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Non-Prog Interviews

Adrian Benavides

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Adrian Benavides from 2013
MSJ:

It’s been a year or so since we last chatted. Can you catch the readers up on what you’ve been doing in that time?

It has been quite an eventful year! I spent several months being essentially unemployed (freelance mix work can be quite thin at times). Eventually, in October 2012, I landed a gig working for the band Daughtry as their touring playback tech, audio programmer and drum tech. I hit the road with them on a co-headlining tour with Three Doors Down for a good majority of the year. Daughtry's new album Baptized was recently released in November 2013. Since then, I've gotten more involved in the live production, working closely with music director Onreé Gill to enhance the overall vibe of the show. I've worked on several recording sessions for the group with programming, editing and mixing. There has been lots of television promo the last couple of months, including appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Besides work with Daughtry, I've been working with my friends Mike Day and Eoghan McCloskey on the debut record from our band called “earthdiver.” We've been trying to get this thing done for years! The band fuses elements of industrial, doom/death metal and progressive rock. There are several great guest performances including a string trio consisting of some of Austin's finest classical musicians: Jason Elinoff, Joseph Shuffield and Jen Mulhern. Ramiro Rodriguez, best known for his work with the band Tool, has begun work on the album's artwork. He provided the cover painting for my solo record Same Time Next Life and we are honored to have him as part of this project as well. Our friend Cedric Theys (Mad Ducks Records) filmed a good chunk of the initial recording sessions and even some interviews with the musicians and engineers involved. We're hoping to use his footage as part of the promotional tools in generating interest in the project. Schedules between Eoghan, Mike and myself can be a bit tough to coordinate but we're hoping to have this album released by mid 2014.

Other projects released this year which I worked on are as follows: 

SchnAAk and the Rundu Choir - No Security Through Numbers (co-producer, mix engineer)

Sima - Alone With You (producer, mix engineer, editor, performer, recording engineer) 

Quiet Company - A Dead Man on My Back: Shine Honesty Revisited (mix engineer on "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands")

Lee Fletcher - The Cracks Within: FiWT Remixes (remixer - Adrian Benavides mix) 

Specimen 13 - Echosystem (mix engineer, arranger, editor, sound designer, performer)

My girlfriend and I moved back to Austin (we're both originally from Texas) and it feels great to be home! I am much more productive here and it is somehow easier for me to recharge in this city during downtime than it was in LA. 

I've been trying my hand at mastering records lately. I am working with my earthdiver bandmate Mike Day who is the mixing engineer on a couple of metal records for the Austin-based bands Bat Castle and Wh*re of Bethlehem. It's been a very enjoyable process and I hope to continue this line of work.  

MSJ: What's ahead for you?

Extensive touring with Daughtry, completion of the earthdiver record, mastering of records for Bat Castle and Wh*re of Bethlehem, mixing of the new Vex album, creating remixes for Tobias Reber's Kola and for Blast Unicorn (his band with Alex Dowerk). I'm also talking with Alex Dowerk about the two of us collaborating on a side project. Hopefully more of that will get fleshed out in the coming year.

In May, the music director of the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Blomster, will be conducting the Youth Orchestra of the Rockies for their spring concert which will include an arrangement of the title track of my solo record Same Time Next Life. I am honored that this piece has even been considered for such a performance! I met Thomas the week of his premier of Markus Reuter's Todmorden 513 in Denver. He's a great guy. I very much look forward to continuing work with him.

Beyond that, if anyone out there needs their record mixed, then please get in touch with me! There's a contact form on my website (http://www.adrianbenavides.com/contact/).

MSJ:
What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

The last physical CD I bought was the new Nine Inch Nails album: Hesitation Marks. In addition to listening to that, I went back and found another Trent Reznor-related project that I had always meant to check out sooner.. Saul Williams' Niggy Tardust. What a killer album!

I can't seem to get enough of the latest Queens of the Stone Age album …Like Clockwork. It is really a brilliant record - masterfully done in all aspects: production, arrangement, mix, performance, engineering. It's all incredible.

Other than that, I've been revisiting a lot of older favorites lately: 

Skinny Puppy - Too Dark Park

Soilwork - Natural Born Chaos 

Failure - Fantastic Planet

The Cure - Bloodflowers 

Opeth - Damnation/Deliverance

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?

I'm a really slow reader. I rarely feel like curling up with a good book. When I read things, they're typically user manuals for gear, tutorials or articles about my favorite musicians or mixing engineers.

MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

 Just last week, my friend Stewart Bennett was mixing front of house for The Reverend Horton Heat. I stopped by the new Emo's location on East Riverside in Austin where the event was being held. I hadn't been over there since it was an older club called “The Back Room.” I like what they have done with the place. Anyway, it was a great show. I had never seen the band before. I had no idea their guitar player was such a bada**.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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