thing, I admire any artist who believes that much in themselves.

BUT, here is what I would have done. I would have made the Clive record just as he wanted. The perfect follow up radio record. Then I would have recorded my own side project under a band name and released it at Christmas as a venture. Kelly wanted the cred, you just don’t enter into that scene and become a cred artist, you play those 300 seaters and you build it from the ground up.
She should have never entered American Idol if she wanted to be credible. I listened to some tracks and I think David Kahne did a great job. Its not a top 40 record. She is what she is…forever.
The press took this too far, I mean do people care about Kelly’s career or her songs? Big difference.

Music Chiefs were blasted for using computer wizardry to make new albums louder than ever. Producers are artificially enhancing sound levels as they believe the noisier a record is, the more copies it will sell.

I don’t think producers are doing that. I know mixers and mastering guys are and it sucks. I don’t think the kids wanna get their brains blown out all the time. I think the industry set a standard and now they have a hot mess on their hands.

The louder is better has ruined many good songs and left the listener with no dynamics. It has alienated people and all that has to happen here is for someone to set a new standard which will happen! Maybe I will try it.

Bob Dylan says modern recordings sound ‘atrocious’. I don’t know anybody who’s made a record that sounds decent in the past twenty years, really,” – Dylan

God bless Bob. I loved Blood on the Tracks.. great record.

Bob is wrong. I never understood much of what Bob sang. But when I heard Hendrix do “All Along the Watchtower” and the Animals do “House of the Rising Sun” I got it instantly. Nuff said Bob. Bob is a legend, he wrote some of the best songs this century has heard, BUT, I bet his stereo sucks.

Who are you listening to right now?

My faves right now are Mute Math (Dylan missed that one), The Klaxons, My Chemical Romance, Nine Inch Nails, KT Tunstall, Oz Noy, Serena Ryder, Modest Mouse, Fiend, The Almost, and of course Paramore. ha ha.

Your Hero?

I have a few, Arif Mardin the best producer that ever lived. He died recently, I love his arrangements and I love his mixing, he takes my breath away. Listen to Chaka Khan doing “we can work it out” by the Beatles.. OMG!! Jeff Beck, who still plays his ass off, and Miles Davis who engineered modern music as we know it.

You recently produced the new Fueled By Ramen act Paramore that debuted 42,416 on the Billboard Charts. Tell us a good a story.

I gotta tell you, Hayley Williams is one spunky fiery little redhead. Love her to death. She reminds me of everything about the business I love. She can sing, write and design T shirts. The Farro Brothers, Josh and Zac also play their asses off and work so hard. They have toured non stop and will for years to come. Yes they remind me of No Doubt in the early years. The label Fueled By Ramen are also young and forward thinking, John Janek is the hottest A&R in America today, ask any kid, they will tell you!! Panic at the Disco!, Fall Out Boy, Academy Is, and Paramore..I would say NOT BAD JOHN!!!

Story? sure. Paramore have to be one of the most dedicated bands out there. A huge night for the band was everyone going to the cheesecake factory and getting cheesecake. I gained a few pounds on that session, they killed me. I also learned once again how important it was to connect DIRECTLY with your fans. They are the masters. In fact I have so much respect for any band that knows how to treat their fans.

Check out the new Paramore video and track ‘Misery Business’. Assaulting guitars and a well craft pop song.

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