A Conversation With Kim Richey

The fact that Kim Richey felt impelled to completely rework 2000’s Glimmer would imply that she was never happy with it in the first place. But that’s simply not the case—for the most part. Richey has always maintained that she loved working with Grammy-winning producer Hugh Padgham, who added a glossy commercial finish to what remains some of the Nashville-based singer/songwriter’s best work.

Twenty years later, Richey has just released A Long Way Back: The Songs Of Glimmer (Yep Roc), a stripped-down interpretation of the original 14 tracks. Recorded by Grammy-nominated producer Doug Lancio (John Hiatt, Patty Griffin), who also played most of the instruments, this version was originally issued in 2019 as a limited-edition vinyl release. The 300 copies sold out so quickly that Yep Roc has now reissued it in CD and digital formats.

MAGNET checked in with Richey as she was prepping for a tour that has since been bumped to August for obvious reasons. She had plenty to say about Glimmer and its less conspicuous counterpart.

Was it the label’s decision to go in a more commercial direction with Glimmer?
Nope. Every decision I made with Mercury I made on my own. I didn’t have a manager at the time, so I was trying to figure it all out by myself. I thought, “Well, I love (the Police’s) Synchronicity, and Hugh Padgham did Split Enz and a lot of other cool stuff.” Still, everybody kept saying it was the label that made me change my sound.

What were some of the challenges of re-recording the songs for A Long Way Back?
Starting out, we put too many restrictions on ourselves. It was just going to be me on acoustic guitar playing the songs, but doing that was easier on some songs than on others. “Strength In You,” for example, was harder because it’s more of a rock song.

So things just sort of evolved in the studio?
Yes. Doug plays everything beautifully. He started putting more things on the tracks, and I basically said, “I don’t even want to play guitar if you’re here.” So it started to get a little bigger. In the last phase, we had a few songs that really needed more than just acoustic instruments. Living right next door to Doug was Aaron Smith, the drummer who played on “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”—he was on a couple tracks. And one of my favorite moments is Dan Mitchell playing flugelhorn on “A Long Way Back.” 

What were some of the misperceptions that arose after the release of Glimmer?
What always bothered me was that people didn’t really give the songs a chance, and that’s partly why I wanted to record them again. Everybody seemed to be so concerned about the production of the record because it was so pop, and I was supposed to be country and Americana—I wasn’t allowed to do something different. At the same time, I got all my hair cut off … Remember, I had that giant ’90s hair? [Laughs] My feelings were hurt by the reviews in Nashville, because they seemed so centered on the production and the way I looked. I got a haircut and I started running. Why was that news?

How about the recording process?
At first, making that record was really stressful because I didn’t know anyone. I went from more of a “making a record in the basement” vibe with Angelo (Petraglia) for (1997’s) Bittersweet to a New York studio with well-heeled musicians and Hugh Padgham. One thing that was so much fun with Hugh was doing background vocals. I think of them as another instrument, and he was really open to anything musically. Once we got going, it was a blast.

—Hobart Rowland

A Conversation With Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

Drive-By Truckers’ American Band arrived at the perfect time in the fall of 2016. A celebration of the actual core values that define this country and a brutally honest depiction of our flawed humanity, the acclaimed release was just the salve to soothe inflamed psyches during a tumultuous election season.

So here we are in another election year, and DBT’s Patterson Hood isn’t wasting an opportunity to vent on The Unraveling (ATO). That anger colors his storytelling in the best sense, from the inexplicable despair of mass-shooting opus “Thoughts And Prayers” to the futile small-town narrative of “21st Century USA” to the anti-immigration horror show of “Babies In Cages.” For ominous eight-minute parting shot “Awaiting Resurrection,” Hood stages an intervention of sorts, getting in our faces with the realization that it’s up to us to turn this thing around. Supplemented by two more great tracks from DBT co-founder Mike Cooley, The Unraveling might’ve worked as a second disc to American Band, if it were conceived as a four-sided concept album along the lines of 2001’s Southern Rock Opera. At the very least, it’s a fitting sequel.

In a recent chat, Hood explains the origins of the angst that informs The Unraveling,while insisting that there’s still hope to be had. But the clock is ticking.

The Unraveling feels like the ultimate gut check. It’s angry, it’s blunt, and it’s also really sad.
This was a hard record to write. It was kind of a challenge trying to figure out how to achieve what we wanted to achieve and have it still be a record somebody would want to listen to. Leading up to it coming out, I didn’t really know whether it was going to be received well or not. The fact that it seems to have hit a nerve with so many people has been gratifying, but I wasn’t really expecting it this time.

You could argue that this album and American Band are two sides of the same coin, so to speak.
Before American Band, we’d write about something in the form of a story or something set in another time. With Southern Rock Opera, even though it was set in the ’70s, to me it was still relevant when we made it. With American Band, the songs were set in the right now, and they seemed to become even more timely over the next two or three years. This record is sort of an extension of that one, except with a more personal slant to it. It’s about trying to raise your family in the midst of all this madness—trying to explain the lockdown drill to your kids and all that shit. I have 15-year-old and a 10-year-old. It’s fucked up.

I’ve always equated your storytelling to that moment at a bar when interests and intellects collide, the beer buzz is just kicking in and the discussion turns to the stuff we all have in common—some of it profound, the rest life’s seemingly mundane little details. I think that’s especially true on The Unraveling.
All of our records are personal to me, but this one seemed to take on a different level. It’s been a rough few years on just about every level but a professional one. We moved cross-country (to Oregon), and there were a lot of hardships associated with that. I keep up with current affairs and the political climate, and there’s been a lot of turmoil associated with that. There are some pre-existing conditions in my family that would make health insurance precarious if they’re ever able to undo the Affordable Care Act. So I’m not sure I was in the best mental and emotional state—and getting old is a bitch. All of that played into the way this record came out.

Drive-By Truckers have had a long and fruitful relationship with producer David Barbe. What role did he play in making these last two albums so lean and mean?
It’s not a typical producer/band relationship. He’s very much part of the band. We challenge each other; we push each other not to repeat ourselves—and the last two records have been engineered by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price), who’s amazing. We all wanted this record to sound really different from the last one. With American Band, we mixed it almost mono. On this one, we kind of went the opposite way: wide-screen and cinematic. Matt had some really great ideas about that when he came in to mix it with David. As hard as this record was to write, it was fun to record.

Many of songs on The Unraveling are fairly direct in their sentiments. One that’s a bit more mysterious is “Armageddon’s Back In Town.” What was the inspiration behind that?
I’m honestly not sure. [Laughs] That and “Rosemary With A Bible And A Gun” are different types of songwriting for me. “Armageddon’s Back In Town” implies a story that it really doesn’t bother to tell. There’s a lot of imagery and a lot of moving from town to town … That might be one that I figure out a year or two from now.

And then there’s the finale, “Awaiting Resurrection.”
That one revisits all the other ideas on the record—ties all the loose ends together and leaves you standing on that beach watching the sunset. The album cover we chose was inspired by the end of that song. It’s my son and one of his best friends, whose dad actually took the picture, which is fucking beautiful. We’d cut about 18 songs, so there were a lot of different ideas about what this record was going to be before we honed in on what we wanted. I didn’t want a cover that looked like any of our other covers, and I wanted it to be photo based. I stumbled on that picture, and it immediately spoke to me. You’re standing there, the sun’s going down, and it’s kind of beautiful—but it’s also kind of eerie.

How’s life in Oregon?
I love it. It’s made me enjoy the South more. Now I don’t have to deal with the day-to-day things that were pissing me off; I can go back home and enjoy the people I love, the restaurants I love. And I hate summers. The summers in Oregon are pretty fucking amazing. 

—Hobart Rowland

Tour Dates
3/12 – The Vogue, Indianapolis 
3/13 – Metro, Chicago 
3/14 – Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN  
3/17 – Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver  
3/18 – The Showbox, Seattle  
3/20-21 – Wonder Ballroom, Portland  
3/22 – Van Duzer Theatre, Arcata, CA  
3/24 – Mystic Theatre, Petaluma, CA 
3/26 – The Fillmore, San Francisco 
3/27 – The Regent Theater, Los Angeles  
3/28 – The Van Buren, Phoenix 
3/31 – El Rey Theater, Albuquerque  
4/2 – Granada Theater, Dallas  
4/3-4 – Scoot Inn, Austin   
4/16-17 – The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC 
4/18 – High Water Festival, Charleston, SC  
4/21 – The Ramkat, Winston-Salem, NC  
4/23 – Manchester Music Hall, Lexington, KY  
4/24 – The Pageant, St Louis, MO  
4/25 – Ryman Auditorium, Nashville  
4/27 – Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola, FL 
4/28 – The Plaza Live, Orlando 
4/29 – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
5/1 – Iron City, Birmingham, AL
5/21 – Shaky Knees, Atlanta

A Conversation With Richard Lowenstein (“Mystify: Michael Hutchence”)

To say that Mystify: Michael Hutchence was a labor of love for director Richard Lowenstein is sort of an understatement. Lowenstein was close friends with the INXS singer for more than a decade, directing many of the band’s videos and casting Hutchence in the lead role of his 1986 film, Dogs In Space. That connection lends Lowenstein’s immersive documentary an intimacy that could only come from someone in Hutchence’s inner circle. 

Available for streaming now and out on Blu-ray and DVD via Shout! Factory on March 31, Mystify takes a long-awaited deep dive into the ascent and demise of one of the great frontmen in rock. Making the most of footage from Hutchence’s home movies and those of his intimates, Lowenstein captures the charismatic artist’s larger-than-life persona while honing in on his sensitivity, his intellect and his fitful indifference toward the trappings of success. The second half of the film artfully sucks viewers into a five-year downward spiral touched off by a violent assault that robbed Hutchence of his senses of taste and smell, culminating in his suicide in a Sydney hotel room. Ultimately, Mystify is a celebration of life, surrendering itself to the journey of its protagonist and bypassing the innuendo surrounding his 1997 death.

MAGNET touched base with Lowenstein via Skype from Melbourne, Australia, a mercifully safe distance from the fires still burning farther north.

How are you holding up over there? The coverage I’ve seen of the fires has been horrible.
It’s quite devastating—10 percent of the country has burned. We’ve had some terrible apocalyptic days of smoke down here, with acid rain and mud falling from the sky. But fire wise, we’ve escaped. 

How has Mystify gone over in your country?
It’s been brilliant. The cinema release was one of the top-five documentary grosses of all time here. It’s also opening in 50 cinemas in Germany, and the French and the Italians are doing releases. It’s really striking a chord around the world, which is great.

You don’t have to be a diehard INXS fan to appreciate the story.
It’s a study of an individual and the trials and tribulations of getting through a career as a pop star. In pop, it’s all about looking and being young, as well as having a hit record. I did try and make it a universal story. And in lots of territories, INXS has been forgotten about, so I did want it to speak to a younger generation who knew nothing about Michael.

So many Australian bands never had INXS’s enormous success in the United States. Why?
At the time, it was extremely rare for an Australian band to do genres of music other than classic pub rock. INXS infused dance music and R&B into a sort of white pop. They took their influences seriously. They didn’t do it in a superficial way like many of the post-punk bands coming out of England at the time. On top of it, you’ve got someone who’s not just a good performer but a great performer. Michael had this humility about him—he wasn’t pushing some arrogant pop-star Oasis image. He was one of those classic sexual icons girls love, but there were just as many working-class blokes who saw him as fantastic. It’s like he presented a feminine side they couldn’t express.

And INXS was hardworking band.
They were determined to break territories like America and Europe by touring there at a young age. As soon as they were filling 1,000-seat pubs here, they were doing college tours in America for their (1982) Shabooh Shoobah album. That really gave them a grassroots international appeal. They weren’t just hoping for a number-one hit—like Men At Work. But after (the success of 1987’s) Kick, management got incredibly lazy. I remember being around Michael post-Kick and hearing him say, “Where’s my manager? Probably out playing polo somewhere.” The focus went from touring to writing a hit song. I think that was a huge mistake. 

When did you first meet Michael Hutchence?
We met on the set of the “Burn For You” video, which was the first one I did for them. They rang me a week before I was to go to the Cannes Film Festival with my first feature film (1984’s Strikebound), and I told them we could talk when I got back. They were like, “We’re here now—just grab your cameras.” They were in Mackay, this low-rent Florida-style beach town in Queensland. Because we were these pale punks, their manager put us into this hotel to protect us from the sun. Later, they led us out of the hotel and there were these five or six bronzed Australians with mullet haircuts lounging by the pool with their beautiful girlfriends next to them. The middle one with this extra-long mullet got up, came over, double-shook my hand and said, “Hi. I’m Michael,” with this big genial grin. Within 24 hours, we were all snorkeling together off the Great Barrier Reef, living the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle and filming as we went along.

A week later, when I was at Cannes, INXS were playing in Nice, and Michael appeared. He ended up staying up all night partying and coming along to one of my meetings with an Australian producer the next day. It wasn’t going well, so I stopped my pitch and said I had this other film about a bunch of hippies and punks living in a house in Melbourne—and Michael was the lead. He looked up from his semi-asleep position at the table and said, “Am I?” I said, “Yeah, you’re the lead.” Pretty much from that point on, we became firm friends. I didn’t expect more INXS videos, but they just kept rolling in. I also knew a whole lot of people Michael idolized, like Nick Cave. He just loved him and the artistic credibility he had.

What were some of the revelations that came up as you were making Mystify?
It took about two years to make the film once we got funded, and five years of preparatory work before that. I literally spent the first year panicking that I didn’t have the footage I needed. I kept telling investors I had amazing stuff, but I was actually lying. Then, when money started coming in, I started going through my old tins of film. I sent it off to the laboratory to get scanned, and every few days, the lab would ring me up and say, “You won’t believe what we found.” The [footage of] Kylie [Minogue] and Michael on holidays was in those tins. I couldn’t understand how 20 minutes of Michael and Kylie got amongst my music video rushes. I’d totally forgotten.

Michael wanted a hand-wound 16mm Bolex like mine, so I bought him one, and he started filming his private life. But he didn’t know how to process the film, so he’d bring it back to the next video shoot and throw it at me. I’d get him a VHS and keep all the 16mm footage. It was like some kind of divine intervention.

Welcome To Wherever You Are, the last great INXS album, came out in August 1992, the same month Hutchence had his violent run-in with the cab driver in Copenhagen. That was a pivotal year for both him and the band.
Michael had started getting very confused about grunge. The band was in danger of being labeled an anachronism, and I don’t think the record company knew how to reinvent them for the ’90s, which is what U2 did so successfully. When it came to the accident, Michael would never let the truth get in the way of a good story. He told some people he fell off a bike in Thailand. (Ex-girlfriend) Helena (Christensen) was the only witness, and as soon as I heard her description—the blood coming from his nose and ears—I knew it was serious. There was an incredible amount of bleeding in his brain that wasn’t treated.

The film does an effective job of addressing Hutchence’s death without dwelling on it.
The most important thing for me was to look at all the things leading up to his suicide like a detective would. The autoeroticism rumor didn’t start until about six weeks after he died—there was no mention of it before then. We accessed the full coroner’s report, and there were two really large areas of brain damage that put him at an unusually high suicide risk. The medical evidence was really clear that he was at risk for three reasons: He hadn’t slept in over 24 hours; he was incredibly drunk, with only tiny traces of recreational drugs; and he had two walnut-sized areas of traumatic head injury. The experts said it was like a perfect storm. It’s not a suicide where you write a note—it happens like a snap decision. If you can get through that half hour, you most likely won’t even recognize your own actions. No one knew that information, so it was important for me to get it out.

Mystify was Michael’s story, so once he stopped breathing, I didn’t think it was the right thing to show funeral footage. Knowing Michael, he would’ve hated his own funeral. There was all sorts of media bullshit going on. The only thing he would’ve liked was Nick Cave playing “Into My Arms.”

—Hobart Rowland

A Conversation With Soft Glas

Listening to music by singer/multi-instrumentalist Joao Gonzalez, who records as Soft Glas, conjures images of lazy, hazy summer days spent hanging out with good friends and moonlit nights dancing by the seaside. MAGNET spoke with Gonzalez about his latest single, his influences and plans for the new year. 

Your latest song, “Just Bright,” features nice, arpeggiated guitar playing. I know you played or programmed almost all the instruments on the track. I believe your first instrument was the drums, which don’t necessarily lend themselves to songwriting. When you compose your songs, do you use guitar or keyboard? What’s your approach?
I’m definitely a fan of arpeggiated guitar lines. I heard Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes” when I was 17 on the way to auditioning for the jazz drumming program at Florida State University’s school of music. I botched the audition an got denied. But I’ll never forget the feeling of hearing that song and thinking, “That’s it. That’s exactly what I like.” It wasn’t until recently—2017—that I picked up the guitar, and I naturally found myself using arpeggios almost exclusively. I’m also a very poor strummer. I usually start songs one of two ways: on the guitar or with the drums. Once the identity of the song is established with one of those two instruments, I can let the song tell me where it wants to go. 

The accompanying video is an impressively minimalist affair with your face reflected in a hand-held mirror for the duration of the tune. What’s the concept behind the imagery and is that a California mountain we see in the background?
Yes, that’s L.A.! I was staying at my friends’ apartment. Alex Szotak shot the video. The song is unashamedly introspective, but more specifically, it’s about trying to replicate the juvenile feeling of “home” as an adult. The idea of “faking it till I make it” was something I wanted to explore with the video. So I just wanted it to be a single shot of me staring at my own reflection, trying to convince myself of something. 

I hear hints of jazz chording in your guitar work. Your father (Grammy-winning artist Gonzalo Rubalcaba) has had an extensive jazz-piano career. Growing up, I’m sure you were influenced by your father’s playing, true? I believe you worked with him on your last album (2017’s Orange Earth).
Yeah, I think that’s inevitable. My father is not only an inspiration but also a strong influence. His approach to composing is fascinating to me, and even though I don’t consciously try to make jazz music, it will spill out of me without warning. Yes, I finally got to work with him on “Woodside”/”Riverside,” which was a dream come true.

Orange Earth, drew on your Florida upbringing for lyrics and mood. Now that you live in Brooklyn, has your new environment seeped into your work?
The funny thing is that I don’t think I could’ve made Orange Earth without moving to Brooklyn. I made the album after living in New York for five years, and it was only after being away from my hometown that I could see its magic. The album is very much a romanticized view of south Florida through the eyes of a bone-chilled New York resident! I’ve recently moved away from New York, and I’m sure I’ll eventually dedicate a project to the city.  

It’s hard to slot your music into one particular style, which as an artist might be refreshing to hear. It’s bedroom pop but with hints of jazz and chill-out music. How would you describe it?
I’ve always described my music as awkward. Anytime I set out to make something blatantly and obviously settled in one specific genre, it always feels off. I like to think I make music for people who share a bit of that awkwardness with me. Hints of everything!

What are your plans for 2020? Might we see a new album?
Definitely a lot of music. I have a new EP called Stunned that will be released in February and a full-length album shortly after that.

—Bruce Fagerstrom

A Conversation With Jason Hill

Rock ’n’ roll is no longer a make-or-break proposition for Jason Hill—not even close. That urgency effectively came to an end about 10 years ago, when his second band, dicey glam-trash outfit Louis XIV, disbanded after two full-length releases and a pair of EPs on Atlantic. Less has been said about Hill’s first group, Convoy, which poked its head out the San Diego hills just before the start of the millennium with a fully formed self-produced debut that sweetened its Stonesy swagger with a hazy Laurel Canyon aesthetic and occasional Beach Boys harmonies.

These days, Hill has found a lucrative niche for himself in the studio, most recently overseeing the soundtracks for two seasons of the well-received crime series Mindhunter and the chilling new docu-series The Confession Killer, both on Netflix. Now that Hill has the luxury of rocking out purely for the fun of it, he’s bringing back Louis XIV, with new music and tour plans for early next year. And he’s just released his first solo single, the fitfully cinematic “They Like Me, They Love Me,” which you can listen to below. We lured Hill out of the studio for a colorful chat about all the above.

It looks like you’re keeping busy these days.
I’ve got, like, two massive white boards in my studio with columns and columns of projects. It’s a mess, but it’s cool. I can’t complain at all. I’ve been scoring films and TV series for the last five or six years. I’ve sort of gotten bored with the normality of regular songs.

Well, the new single has the feel of a regular song.
“They Like Me, They Love Me” is actually in The Confession Killer. It was written loosely from the perspective of Henry Lee Lucas, who’s the focus of the docu-series. It was the first song I’d written for me to sing in years. I wrote it really quickly. I walked into the studio and picked up an acoustic guitar, the words came, and I wrote them down. I hadn’t sung much in years, and I was also a little sick. I was never happy with the vocal, so I did all of these crazy things with it. At the end of the day, it turned out really cool.

You really have to go back to the Convoy days to hear you singing in the classic sense. With Louis XIV, you were role-playing more than anything else.
Some people didn’t get what we were doing. At first, for our self-titled album, Louis XIV was a character that was purposefully put together. It derived from this concept of a kid who’s 18 or 19, who had a drug-addict mom growing up. When she went out, she would lock him in the closet, and that became his grand apartment. I always envisioned it as this movie where you’d film him in present day and then, at a certain point, it would just click and he’d see himself back in the days of Louis XIV. We’d put on this ridiculous English accent, really just for fucking fun. But for some people, there was this reaction like, “What are they doing? This is a fraud.” But after that first record, it all became something more than just a concept. I developed this heavily articulated and drawn-out style of singing, and it became Louis XIV.

What prompted the abrupt shift in style from the smoother Americana vibe of Convoy to the jagged edges of Louis XIV?
The Louis XIV stuff was really a reaction to overproduction. Convoy’s first album, Pineapple Recording Sessions, wasn’t smooth at all. It was self-produced and raw, all done on eigh-track reel-to-reel. The smoother style of (2002’s) Black Licorice wasn’t what the band was ever after. The production was getting bigger and bigger, but the core of the songwriting wasn’t getting better. I could blame [producer David Bianco] for that, but it’s a lot of what broke up the band, as well. When something’s missing, you add more stuff. Most of Black Licorice was smoothly produced versions of what’s on Pineapple Recording Sessions, which we thought we’d done just fine the first time. But we were young and cowered to the record label. 

Was it worth it?
The record company (Hybrid) owed us $75,000 for another record. We had an album pretty much finished, but our hearts had already moved on—although two of those songs (“Air Traffic Control” and “Hopesick”) actually made it onto (Louis XIV’s) Sick Dogs And Ponies. Looking back, I could’ve given them that record, and we would’ve had $75,000 to live on. But morally, I didn’t want to do that. At the time, I was dead broke and living in this office space over my friend’s recording studio. I’d go out on out the back porch that overlooked the Shell station and the San Diego Bay and shower with a hose connected to the faucet. There wasn’t any hot water, because I couldn’t pay for it. My grandfather had given my dad a car. My dad had a stroke and couldn’t use it, so I got the car. I basically sold it to the bank for $18,000 and bought a bunch of recording gear—the core of what I still use today. Some of the guys in the band were sick of being broke and wanted real jobs, so the rest of us split off to make Louis XIV. After the first Louis album, I began making a solo record; things like “Pledge Of Allegiance” and “Paper Doll” were initially supposed to be on that. But it just became Louis XIV as (longtime collaborator) Brian (Karscig) and I started writing more tunes. For (2005’s) The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, it was incredibly creative. A whole song would be done in the matter of an evening. We had complete artistic control. I produced it; I engineered it; I mixed it. It was 100 percent us. To Atlantic’s credit, they were cool with it. 

Were you surprised that Louis XIV took off the way it did?
Not really. We’d honed our craft through all the Convoy stuff and all the touring. We were actually at the point where everything was colliding in a perfect way. This is not to be egotistical, but I really thought we were one of the best bands on the planet at the time. You have to believe in what you’re doing, and I believed in it. I remember after some shows, I’d be like, “Fuck, this is exactly what I wanted. I always wanted to be my own favorite band.”

How did you get involved with director David Fincher?
His wife was a fan of my music, I think. He heard something and thought I’d be great to do the trailer teaser for (2014’s) Gone Girl, which was a cover of “She” by Charles Aznavour. I produced it and brought in Richard Butler to sing it. On the outside, it’s a love song, but it’s really about codependency and kind of dark. A girlfriend and I had broken up after three years on the Friday before, and three days later I got the call to do it. My father was dying at the time, as well. I was an emotional mess deep down. I’d decided to go sober from everything for a year—no booze or pot, which was hard at first. I was literally doing the Dudley Moore thing in Arthur, where he got sober when his butler was sick and dying. It sounds ridiculous, but I wanted to do the same for my father. I wanted to get a handle on how I was feeling and not just numb myself. So “She” was the perfect project to dive headfirst into—I just poured it all into that production, and it changed my life. I worked on it in Studio 3 at the old United Recorders, Phil Spector and Brian Wilson’s main room—so that was a treat. I locked it out for a month. Fincher just saw the work I put into it and hired me for his next few projects, leading to Mindhunter.

How is making music different for you now than it was, say, 15 years ago?
Now I can hack on pretty much every instrument. For this Korean film I’m scoring, it’s cello. I used to walk into the studio and reach for a guitar or maybe a piano. Now, I have a million instruments around me that I don’t know, that I’m not as confident with—and I can challenge myself. You can’t make a living as an artist these days unless you work your ass off and tour, because nobody pays for music. But it’s never been about making money—I’d do this no matter what. I’ve always wanted to learn how to use the studio as an instrument, and now that’s pretty much my approach. It’s what propelled me to this place.

—Hobart Rowland; photo by @victoriasmithphoto 

To listen to the soundtrack for Mindhunter Season 2, click here.

Louis XVI Tour Dates
3/11 — Sacramento, Holy Diver
3/12 — San Francisco, The Great Northern
3/17 — Los Angeles, Moroccan Lounge
3/19 — San Diego, The Music Box