There was a documentary series on Showtime called Shangri-LA that, while not an exhaustive overview of his working process, gives some great insights into his sense of things that likely frame it.
Also remember Billy Gibbons mentioning to an interviewer that he had an upcoming meeting with Rubin and that they were probably going to sit on a cliff edge and look at the sea, or something along those lines.
I prefer producers that are interested in the sonic aspect - creating guitar tones, textures, layers, dynamics, harmonies etc.I get the idea that he likes working with people that don’t need their hand held and he’s not overly interested in the sound aspect, but rather the material itself.
Me too, by far. Music production has actually taken over performance for me as far as what I like to spend my time doing. I quit my last band over differences in opinion over how our music, specifically, my vocals (I was only singing in the band, not playing guitar) were mixed. I decided I wasn’t going to leave my efforts in the hands of other people anymore and built a small studio in my house. It‘s my favorite thing I’ve ever done as a musician and no one gets to tell me how much delay I can or can’t use.I prefer producers that are interested in the sonic aspect - creating guitar tones, textures, layers, dynamics, harmonies etc.
It does vary a lot. Holding their hand and overseeing are different though. I just wonder if being absent most of the time doesn't compromise his and the artist's shared vision of the record.It seems to be different depending on the artist/era. Either that or we never get the full picture when one particular artist describes working with him and he’s just all over the place.
I get the idea that he likes working with people that don’t need their hand held and he’s not overly interested in the sound aspect, but rather the material itself.
I know Corey Taylor from Slipknot wasn’t thrilled about it.It does vary a lot. Holding their hand and overseeing are different though. I just wonder if being absent most of the time doesn't compromise his and the artist's shared vision of the record.
“When it came time to work with Rick, he just wasn’t f*cking there,” Taylor said.
“He had six different projects going on, it felt like. It’s, like, ‘Oh, I’m working with U2 now.’ And I’m, like, ‘We’re still in the ****ing studio, dude.’ Honestly, it wasn’t until we finished the vocals at his house that I saw him more than once a week.”
In praise of Fidelman, meanwhile, Taylor said: “To me, he was the other producer… [Rick was a] nice guy, absolutely nice guy, however, Fidelman was there soup to nuts with us, man. He was there from sometimes six in the morning till four in the morning, I mean, every day, when we needed him.”
He was a little more soft-spoken a couple years later though-In an strong-worded comment during a solo show in 2011, Taylor slammed Rubin’s contribution to Slipknot‘s 2004 album Vol.3 (The Subliminal Verses) and said the process had only been made possible by engineer Greg Fidelman.
Taylor reported at the time: “Rick Rubin shows up for 45 minutes a week. Rick Rubin would then lay on a couch and have a mic brought next to his face so he wouldn’t have to move. Then he’d be like, ‘Play it for me.’ And he had shades on the whole time.
“I respect what Rick Rubin has done. But the Rick Rubin of today is a thin shadow of the Rick Rubin that he was. He is overrated, he is overpaid, and I will never work with him again as long as I f*cking live.”
But the vocalist has had a change of heart in the intervening years – he tells Apple Music: “I’m going to be honest. I think it was more on my end than it was on his.
“He works his way and he always has. I was not used to working that way. I was a young guy, freshly sober.
“Being a singer and being sober, ‘I need your attention, Rick! I need it!’ So that was me being young, unsure of myself, needing the guidance – which I got from Greg Fidelman.
He has been, in a sense. Part of Rubin's production esthetic is getting things stripped down to a bare minimum, where you can hear the performers simply playing the music. Especially as things started shifting from the overproduced 80s to the 90s, it was a breath of fresh air.However, he hasn't exactly been lauded for what he brought to the records from a sonic perspective. In fact, he has been one of the people blamed for the loudness war.