January 28, 2010

Richard Thompson on recording

From Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo:

Thompson: I've never recorded anything piece by piece. I've always recorded as much as possible live. To try to get something at once. And to record as fast as possible. We usually only take a couple of takes on any particular track. Two takes, three takes.

Zollo: Your tracks always have the energy of a live performance. Are you singing and playing guitar live as well?

Thompson: Yes. Sometimes we'l fix the vocals later. But I'm actually out there doing it.

Zollo: You do the guitar solos live?

Thompson: Yes.

Zollo: You said recording fast is part of the approach?

Thompson: The approach is to have fun. In the recording process. And not make it a job or a chore. Or a perfect thing. We'll leave perfection to God. So we try to keep that spark and really have a good time doing it. I think there are people who can spend a long time making records and do it bit by bit and make it sound exciting and spontaneous. And that's a kind of gift. And I really don't have that.

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