Andy Patterson | Buzz Blog
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Andy Patterson



In your collection of local albums, there's a pretty good chance this man's name is on half of them.

--- Andy Patterson has become the premiere producer to work with in Utah. Helping record, track and mix a good portion of the work currently out there today, giving local artists a chance to have a fine sounding and well produced album. The catalog of artists he's helped is too long for me to even being listing, not to mention the number of bands he himself has been a part of as a drummer during his 20 year stint here. I got a chance to chat with Andy about his career and works, along with thoughts on the scene and a few other topics. Along with a tour for pictures of his South Salt Lake recording studio.

Andy Patterson

Gavin: Hey Andy. What first got you interested in music, and what were some your early influences?

Andy: I think the catalyst was when I was very young, I was playing a KISS record backwards looking for satanic messages. I didn't find any but when I let the record roll forward, I really liked what I heard. I became a member of the KISS ARMY at that point.

Gavin: Did you play in high school bands at all, and what were those years like learning?

Andy: I did play in bands while in high school. In fact, that's the reason I never graduated. I choose to hang out with band mates instead of going to class or doing homework. I know, I'm an excellent example for the youth. But, I had never found anything that made me as happy as playing music with friends.

Gavin: What was the first serious band you got involved in, and what was that experience like for you both as a musician and in general?

Andy: My first "real" band was called Search. It was my first time playing shows and recording. We put out a 7" record on Flatline Records (Brad Barkers label) and when I held that piece of vinyl with my music on it, I had never been so proud.

Gavin: Were you content to being a drummer all those years, or was there ever an inkling to do something else or be more upfront?

Andy: That's actually why I have a studio now. I wanted to have a different voice in music, something I could create myself. So, I bought a sampler/keyboard and started writing beats and little songs. Then I needed a computer to take it to the next step and it all sort of snowballed from there.

Gavin: I know the questions is completely generic, but what was the best band for you to perform in and why?

Andy: Right now the band I enjoy playing with the most is Iota, because the other guys in the band are great musicians, great people and they're patient with my hectic schedule.

Gavin: I read you took off for a while only to come back to SLC. What's the story behind that retreat, and what eventually drew you back to Utah?

Andy: I grew up here and I think I just needed a change. I was set to move to New York but changed my mind at the last minute and moved to Los Angeles instead. I moved back because L.A. sucks and I realized that all my friends were here and that I genuinely like Utah.

Gavin: Where did the idea come from for you to start producing?

Andy: I've always been interested in the process of making records. So when I got my first computer I started reading alot about recording and making beats and sounds. I was particularly interested in how one person can record all the different instruments themselves.

Gavin: Was it difficult for you to make that transition or easier being a musician?

Andy: Much easier. Because I'm familiar with being in a band, going on tour, fighting with bandmates etc. It helps me communicate with musicians and understand what they're talking about.

Gavin: What's the process like for you from start to finish on an album?

Andy: Every band is different and every session is different. So, the process changes thusly. I swear I'm not dodging this question.

Gavin: Do you ever find yourself fighting back the urge to jump in, or is it more of a collaborative process with the band?

Andy: Generally, I try to be helpful and stay out of the way. That's not to say that I won't give my opinion or have ideas. But the band/musician can tell me that my idea was stupid.

Gavin: When did you decide to build your own studio to work in?

Andy: I found my first studio in July 2001. I was there for a couple of years. I think I moved into my current space in 2003.

Gavin: What was it like getting the place set up, and what kind of a setup do you have for those wondering?

Andy: I'm still setting up. I kind of learn as I go. As far as my setup... It's based around a Pro Tools system.

Gavin: You've worked on so many albums over the years with too many musicians to name. What do you believe draws all these people to work with you?

Andy: I'm not sure. I try to do a good job but I'm always wondering when everyone's going to figure out that I have no idea what I'm doing. Maybe it's my beard, who knows?

Gavin: Do you still play in bands these days, or is more of a rare occurrence with all the work you do?

Andy: Yes, I'm currently playing with a band called IOTA. My time to devote to a band is definitely slim but I don't think I could go very long without playing. Being in a band is very important to my mental balance.

Gavin: Going state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Andy: There have always been amazing musicians in Utah. Maybe it's like that everywhere but I've always thought there was something special about music in Utah.

Gavin: With how long you've been in the scene, how do you view the changes its gone through over the years?

Andy: I think my biggest gripe is that attendance at local shows has dropped greatly over the years. Although I guess I should state that I go to very few shows myself these days (mostly because I'm in the studio, but still).

Gavin:  What are your thoughts on the local labels we have, and do you believe they help or hinder artists in the longrun?

Andy: I think local labels generally don't realize how much work is involved and how little money is made. So, labels tend to burn out before long. I think there have been some awesome efforts to promote local bands and get them to the next level, but without decent distribution bands might as well put out their own records.

Gavin: Some of the bigger radio stations are playing local music, but its only for certain time periods. Do you believe that's helping local musicians or making it feel more exclusive? Any changes you'd make?

Andy: I would love to hear more local music on the radio. Circus Brown on KRCL has local bands play live in the studio which is amazing and helps bands get to new ears.

Gavin: Overall, is there anything you believe could be done to make things bigger or better?

Andy: I have no idea. That's why I'm not a club owner or promoter.

Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?

Andy: Hopefully lot's and lot's of recordings of great bands and musicians.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Andy: Knibb High football rules!!!