On producing Paramore

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by matijove, Feb 7, 2014.


  1. matijove

    matijove

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Hi Justin, I've been listening to the new Paramore album for this last few weeks.
    I love what you have done producing this band. I feel you took them on a new direction.

    I was wondering how did you approach the bass lines through out the album. They are much more elaborated than on the previous band albums.
    Is Jeremy Davis responsible for them all, or did you have an important part in that area, you being such an original and creative bassist.

    Thanks!
    regards from Argentina!
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Thank you for your complements.

    Jeremy definitely came up with most of his parts. During the pre-production phase, we were able to try all kinds of permutations of his main ideas. I acted as the filter, and would make suggestions and changes as needed. My philosophy with Jeremy was to try anything, and not do what was easy or convenient for the sake of it. I believe that doing it that way really gave him a lot of confidence and satisfaction to "own" this record from the standpoint of the bass, more than any other previously.

    J
  3. matijove

    matijove

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Thanks for the quick answer!
    Still listening, my favorite line so far is the one in "Ain't it funny".
    Did you guys use a 5 string bass for that one o is it just a low tunning?

    Matias.
  4. volker

    volker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Wellington/New Zealand
    I am currently totally OCD-ing on that Paramore album!! My wife's already told me off for constantly listening to it (although the CD's hers)! :D

    I have to admit: After those brothers had left the band, I really thought they'd break up and Hayley'd go solo. Like, "They're never going to be able to write something as great as 'Brick By Boring Brick' again now!"

    Sure enough, when this latest album was released and the wife and I were listening to it for the first time, we both were like, "What the heck is this!? Ukulele sounds? Gospel choirs?? This is not Paramore anymore!!" - Rather disappointed, though not a 'bad' album per se.

    ...Until some time later, when we were watching a Paramore live gig online (BBC 'Big Weekend', I think), and suddenly those new songs started connecting with me - Even the 'Gospel' song ;) Guess I had just needed to open up to the new Paramore!

    Now, I actually regard 'Paramore' as their best album yet! Great how they've broadened their musical horizon by getting influenced by a variety of music styles, Hayley sings beautifully and doesn't always try to go as high as her voice can handle (Au contraire, there are some rather low notes in one of the slower numbers), and Jeremy's bass is wayyy more present than on any of the previous albums. Nice choice of different bass sounds, too! In fact the whole album's a superb production, and the playing's real 'tight' - That drummer is awesome!! Congratulations on a job more than well done, Justin! :)

    By the way, I've been wondering about the following: In song #1, 'Fast In My Car', in the bit before the 2nd chorus, the 'stutter' in the bass line; Was that done post-recording, or did Jeremy use the old Pete-Townshend-trick on his bass' toggle switch?

    Cheers, and all the best

    V :)
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Interesting take on the record. I could see previous Paramore fans balking on the album at first. I do also agree that it's their best work thus far.

    That effect on Jeremy's bass right there was something I did in post, with some diligent edits and F/X. Just an idea I had that I ran with.

    J
  7. volker

    volker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Wellington/New Zealand
    Thanks for your reply a while ago, Justin! Hey I've read that you've produced the latest album of 'our' The Naked And Famous, 'In Rolling Waves' - Will have to get my hands on a copy :) Cheers, V.
  8. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Hi,
    Wow, nice Ibanez Musician headstock! I love my Musician bass.

    Yes, I produced only a bit on that album, just two songs that saw release. My role was smaller than a typical record production I do.

    J
    Bassfreakz likes this.
  9. volker

    volker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Wellington/New Zealand
    Thanks! Yes I've got a '79 MC900, fretted version of Sting's of that era (along with a restored Hamer 'Blitz'). Great sound, but aren't the Musicians heavy instruments! I wasn't able to find a pic of your one. From the earliest '80s you say? Yeah I've head a bit of a browse around your forum, and before today, I'd had no idea how extensive it actually is! Could've answered a question like the 'Waves' one myself, duh! ;)

    Really cool what you've been doing, career-wise! Kinda like myself, but on a much, MUCH bigger scale.

    Cheers
    V :)
  10. volker

    volker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Wellington/New Zealand
    Hi Justin!

    I've been in the process tonight of re-discovering Garbage, after having lost them out of sight a long time ago, after their 2nd album; I've come across this following brilliant clip, and it was only after the 3rd or 4th watch when I realised: That's actually you on bass, isn't it? :) Great stuff!

    Cheers,
    V.

  11. Dan Bozek

    Dan Bozek

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Outside Pittsburgh, PA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist, D'addario Strings
    Eric Avery.
  12. volker

    volker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Wellington/New Zealand
    Oops, guess I should've looked a bit more closely! Thanks Dan!
  13. Dan Bozek

    Dan Bozek

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Outside Pittsburgh, PA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist, D'addario Strings
    I'm sure both of those guys wouldn't mind being mistaken for each other every now and again. There's a lot of years of fantastic west coast bass playing between the two!!
    volker likes this.
  14. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    I did the album, Eric did the tour. Garbage are good ol' friends of mine. Love them dearly.
    Dan Bozek likes this.
  15. volker

    volker

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Wellington/New Zealand
    Some common ground there after all, cool! :) I wonder if this is also a reason for him using a Jaguar bass?!

    I have to admit the name Eric Avery didn't ring any bells with me straightaway; Great to find out he actually wrote my two favourite Jane's Addiction songs 'Jane Says' and 'Summertime Rolls', which are quite meaningful to me :)

Share This Page