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Whatcha been up to?

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by Jerose, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Jerose


    Nov 28, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    Now that the NiN tour has been over for a bit, what have you been up to lately? Enjoying a bit of downtime? Starting any new projects? Continuing to be an all-around grandmaster freak?

    Also, as a side note, I feel like I've been wearing out my iPod by overly listening to your live version of Hotwax from Sessions at West 54th. It's like when you hear a song you've listened to before and had for a while and suddenly, for no apparent reason, it sounds so new and fresh again. Sometimes I forget how hard you guys can bump and grind.
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005

    Firstly, thanks for those words about the Sessions/Hotwax recordings. Those were some good times. Possibly the apex of that most excellent Odelay-era Beck band.

    What am I up to? Well, to be honest, a lot of family stuff, first and foremost. My Mom has cancer, and it's fairly severe, complex, and challenging. The diagnosis came down on the day of the last NIN show, and I've been nursing her constantly along with my sister, who is doing the lion's share. Tough. Also, taking time to sort out other personal things as well, recharging the batteries, that kind of thing. Interesting what happens to "normal" life while one has been blithely traipsing around the globe. Things get very "real" upon returning. :)

    The reason why I bring up the personal stuff is that it means this: I haven't had nearly enough time (and sometimes energy) to dive into writing and recording, which is what I really should be, and want to be, doing.

    My assistant and engineer (Mike Schuppan - who is also my tech on the road) is upgrading/updating my studio (we have some new outboard, some we're selling, a new Mac Pro, new Digidesign HD cards that work with it, etc) as well as rebuilding both of my recording pedalboards....not a simple/quick task. As of today, the studio is TIGHT, and definitely ready to roll. New computer smokes, all the outboard is awesome, and patchbays are wired.

    Amazing how long software updates and installs take these days, especially things like Native Komplete, Omnisphere, and Logic. BIG libraries to install.

    Also, working on setups and refurbs for a bunch of my instruments, and going through all the NIN touring gear and re-integrating it into my LA working life, and/or storing the rest.

    Let's see: I've done one complete record already since home (Adam Stephens, from Two Gallants, solo record), and this weekend I'm starting a 3-week project with Rick Rubin, then another short record right after that. Also very happy and grateful to be fielding a few production offers via management, which I hope to learn more about in the coming weeks.

    So things are flowing.

    I guess that's the not-so-brief synopsis....thanks for the interest!

  3. you should obviously make a thrash/techno featuring a delayed and fuzzed accordion in your free time.
  4. jk3


    Jul 25, 2007
    very sorry to hear about your mom. i hope things getter better.
  5. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Same here. Nothing pulls you out of whatever little world you're living in and makes you understand what's really important in life like having someone you love falling ill. Best wishes for your mother.

    Very cool to hear about your upcoming projects.

    And if you haven't seen this already, I thought you might dig it:
    Thom Yorke and his new band (Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco) performing mostly his solo album songs and a few Radiohead tunes.


    I know Rick Rubin was in the audience.
  6. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    I'm not a medical professional but I happen to work for the best place in the world for cancer treatment (in my opinion). If there is anything that I can do, just let me know. I intend to pray for her and your family during this time. Cancer sucks.

    Thank you for your transparency and genuine nature here. Your character shines through to me, and not just because of your name or list of musical accomplishments. It is a real joy and privilege to hear from you on such a regular basis.

  7. kevbass5


    Jan 18, 2008
    Second that
  8. rosstanium


    Jan 5, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario
    ...thoughts and prayers going out for your mom and family Justin.
  9. My thoughts and prayers to you and yours, as I can relate because this describes what my family went through as well.
  10. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
  11. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Hey peoples, I REALLY appreciate the very kind and supportive words. Things aren't particularly easy right now, but that's the way it goes sometimes. But hey: at times like this, I can step back and take stock in the fact that I get to play music for a living, jeez! What a great blessing. Seriously...I count my lucky stars.

  12. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, considering it was in L.A. and Rick Rubin and Colin Greenwood were in the crowd (who you've mentioned being friends with) I figured there was a good chance you were there. In terms of the backing band Flea is going to get the lion's share of the attention (and he is talented and more versatile than most people realize) but there are some REALLY talented cats involved.
  13. stoneboy26


    Jul 11, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Thump Music
    Justin - good to hear that things are starting to get moving again musically since the end of the NIN tour. As you would be aware there are plenty here who would love to see photos of those pedalboards and recording setups once it's all sorted.

    It's amazing how life can all of a sudden bring everything right back into perspective when you need it. Sorry to hear things are still tough with your Mum, but it is great that you are in a position where you can spend a lot of time with her - maybe one of the advantages of making noise for a living. I think I have said it before, but the support of family and friends is the best thing when going through something like this. Not only for your Mum, but your sister and yourself (I know from experience on both sides).

    And as a few others have said, many thanks for taking part on here (even with so much more going on in your life) and being so open and honest.

    Take care and best wishes to your family.
  14. secombs


    Oct 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Hey Justin, I'm assuming you mainly use pro tools at your studio (you mentioned the new Digidesign HD cards). Do you use other DAWs as well or do you stick with PT because of it being the industry standard?

    The reason I ask is because I've been doing some sessions remotely but I work in Logic and have been thinking about switching over to pro tools to make it easier to exchange sessions.
  15. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    I use Logic & Live as well. But I really do enjoy PT...I am very fast in the editing, and I like the playlist functionality, which only gets better with each version. Plus Beat Detective, plus other stuff they've added in of late that works well, even if it's not quite as glamorous as Logic. It's been my main thing forever, so it works out for me to stick with it. And yes: it's important for me to have, because sometimes people send me entire sessions...they don't always have time to make stems. Also, often when it's time for a remix or an edit of something, it always works out better if I can just get an entire session from someone, and inevitably it's in PT.


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