Rolling Stone named him the “most successful producer in any genre”, while MTV called him “the most important producer of the last 20 years”. His name comes up when discussing Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ latest, but also people like Neil Diamond, Tom Petty and of course Johnny Cash are only a handful of the ones associated with producer Rick Rubin. Amongst this list of names, one is noticeably missing: U2.
According to this recent article in USA Today, Rubin himself would “love to produce a U2 disc”. Our friends at @U2.com referred to an interview an Hungarian U2 site conducted to make clear that that feeling is mutual.
Time to have a closer look at Rick Rubin. Looks? Biker or hippie? Rick gives off some really confusing vibes, but then so does his work. Here’s a man that can’t and won’t be stereotyped as anything other than eclectic. However there are a few things that can be said about Rick Rubin. Like how he seems very capable at bringing bands back to basics, cutting all the crap and producing a very clean, stripped down sound instead. Or how he seems to be able to breathe new life into a band’s sound and career, like he did with Cash or the Peppers. Another trademark has been having artists cover unexpected material in their own style, of which Johnny Cash’s cover of One is but one example.
Taking all this into consideration, it seems a teaming up of U2 with Rubin could produce something very worthwhile and refreshing. We at U2log would be very excited about such a collaboration. What about you?
It’s been a very long time since there was an update in the Transit section. I suppose it could be blamed on the gig overdose we had after the full U2 tour, or the lack of funds as a result. But none of this is true. It’s not that we haven’t been out much, we just haven’t written about it.
Yesterday, however, we were lucky enough to be at Rock Werchter. The lineup of the festival is pretty impressive with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, Muse, Live, Scissor Sisters, The Who, Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, the Arctic Monkeys, the Kaiser Chiefs and another favourite of ours, Sigur Rós.
We kicked it off with a little Editors and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! (go buy their album, it rocks!) and gradually drifted towards Muse and The Who. Mindblowing, a bouncing audience, swinging guitars, arms and microphones. Strictly no crowd surfing at Rock Werchter, yeah, right.
The Who? Aren’t they, like, old? Greying geezers talking about My Generation? Damn right. And these icons of rock are the ones toting cutting edge technology which is worth a mention. Mouthwatering to us techno geeks.
Insert a mobile home studio, a satelite uplink and a website which offers streaming video technology at the little cost of $.99 to charity per session. Throw in an aging rock star, say, Pete Townshend and his girlfriend Rachel Fuller. Then add some very diverse guests, randomly picked up from around festival sites. The result is a webcast that borders on reality tv, talk show and just plain old entertainment with a spontaneity that you just seldom see on television anymore.
Last night saw a band called The Kooks in their studio, which set off some jamming between them and Pete Townsehend and eventually resulted in Rachel Fuller and co presenter Mikey Cuthbert breaking out in Bowie’s Kooks. And maybe then that’s the best way to sum it up. A couple of kooks, enjoying themselves, on the road, from the road with a flurry of guests that make these webcasts well worth the $.99 you have to pay for them.