Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Interview with John Shanks

From Guitar World

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 to talk about his recording and songwriting career, as well as his work with Van Halen.

You’re recording your fifth album with Bon Jovi. Talented songwriters, great musicians, studio veterans and nice guys — what more could a producer want?

This new album is going to be great! We’ve got a lot of songs and we’re ready to go. There’s a really strong body of work here. It’s been a small group of people writing these songs. I’m proud of the stuff we’ve written and I’m excited about it. Might another song or two get written? Maybe. But we’re going in with a full load of artillery and songs that we feel really good about. We’re recording at Jon’s house. We’ve done some stuff at my house and at Electric Ladyland that we’ll probably keep and work off of, so some songs we’ll be building on and some we’ll track in the room with the band.

What is the history of your working relationship with Bon Jovi?

We were supposed to write one day a long time ago, maybe 2001. I flew back east to see my parents, checked my messages, and Jon had called to ask if I wanted to get together and write. We knew each other a little bit and he had my number. I had to call him back and tell him that I was in Boston and driving to my parents' house. He said, "Don’t worry. There’ll be other times.” I got another call asking if I could come to New Jersey to produce their next record. I shipped some gear, brought my engineer with me, and every day we would write from noon until 4 or 5 and start recording. On the second day, we wrote “Have A Nice Day” in his guesthouse, then we walked across the lawn and started recording. Richie and I did guitars all night and background vocals and a scratch vocal from Jon. I played keyboards. The band came in and put drums and bass on it. That song was almost a record overnight. It felt like a hit, so we just went for it. Some of the songs we write and record like that and some we wait for the band and track live. “We Weren’t Born To Follow” was tracked as a band. “Superman Tonight” was done slightly differently. I’m really excited about this new record. I love the songs, we have a direction, we have a sound and we know what we want to do.

You can read the rest of the article here.

~ Hath


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