RUBIN: SELECTED CREDITS
Hot Chili Peppers: Californication (Warner Bros., 1999)
Tom Petty: Wildflowers (Warner Bros., 1994) and Echo (Warner
Various Artists: Chef Aid: The South Park Album (Columbia,
of a Down: System of a Down (Sony, 1998)
Johnny Cash: Unchained (American Recordings, 1996)
Mick Jagger: Wandering Spirit (Atlantic, 1993)
Andrew Dice Clay: The Day the Laughter Died, Part II (Warner
Bros., 1993), 40 Too Long (American, 1992), Dice Rules (American,
1991), The Day the Laughter Died (Warner Bros., 1990) and Andrew
Dice Clay (Warner Bros., 1989) Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (Def
Artists: Big Daddy soundtrack (Sony, 1999)
Sir Mix-A-Lot: Return of the Bumporsaurus (Warner Bros.,
1996), Chief Boot Knocka (Rhyme Cartel, 1994) and Mack Daddy (Def
Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show (Def Jam, 1987)
The Black Crowes: Shake Your Money Maker (Def American, 1990)
Danzig: Danzig III/How the Gods Kill (Def American, 1992)
Slayer: Undisputed Attitude (American, 1996) and Divine Intervention
Dan Baird: Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired (Def American,
Various Artists: Private Parts (Warner Bros., 1997)
Is it true
that you actually hate working in the studio?
I dont love it. The idea of knowing how it can be is the best part.
And then the actual work of having to get it there is just going through
the process. Once you hear it in your head, its like being a carpentertrying
to build the thing when you already know what it is.
Or like a sculptor chipping away what you dont want.
Yes. Its not an accident. You already know what the sculpture is,
but you have to do all that work of chipping the stone away, and thats
not the fun part. The fun part is knowing what it is. But no one else
gets to know what it is unless you do the work.
The collaboration with Aerosmith and Run-DMC on Walk This
Way was landmark. And culturally, very cool. It didnt
seem, for me, as unusual as it did for other people. I grew up with rap
music and with rock music, and they always felt like different versions
of the same thing to me. People viewed them as such polar opposites: I
cant tell you how many times people have talked to me about rap
not being music. But if you listen to Walk This Way by Aerosmith,
it really is not that different from rap. It shares a lot.
What are you excited about now in music? I just finished
a band called Paloalto, which I love. I also just finished a record with
a guy named Saul Williams whos a poet, who is really beautiful;
lyrically, hes very important.
Poetry and music?
Its hard to explain what it is. If you had never heard rap music
and someone described it to you, it could be what this is. But if youve
heard rap music, it doesnt sound like this.
How do you feel about music in general lately?
It seems like music is getting very disposable. Its getting song-oriented,
but not in a good way. Instead, its about one hit and not about
an artist. Artists just dont mean as much, and a lot of music is
becoming producer-driven. Which, being a producer, youd think Id
like, but I dont. When its so producer-driven, the artists
become interchangeable. If the producer is making the tracks and different
people could sing on them, its pretty close to being the same record
regardless of who the artist is. I dont think thats a good
thing for music, and I think that because everything has become so single-oriented,
the album has suffered.
Sure. Why bother to lay out $17.99 for one song?
I think thats one of the reasons that downloading of music makes
more sense today than it ever did before. The music thats coming
out isnt worth what people are trying to charge for it. Although
I should add that I do like a lot of music out now: Limp Bizkit, Kid RockI
think theyre great. I like a lot of things that are popular today
that often get maligned.
So, to get people to actually purchase a whole album, there will
have to be better albums.
Everybodys wondering what the new sound is going to be. What Im
wondering, or hoping, is that maybe there wont be a new sound, but,
instead, the quality of music will get upped. I think there are several
records that have come out that have done that, like the Travis record
[1999s The Man Who].
The Travis record doesnt sound new in any way. Its just really
good at what it is, and its consistently good at what it is. You
can listen to the whole album and enjoy it. And you can buy into their
trip and want to see them. Im hoping that music will get less about,
Well, we have a single and now we can put whatever else we want
on the album. And more about making a whole great record.
One of the things I like about the Paloalto record is that the songwriting
is consistently good. You can listen to the whole album and like all the
songs. Thats also what we tried to do with the Chili Pepper album
[Californication]. And I think thats one of the reasons theyre
enduring when so many of their contemporaries, or even the crop of groups
after them, are less significant. The quality of the material is really
high, and ultimately that is undeniable.
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Magazine, October, 2000
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