CHECK YOUR EGO
It can get a little scary when you walk into a room and there's Johnny Cash. But he's really cool. I introduced myself, saying 'I'm a drummer', of course he didn't know who I was. He started playing his songs and wanted me to say what I thought about them. We immediately became musically equal. There was no this stellar nonsense. We had one goal - to make some good music.
ALWAYS DO GOOD
When I play, I don't think, ''It's just a demo''. I always do my best work. You can't know which take will be the one, the magic one. Sometimes it can be the very first one, it can be really good because you don't know the whole structure of the song yet and you have to really listen. There is a feeling of excitement because you don't know the song by heart yet, this spontaneity delights me. I like it.
TRY TO PLAY FROM START TO END
You can stop and then step in in the middle, but even then I think there's something special that comes along with the track when it's a real performance.
Now with Pro-Tools, editing has become the norm. ''Oh, I can play this verse instead''. I think you lose all the beauty of the performance when you don't play the whole song. As a drummer, I try to do it as best as I can.
MAKE THEM LAUGH
If the recording fails, it can be very frustrating, people get frustrated very quickly - pressure, waste of their money and time. When a session gets stuck, I usually tell a couple of jokes. Hal Blaine gave me this advice. Hal was a studio musician with years of experience and he usually started telling jokes. I don't know many jokes, but you only need a couple to keep people working and make them smile a little.
GET TO SEE THE BIG PICTURE
People get frustrated because they can't do what they want or when something doesn't sound right, it just happens. I may not be in the mood either, but I record music. I play my instrument, I'm in a cool studio, working with amazing people, doing what I love. Seriously, am I going to be upset about this? There are millions of people who would love to do what I do, so you need to keep the big picture in mind and be grateful.
Translation: Oleg Kuznetsov
Editor: Anna Gornaya