Music Monday | Kevin Churko

From early 2009 to late 2014, I knew of five producers in the metal scene. The first was Rick Rubin, second was Flood, who worked with Thirty Seconds To Mars, James Michael, he is the lead vocalist of Sixx:A.M. with Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba but has produced several albums for other bands, Kevin – which I’ll explain more in a minute, and Joost van der Beork. Spoiler alert: he will be discussed in next month’s theme!

I came across Kevin Chucko in either 2011 or 2014; I know this is a big gap of time, but these were the years that my new love of music became very prominent. As I was into the genre for close to six years straight. I really made myself pay attention to various music producers just like I had in the hip hop world in my younger years.

I was actually introduced to Kevin Churko after the nu metal band Papa Roach worked with James Michael on their album “The Connection” in 2012. If you didn’t know, this is actually fairly common in music. Everyone, whether they are just a singer or in a band with more than the standard five members, can work with various people in the album making process. They are not just limited to a set and have to make it work that way. You could look at this as like playing the children’s game “duck, duck, goose” but I think it’s a smart thing to do and I feel like I played the same game in the very beginning of figuring out what I loved about the headbanging and mosh pittin’ lifestyle too.

Sometimes acts will in fact devote their time with only one composer, engineer, songwriter and producer for their work if the chemistry is there, but in order to keep things interesting and build a relationship, you can grow out of your comfort zone and do something new. Kevin Chucko has worked with prominently rock bands. He’s based in Las Vegas and shockingly not all bands want to have fun on the Strip. For most musicians, they make the choice to stay at home and work via online or relocating to wherever their record company sends them to, which is usually where their producer lives.

The first band that I fell in love with in 2009 was female fronted was In This Moment.¬†Since they released their album “Blood” in 2012, they have exclusively worked with Kevin. Personally, it is my ultimate favorite but I think their newest “Mother” has cemented into a stable second place. While I tend to stop following bands in between albums, ITM has been in the same bag as other bands like Linkin Park and Within Temptation where I am always looking at my trustee sources so I don’t miss out on anything they release in the future.

Kevin has also worked with heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch on their album “American Capitalist” which I think came out the same time but I’m really not for sure!Now, for anyone who doesn’t know, this was my first and most beloved album by FFDP and it was also with this collection of songs that I found out that I could enjoy the harsher style of male voices in rock ‘n roll, thanks to Chester Bennington! A year or two later, after working with James Michael, Papa Roach started going to Kevin Churko and he has produced their music since probably 2014 and even though I have only really heard the singles from the last three albums, I usually love anything they put out to the fans.

A couple of things I learned while writing this post were: I have been spelling his name wrong, so I had to change the banner and everything else, so if you notice any misspellings throughout this post, I am so sorry! The next one is he has alongside another producer that was on my original list – Mutt Lange. My mom actually suggested him but once I decided on doing this as a miniseries, he was cut out of the lineup but I thought this was interesting (but odd) to include here. And lastly, Kevin’s son Kane Churko is also a producer, and generally works with the same acts but has done a few remixes here and there too!

Have you listened to anything produced by Kevin Churko? If you have, what are your favorite(s)?

snowflake

 

Music Monday | Rick Rubin

Howdy!

Last week in the series, I talked about Dr. Dre, who I have pretty known my whole life (music wise) because of my mother and the amount of old school rap that was played on our cassette player located in my parent’s room! However, for this week I will be discussing my admiration for Rick Rubin.

Rick Rubin is a very special person for me, because by the time I started listening to Linkin Park in 2009, he had just finished working with him on their album “Minutes To Midnight” (2008). This was my first memory of him working with anybody that I enjoyed at the time. So, while I was getting myself deeper and deeper into the world of Linkin Park, I was learning what could (at my own pace) of this interesting music producer. I call him “interesting” because although most producers want to work with a large variety of acts, they usually tend to stick to one genre and stay there for the rest of their lives. Rick Rubin has had most of his success in heavy metal, hard rock and rap music.

The two most popular acts I learned in the first two years was Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. He has worked with many, many other bands over the years, but these were the two that sort of explain the reason why he helped Linkin Park in the past.

The album I associate Rick helping produce the most is “The Black Album” that was released in 2003. This was supposed to be the final album for the rapper before he retired from the music scene, but considering a year later he and Linkin Park came together like Run-DMC and Aerosmith did in the late 1980’s with “Walk This Way”. Although I don’t think they released an album like Jay-Z and LP did; technically they did an album and put on a concert and would later crash each other’s tours to perform “Numb/Encore” every once in a while. When Chester Bennington died in 2017, Jay-Z was out on tour with his wife Beyonc√©, and he performed the hit but instead of doing Chester’s parts, the audience sang every word. It was very beautiful and a great gesture to Chester, his family and the rest of the band too!

Rick Rubin was the reason for this match to come together in the early 2000’s, because he had just finished working with Jay-Z and was close to LP too, as Rick is known to experiment in the nu metal scene in that time frame. The reason why it was so huge for these two acts to do this was because not many people went outside their comfort zones in the music world, you stayed in your genre for most of your career. At least, that’s my take on the scene and I was very much part of it since I really didn’t like to go outside of my bubble gum pop world although there were was a time were I enjoyed rap music, but you can tell I didn’t listen to a lot of rap between the year 1999 to 2002, because I was busy enjoying Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys too much to really pay attention!

Nowadays, it’s really accepted to like a wide variety of music and not to mention foreign languages that come with these new changes too! Radio is still a big way to introduce new music to a larger audience to the world, but it’s also important to realize that record producers to go through this switch too! They will always stay within their comfort zone, which I think for Mr. Rubin, it is heavy metal, but from time to time he will find something different to sink his teeth into and it might shock a few people that follow his journey just as much as the other musicians too.

So, if you are a lover of Rick Rubin’s work, who is your favorite act(s)? And do you have a favorite era of time too?

snowflake