long have you been working as a producer?
Chips – I’ve never seen myself as
a professional producer with a career to take care of. I consider myself
a musician and songwriter first but I’ve always been interested
in sound. I actually never thought of producing other artists but in 1989
the band “Psychotic Youth” asked me if I would produce them.
I was taken by surprise but of course I said yes. I’ve always been
willing to try my hands at something new.
A year later The Nomads (after hearing the
Psychotic Youth) asked me to do their “Sonically speaking”
album. And that’s the way it goes. I’ve never had to look
for work. The bands look at the records in their own collection and read
That’s how it usually works. As I said I don’t really see
myself as a producer first but as long as I hear something interesting
in a band and I feel that it gives me something back I’ll say yes.
I have the luxury of only working with bands I like.
What do you think about old
versus new technology?
Chips – I love the sound you get from the
old U-47’s, Neve desks, Fairchild compressors and so on but I also
absolutely love the new technology. I think Pro Tools (when used the right
way) is a great tool. I’m constantly learning how to get the best
from two worlds.
What kind of music do you
listen to when you’re not working?
Chips – I’m a massive consumer. I
listen to records from the moment I wake up until I go to bed. I listen
to a lot of different stuff depending on the mood. There is so much great
stuff from every era. I grew up with punk rock and new wave. Punk was
my first love. Especially the first 4-5 years. It was a very creative
period between 1976-81. Every week I tuned into Radio Luxembourg and heard
amazing stuff I’ve never heard before. The Clash, Buzzcocks, Gang
of Four, The Jam, Cabaret Voltaire, 999, Motörhead, The Damned, Barracudas…
It was a total revelation and it changed my life forever.
Then you start exploring the roots. There is
never a single moment when a new style is born. There’s a long line
with certain creative booms in-between I’m very fond of 1965-67
for example. The Byrds, The Kinks, The Beatles, Sonics, Move, Creation…There
are so many great records from that period. There was another great period
between 1991-95 with bands like The Posies, Redd Kross, Rocket from the
crypt, The Devil Dogs, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Nirvana… Now you
have all these different ages at the same time in a way.
What kind of bands do you
Chips - I guess I’m sort of “type
casted” ‘cause most of the bands I’ve worked are guitars,
drums and bass and vocals. The classic rock`n´roll set-up so to
speak. I never get tired of that but I wouldn’t mind trying out
some other stuff as well.
I’d love to produce an all-acoustic album,
a jazz band or do the hardest/fastest hardcore record ever for example.
And I’d love to make the most evil death metal record in history.
That’s what makes life interesting. Never get stuck!
Do you have some kind of
formula when you produce?
Chips – Not really. It all depends on the
band, the music and the budget.
The only thing that I always do is to spend time with the band at rehearsals
to check the arrangements and stuff. I still believe in the art of song
writing and being prepared.
It doesn’t really matter if you have
a great sound if the song sucks does it?
You should really know exactly what you’re supposed to do before
you even book the studio. The recording budgets are constantly going down
so when you’re finally recording you can’t waste a single
minute. I believe in hard work and discipline. The band can live their
”rock`n´roll life style” when the album is done. You
don’t waste people’s time and money!
How much do you change when
Chips – It’s very different how much
I’m involved in changing song structures and arrangements. Some
bands give me demos where everything is already in place.
Others might show up with just some basic ideas.
Do you prefer to record the
bands live in the studio or part by part?
Chips – Again it depends on the music.
Some bands work better with click-track and some bands would be destroyed
by that kind of restraint. It might even change from song to song. Whatever
is best for the song.
What’s the best part
Chips – I’ve always loved working
with the vocals. After all the work we’ve done it suddenly turns
into a song.
How do you record vocals?
Chips – Every singer is different but most
of them work best when they get to sing the song all the way through instead
of splitting it up line by line. We usually try to figure out what attitude
and voice to use and then they’ll just keep on singing. I might
record 10-20 tracks of vocals and then do a mix of the best takes. It
usually works. If we’re not happy we’ll go back and do it
The vocals are everything! I can live with
a sloppy drum fill or an out of tune guitar solo but the vocals must catch
your attention. You have to believe the singer.
What about the future? Can
anyone afford to record rock anymore?
Chips – I’m constantly trying to
find new ways of working. To cut corners without losing quality. I think
all the new technology has made it possible to make great sounding records
for much less money than before. The idea is to record your backing tracks
in a proper studio then you can actually go anywhere to record vocals,
percussion and backing vocals.
All you need is some good microphones, compressors and pre-amps and bring
pro-tools with you. I’ve have built up my own small but great collection
of equipment for just that purpose. I think Music A Matic is one of the
few studios around that have not only all the classic stuff but also have
embraced all the new technology. That’s really the future in making
What bands have you produced
Chips – These are the albums I've produced
Sator "Basement Noise"
Millencolin "Kingwood days"
The Hellacopters "Rock`n´roll is dead"
Captain Murphy Album
Wilmer X "13 våningar upp"
The Nomads "Big sound 2000"
The Hellacopters "By the grace of God"
Sahara Hotnights "Jenny bomb"
The Hellacopters "High visibility"
The Nomads ”Up-tight”
Plan Nine “Generation action”
The Turpentines ”By popular demand"
The Nomads "The Cold Hard Facts of Life"
Bazookas! album "First floor second skin"
Psychotic Youth "Juice"
La Secta ”Wild weekend”
The Nomads ”Sonically Speaking"
Psychotic Youth "Some fun"
+Loads of singles, EP's and compilation tracks too many to mention but
mostly Swedish bands in the harder style like punk to hardrock...
What artists would you like
to work with if you could pick anyone?
Chips – Tough question! But it’s
always fun to work with great singers.
So if Neil Young, Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello or Johnny Rotten asked me I
wouldn’t say no.