How did that gig come about?
That’s was actually through Mille from the band Kreator, Mille Petrozza. He was at a dinner at the Frankfurt Music Fair probably two or three years ago now for ESP guitars and he was sat with Glenn the guitarist from Judas Priest. They were talking about the next Judas Priest record and Mille said “you should use Andy, he’s a massive fan, he’s English, he’d be the right man for you”. Mille then ran off to the toilet, called me from the toilet all excited saying “Andy, Andy, you need to talk to Judas Priest”. So I phoned their management up the next week and said “I understand you’ve been talking about me, if you want to have a meeting let’s do this”. I met up with the guys a week later and we got the ball rolling.
You’re currently touring with Judas Priest filling in for Glenn, what has it been like being on the road again?
It’s great playing with them now. I’ve done things on a certain level. I’ve done some fairly big tours in the past where we’ve had decent catering and decent buses and stuff but nothing to this size. To be on a level this professional now is amazing. And it’s not, compared to other tours I’ve done, hard work really because everything’s done for you. I literally turn up in the evening, we have an hour’s warm up and then we go on stage and play. It’s not a day’s work, is it? It’s great! The whole organisation is brilliant.
Where do you think your career is going to take you next?
Oslo on Monday! But besides that, production wise I don’t know. I was saying to my girlfriend the other day that I’ve got to where I wanted really doing the Priest record so unless something really big comes along I don’t really know what I want to do. Because my heart was set on being a guitarist when I started I’m just going to focus on this for a little while to be honest and just get back into playing for a year. It’ll probably recharge the batteries for the studio. This isn’t going to last forever. I’m just sort of standing in with the Priest thing. It’s a nice change to be able to do something as professional as what I’m doing on the production side of things. It’ll give me a bit of time off because really the last 20 years for me have been stuck in a studio with my head between a pair of speakers! It’s nice to do a different side of it.
What advice would you give to people interested in becoming a music producer?
Don’t try and copy people. There’s a lot of people that try and get info out of me, get settings that I use, samples that I use and profiles that I’ve made. Really you should just try to do your own thing because if I gave someone all my settings, it still isn’t going to be the same because they can’t hear what I’ve got going on in my head. You’ve got to follow your instincts. I think if you’re just getting into it, rather than going and spending a fortune doing these college and university courses that are advertised everywhere now, I always say get a laptop, get a little portable rig and go and offer your services round rehearsal rooms. Get some actual grassroots experience, get used to dealing with musicians because one thing that was really good for me when I started out was the fact that I’d been a musician. I’d done Radio 1 sessions, I’d done three albums as a guitar player so I knew what it was like in the studio and the way people work. It really counted for a lot, that rapport, when you’re in the studio. I always say it’s the being on the other side of the glass, you’re not this stranger that comes in, you’re having a laugh with the band but you’re being responsible as well and getting the work done.