Phoenix interview with Paul Drew June 2013 :
Q :So tell us about Paul Drew and DWB Music, tell us some of the artists you’ve worked with?
Paul : As a team we were signed to a record label as their in house production/ writing team, we decided about 8 years ago to go out on our own and it proved to be the best decision we ever made. At the moment at DWB Music ltd we seem to be working with a lot of the bigger Asian artists especially in Japan and South Korea. This suits us really well as the market in these territories is very buoyant; while we are seeing most of the world record sales diminishing day by day due to illegal downloading, the artists in these territories still sell hundreds of thousands of records.
Q :Do you work alone or is more of a collaboration/collective ?
Paul : We have quite a few writers that are signed to us at DWB so there is a lot of collaborations that go on. We also work as a team Myself Paul Drew, Greig Watts, and Pete Barringer. Then we have other publishers and record companies who send there writers and artists over from all over the world.
Q : You’ve worked with some great artists, any particular favorites or some great stories when producing them ?
Paul : We are blessed to have worked with a lot of great artists. In particular some of my favourites would be Abi F Jones who is our first signing as an artist; An artist called Born Crain who is a big Belgian artist he is very talented and has a fab voice and a very British sense of humour!
Q : Artists you’ve written for & produced have sold over 50 million copies which is incredible, at what point (or moment with an artist) as an upcoming producer did you realize you were a successful producer ?
Paul : You know what, I still feel everyday that there is so much more to achieve, I think our first number 1 was a great feeling, and hearing your track on the radio was a proud moment. But also there are times when I sit in my studio and have a writing or production block, I feel that helps keep me grounded.
Q : You’ve produced artists from all different countries, is there anything different you have to do with these other artists, or is the formula of just producing a great song the same everywhere in the world ? Do you work primarily in the UK or do you get to travel a lot ?
Paul :I do get to travel loads which is nice, I’m a real gear nut so I love working in other studios. I think a great song is a great song so that translates all over the world.
Q : Do you get involved in the whole recording and mixing process for an artist ? – What is your favorite part of the recording process?
Paul :Mixing for me is my favourite part, I like to be on my own to get absorbed and try different things.
Q : What sort of equipment do you use, do you have a favorite piece of equipment or something that has sentimental value?
Paul : I mainly work in the box and have some favourite bits and pieces of analog gear which l run out of the box to mix with. I feel this gives me the best option where most of the mix is instant recall but I still have to write down settings of a few compressors/ eq’s after every mix. I believe the outboard adds the flavour you don’t get from plugins.
In regards to Favourite pieces of equipment I have a Soundelux e47 mic which I love. They don’t make them anymore as the company now is no longer. This sounds great through the Phoenix DRS1R/500.
I also have a favourite compressor a WesAudio B76 which is an 1176 clone with switchable transformer output. Although I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on your new Phoenix 500 series compressor.
Q : So you’ve been using the Phoenix DRS1R/500 mic pre amp & Phoenix DRS-EQ/500 EQ, are these purely used for vocals or have you been using a variety of different instruments through them ?
Paul : These are mainly in my vocal recording chain. I also use the DRS EQ to mix with. They sound fantastic. There was a massive leap in audio quality when I bought these units. And what I was using before was still a high end pro quality mic pre, but the Phoenix are something else.
I also use them for acoustic guitar which they are fantastic for.
Q : How have they improved your sound or your recording process ?
Paul : Yep without a doubt sound wise they are superb and I love the stepped gain on the pre for quick accurate adjustments while recording.
Q : In a sentence if you can, describe the Phoenix sound?
Paul : Warmth that cuts through a mix.