Tell us a little about the history of Handwritten Recording.
Handwritten started here on Belmont in 2006 after existing for a handful of years in my basement. After being cooped up in a basement, I knew I wanted to get into a space that had some sort of presence in an area / community, rather than be tucked away on some industrial street behind a steel door. Mainly, I wanted windows. Six years later, we are still humming along helping people make the recordings they want to make.
Have you ever had a difficult client? How did you deal with it?
Only once- like three years ago. It was a producer working with (taking advantage of) a singer / songwriter. He was just really treating everyone involved with the sessions really poorly on both a personal and professional level. Just acting like he knew everything about everything in an attempt to impress the artist he was producing - when in reality it was just a front for his total cluelessness.
I would like to think I dealt with it as anyone else in my position would: Grin and bear it in the moment, did the best possible work for the sake of the recordings / artist, complained about how miserable it was to my friends, then agreed to myself to never work with that person again.
What is your favorite instrument to record?
Either the green upright piano that is in here or Drums. There are just so many sounds you can coax out of either instrument and the ways of capturing those sounds seem to be equally endless.
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
Probably just the regularity of the space. There isn't a ping pong table in the lounge or grain silo where I record vocals, It is just a quiet room where the noises being made are the noises being recorded.
What would you change about your studio if you had a huge budget to work with?
A ping pong table in the lounge. Oh wait, probably a better stocked fridge. The hummus in there from 2009 is starting to weird me out.
Seriously though, I am really not the type to "wish" for something more as far as the space or gear is concerned. I just think it is the task of the bands / artists & myself to make the best possible recordings off of what we have in the moment.
How much of your average day do you estimate is spent thinking or talking about some aspect of your and/or your friends' musical project(s)? (question asked by Eric)
Yikes, at least 8.
What should I ask the next person to be on By Measure?
What instrument would you like to see disappear from music for ten years? Whether or not they would like to see it make an triumphant comeback ten years later can be an optional "follow up".
Rick's favorite songs:
1. for getting through a tough day at work: Simon and Garfunkel, "Keep the Customer Satisfied".
2. from before 1970: The Beatles, "Mean Mr Mustard".
3. to listen to at high volume: The Velvet Underground, "I Found a Reason".
4. best heard in live performance: Deerhunter, "Nothing Ever Happened".
5. by an mostly or all-female band: Sleater-Kinney, "Modern Girl".
6. from a Chicago artist: The Ponys, "Get Black".
7. you loved in the 8th grade: Elvis Costello, "Pump it Up".
8. to dance to: Parliament, "Handcuffs".