“They’re making bulls**t records with loops. Everything’s sampled”: Tony Visconti slams modern producers

“I think old-school production with a band is the only way to make great records.”

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Tony Visconti

Image: Burak Cingi / Getty Images

Tony Visconti has made it clear he’s not a fan of modern producers because they are – in his words – “making bullshit records with loops”.

Speaking recently to MOJO, the three time Grammy-winning producer was asked if there were any modern producers he admired, to which he replied: “No. Absolutely not.”

“They’re making bullshit records with loops. Everything’s sampled,” Visconti explained. “I think old-school production with a band is the only way to make great records. Sure, I can make a record on my laptop. No problem. Any 12-year-old with a laptop and GarageBand or Ableton can.”

Visconti, who’s best known for his lengthy involvement in many of David Bowie’s singles and albums – particularly Blackstar – added that there are only two musicians he looks up to due to their ‘rule-breaking’ approach to music-making.

“My generation was very impressed by Phil Spector. We all tried to make records like that when we had a chance,” he said. “But I only have two idols, George Martin and Beethoven.”

“Beethoven because of what he did in his day – everyone was imitating Mozart, the orchestra was 40 pieces, and this son of a gun gets 150 people on-stage for his Ninth symphony. I like that kind of thinking. He was a rule breaker, and so was George Martin. Those two have inspired me throughout my career. Breaking the rules is the only way you’re gonna get somewhere new.”

“A lot of producers put their stinky sound all over a record and the artist doesn’t want to work with them again,” Visconti said, adding that his dream is to “be a better producer”.

“I want to outdo the last time I was in the studio. I still want to get better and better at what I do.” he said.


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