Arctic Monkeys’ producer James Ford on ‘over-fixing’ records: “human-ness and that wonkiness is what I love to hear in records”

Ford has worked with Arctic Monkeys since 2007, first joining them to work on their second record Favourite Worst Nightmare.

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James Ellis Ford

Photo: Warp Records (Twitter)

British producer and one-half of Simian Mobile Disco, James Ellis Ford, who has been working with Arctic Monkeys since 2007, has given insight into his production process, and most importantly why he resists the urge to over-tweak.

Arctic Monkeys released their most recent album, The Car, in October last year (2022), and Ford has revealed that the record saw the band’s frontman, Alex Turner, get much more involved with the recording process.

In an interview for music newsletter The New Cue, Ford spoke of how the production process differs from producing for his own music, compared with producing for others.

He told the publication: “One thing I was aware of, which I’m aware of with other people, is to try not to fuck around with it too much because the technology is there to fix any mistakes.

“I try not to do that with other people’s records, not putting things in time and in tune too much because I think that human-ness and that wonkiness is what I love to hear in other people’s records and often gets ironed out in a modern production process,” he said.

“To not do that to yourself is harder – it’s easy to hear someone else’s mistakes and see the value in it, but it’s hard to see the value in your own mistakes a lot of the time.”

Ford later noted that Turner often makes demos on a Tascam 38-8 tape recorder. “It’s like an eight-track tape machine and it’s got a real vibey sound,” he explained. “He’ll come in with pretty well-formed ideas at this point, it definitely used to be less formed when they came in, although they’ve always been pretty well organised.”

You can check out The Car below:


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