4 Questions, well 6 actually, to Scoddy about the making of the album Shore to Shore
Hi Guy it’s November, time for fireworks remember, a new rotating Music Buddy feature, and a real short interview. This month’s “My Music Buddy” is Scott “Scoddy” Bywater from Tasmania currently residing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When Scott is not busy playing gigs or writing magnificent poetry, he is a helluva good friend to sit down with for refreshment and conversation. Fun fact number 73 about Scott is the staff at the old Equinox bar on Street 278 nick named him “Mr. Red Wine”, a title we all would be proud of.
Ah but alas life was not so rosie between Scott 10 years ago. Upon reading a weekly online music blog he was writing a decade ago, I came across an incorrect fact. I was just finishing up my Master’s Degree in International Studies and had just written a paper on the International Telecommunications Union and I eagerly corrected Scott’s statement about Cambodia and satellites via email. Just as eagerly he responded telling me to “Get a job!” A nice compliment considering most folks from the English Commonwealth countries usually only say- “G’day mate how the f#ck are ya?”, “Piss off ya bloody c#nt?”, “At the end of the day…”, and ‘Can we not talk about that right now?”
Well time has mellowed both of us and given to us many a thing or two in common. One was having to produce a music CD in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Fortunate for Scott the music industry in Cambodia has ripened and studio recording gear is much better than in 2010 when I produced the Mekong Pirates CD (available free here). Since we both went through this unique experience, I thought I would toss a few questions at him on what it was like making “Shore to Shore“. Voila, the hidden side to that music your enjoying. It is stuff like this that makes this the worst damn website on the internet today! And of course please give his album a listen, it is at the bottom of this page, and support his efforts.
SCODDY’S INSIGHTS INTO THE MAKING OF SHORE TO SHORE.
1) Best/worst bits of advice before and during the recording.
I wasn’t given advice so much as encouragement. Having made the decision to start recording, after nurturing the ambition for many years, it was gratifying that so many others were excited to hear what I could come up with. The closest I got to advice, I think, is that my co-producer/bass player insisted that I include the song Better Man, which otherwise wouldn’t have been on the album.
2) If you could do it all again, what would you change? Not just artistic stuff, rehearse beforehand more, take more time to make it, listen to good advice, spend more money on it or less, hire a big time producer, get your mom’s opinion on it during mix down, et al.
When I do it again, my approach will be different – I’ll know where to be more prepared and where to be looser with what’s going on as it happens. Coming in with home demos rather than cutting rough in the studio, for example, which would have allowed me to make more of the important minor detail decisions well in advance, rather than trying to figure stuff out with the clock running. Also the expectations about how long it will take will be more realistic – I started promotion and then waited a long time for mixing and mastering to be finished, which left me looking a little silly. There are also things I’ll be more prepared to experiment with, a little more confidence in my occasional off the wall ideas.
3) Did you financially plan the project and if so did you stay on
budget? And have you gotten into the green with the investment?
I was halfway between watching the funds and saying what the heck, don’t let money spoil things. Similarly, in the end, it’s nice to have some sales, but more exciting to have people genuinely touched by the end product. If I go count it all up I think I’m still a long way in the red, but then what better use of money than to spend it in such a way – otherwise it’d only be lost on hookers and blow.
4) I hate the buzz word “skill sets”, but have you walked away from this
experience with any new skills? Enough new skills to produce someone
Maybe enough to give some useful advice to people embarking on a similar project – artistically and practically, say – but not technically, my skills will never be good on that front. Further development of my promotional abilities, better attempts to rein in my indulgences, that
sort of thing. best, S