Gary Bromham talks to Musicpsych

Gary Bromham talks to Musicpsych

Gary Bromham is a producer, mix engineer and guitarist who has worked with some truly legendary artists - Bjork, Sheryl Crow and George Michael to name but a few. But he hasn’t just limited his credits to stadium-fillers, Gary has also turned his hand to dance-floor production and remixes for pop and underground artists across a wide range of genres. As well as mixing and technical production, Gary’s other passion is the guitar, and as a producer he has a particular advantage when it comes to noodling with effects and processing. We caught up with Gary to find out more...

 

MPS
How did you get started in the music business? 

GB
I bought a Roland Bolt (remember them?!?) valve amplifier from songwriter, Simon Climie, and following an introduction to his manager, Dee Harrington, I started working as a Fairlight CMI Programmer. A chance meeting with former Kate Bush and Go West guitarist Al Murphy led to me doing my first production up in Reykjavik where I subsequently met Bjork. It was all about being in the right place at the right time really!!

MPS
You have a wide variety of skills and wear many hats, which part of your professional life do you enjoy the most?

GB
Despite spending a huge portion of my production and writing time in front of a computer I am happiest when I’m just sitting and playing the guitar.

MPS
You have worked with some awesome people across a pretty long career, do any of these experiences particularly stand out to you?

GB
Probably working with George Michael when making his former band partner, Andrew Ridgeley’s album (Yes I am the man who wrote and produced the ill-fated record!!) I learnt that vibe is everything when capturing a performance. Who cares about the hiss, overloads, mic positioning and whatever else might not have been perfect!

MPS
How do you balance your life as a technologist and a musician? Do the two compliment or conflict with each other?

GB
The more I reflect on my work process the more I realise that technology can in many ways inhibit creativity. There are far too many options in modern DAW’s for example. Too many presets which discourage originality! I try to listen and not look at music on a screen, which is very hard today! I think if you separate the left from the right brain stuff then they can work ok together. Peter Gabriel for example seems good at separating the creative from the scientific

MPS
What guitars do you currently own?

GB
I’m a Strat man! I bought an original early 70’s one because I was a huge Ritchie Blackmore fan when I started playing and wanted to be like him. Also a Fender Custom Shop version of David Gilmour’s original 0001 White Strat with the Gold anodized pickguard. Huge Gilmour fan!!

MPS
Have you ever sold anything you later regretted selling?

GB
Yes an original 1965 Fender Twin amp. With the original speakers! I’ll cry if I think about it too much as it sounded amazing!

MPS
What was on your pedalboard before Strymon's Big Sky & Timeline?

GB
ZVex Fuzz Factory, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Boss CS-2 Compressor, Boss CE-2 Chorus, Korg SDD-3000 Delay

MPS
It could be said that you have a particular advantage as a producer and a mix-engineer, what is it that attracted you to Strymon’s Timeline and BigSky?

GB
A friend lent me his pedals and I didn’t want to give them back! It’s like having studio quality delay and reverb effects in a pedal. I’ve actually been using them on sends on the SSL Duality I mix on, they’re that good!

MPS
If you could return to any musical era, what would it be?

GB
Probably the early 70’s and be a fly on the wall at Abbey Road during the Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here recordings. These sessions were all about pushing boundaries with technology and exploring the future of sound. It seems that we preoccupy ourselves a great deal these days with recreating this ‘nostalgia’ and slipping back into the past as if it was better somehow!

 

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