"I Was Not The Producer Of Choice That The Guys From RATT Wanted." Beau Hill
Beua Hill spills some beans on Warrant, Ratt & Alice Cooper
Beau Hill: ‘Your Only Constraint Is Your Own Imagination’
Interview by Joe Matera
Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2012
Ultimate-Guitar.com recently caught up with producer/engineer BEAU HILL, known for his work with ALICE COOPER, WARRANT, EUROPE, RATT and many more. An excerpt from the interview is available below.
UG: You were very much part of Ratt’s success since you produced those first few albums of theirs. What do you remember most about working with the band from a production and engineering perspective?
Hill: "First off, for the record, I was not the producer of choice that the guys from Ratt wanted to work with, I don’t even think I was in their top ten. But none the less I got forced upon them, the rest is sort of history now. From an engineering point of view, we did the first record at The Village in L.A where we had access to pretty much anything that we needed so there wasn’t any gigantic engineering challenges.
The biggest challenge for me was trying to get the arrangements where the songs were really going to hold up. And at the time, I was a completely unknown hack producer and they were an unknown broke band from San Diego. So at a certain point I would say, ‘Hey guys, how about this?’ And rightfully so they’d say, ‘Who the hell are you to tell us what to do?’ So we wrestled with that for a little bit.
Luckily they were open enough to make a few changes so we wound up with the arrangement on ‘Round And Round’ which as you know, kick started the whole thing for them."
UG: Would it be fair to say you and the band are largely responsible for the development of the LA glam-metal scene?
Hill: "We were certainly a part of it, but don’t forget GUNS N’ ROSES was beginning to happen, and Van Halen… Ratt was one of the early contributors to that scene certainly. But it wouldn’t be fair to say we were the impetus for that particular style. It was already under way, but we happen to kind of be there in the early days."
Beau Hill with some awards!
UG: Over the years much has been said about you hiring Mike Slamer to play some of the guitar solos on Warrant’s first two albums. Much to the point of it being disputed and debated, so what’s the truth?
Hill: "When we were in pre-production I called a band meeting and I said, ‘Listen guys, we’re competing with the greatest guitar players in the world, everybody from STEVE VAI to WARREN DIMARTINI to EDDIE VAN HALEN and I have to be honest with you, I think the songs are really great, but I think And as much as every band in the world never wants to hear that from their producer, I have to give these guys full credit, they listened to me and they agreed to do it and they were real gentlemen about it. We also credited Mike on the record, and yet this has always been presented to me as some sort of behind the scenes, subterfuge, kind of secret, but everybody in the band signed off on it and everything was done above ground and everybody participated."
UG: What’s your opinion on the current state of the industry and where it is heading?
Hill: I think that unless they change the business model significantly, the major labels are going to continue their decline. I was lucky enough to be in the industry when there were three components that I think really drove the industry and helped all of us from that time period, to be successful. One of them was the record labels, the other was terrestrial radio and the third was MTV. The existence of all of those, in a sort of hand in glove way in which they interfaced with each other, really kind of drove it. Since MTV has become largely silly game shows for children and the majors have decided to lower their risk profile so unless it’s something that’s been on Star Search or one of those TV talent shows, they’re not going to get involved, it’s only going to get worse. All of those things have contributed slowing down the explosive growth of the industry significantly. Now with all the DIY bands that are trying to promote themselves on the internet etc, we have the market place flooded with hundreds and thousands of bands who are all at the same kind at the same tipping point.
We give a shout out to Ultimate Guitar .com & for more with Beau Hill go HERE