If you like the way this album sounds you can thank Mark Goodell.
Now I didn't know him at the time, but teenage Mark Goodell was a taper. He would sneak a pair of microphones and a minidisc recorder into Dave Matthews or Bela Fleck shows to record the concerts, and then trade tapes with other tapers. Now, I’m not telling you this to embarrass Mark - I’m telling you this so that you understand just how long he has been passionate about recording music. He's obsessed with sound, and whether we're playing live or in the studio he's always pushing us to sound cooler and better - solving feedback and buzz issues, knowing exactly what to say to the sound guy at a club when things are going very wrong at soundcheck, adjusting the EQ of my car stereo, re-soldering a busted quarter inch cable - he is the type of person who could mess around with a delay pedal for an hour and not even come up for air.
I met Mark back in 2008 in New York City - I needed help finishing up my record "Fiction in Photographs" and Adam Podd introduced us (they were college roommates). Mark and I hit it off immediately and he has been playing in my band, recording all of my music, and emailing hideous guitars off craigslist since 2009. On “Something Good", Mark co-produced, engineered, mixed, sang, and played guitar all over the record. The whole band spent a lot of time working on this album - but as always, no onespent more time then Mark Goodell.
Mark treats the recording studio like an instrument, and is what you would call a "gear head". He knows everything there is to know about microphones, outboard gear, recording consoles, guitars, vintage amps, keyboards, reverb units, plug ins... As a writer and as a producer, it's a dream to work with Mark. I can explain a sound I am going for, or reference a song that has a cool vocal treatment or drum sound I dig, and he'll know instantly how to get the sound. It's sort of like working with a wizard.
For this record, I think Mark’s work is best exemplified on Damage is Done. All of the spaces and sounds he got on that tune work perfectly... and the mix is perfect. And that guitar solo? that's Mark too.
The electric guitar playing on Easier Said Than done is very Mark. My electric guitar playing is very heavy handed while mark’s is super delicate - he let’s the gear do a lot more of the work than his right hand. I think his playing on Easier Said Than Done is just so beautiful.
Mark and I have are really really close friends and musical collaborators over the years, but this album brought us to a new level… There's just a lot of electric guitar going on this record compared to other ones, so we spent a lot of time together chasing tones and writing little layers to beef up the songs. It’s been fun working alongside a friend for this long and being able to so tangibly hear how we’ve grown as musicians and collaborators.
When he's not learning to fly small planes, Mark is either in a recording session somewhere in his studio in Brooklyn or doing live sound for our dear friends Bronze Radio Return. If you're interested in working with Mark on your next project - you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.