In a recent interview with Dinosaur Rock Guitar, producer extraordinaire Roy Z (HALFORD, BRUCE DICKINSON, HELLOWEEN) explained his recording approach while working with some of the most respected and celebrated heavy rock artists of the last few decades.
"Well, [working with] Bruce [Dickinson] was different from [working with] Rob [Halford]," he said. "They both run things is a really good way. With Rob, I try not to write any songs. [And when I'm helping] I do it more of an example kind of thing, and I'll say something like: I think you guys need something more like this. And a lot of times they'll say: 'Yeah That's it, dude! Lets do that.' (laughs) A lot of times [with Halford] I'm not looking to insert myself as much, you know?! I'm and educated fan — is what I am. I'm a fan of these guys. I grew up listening to them. I know the nooks and crannies of their styles. I've studied their styles. So I can say: Hey, you remember that thing you did on this song — well give me something like that. Where as another producer might just say, 'Just do it again.' And because I am a fan, and I'm educated in that way — in that I know what it is that I want, I just say: 'Do this.' And they try it, and a lot of times it works. And when you're working with a Bruce or a Rob, it's so easy, because there's so much history to draw from. Just from being a fan. I can say: 'Dude, do that thing like you did on 'Aces High'. Or give me that lowwwwww (voice) like on 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'. Or for Rob: Give me the scream like you did on whatever. You know?!"
Roy goes on to praise Halford's work ethic and songwriting ability, claiming " I'd never seen a guy write and record the song at the same time. But (now) I've seen Rob Halford do that.
"Man, on this one song ['She', off HALFORD's 'Crucible'], he sang it for his mom. And you know, if you have a mom and you love your mom you realize that one day she's not going to be there. And I think he was singing to that. So he had like twenty sheets of lyrics all over the desk, and this song was playing and he just looked at me and said, 'Stop. Put me in record.' And he just literally grabbed that sheet and he sang the whole song, wrote all the melodies to these random lyrics that he picked up. That he felt, 'These work.' And he just did it, and that was the take.
"Rob's a really unique talent. I hear so many singers — guys like [QUEENSRŸCHE's] Geoff Tate and stuff that Rob's influenced. For example, if you hear 'Dissident Aggressor', you'll hear pretty much Geoff Tate's whole bag. It's all in that one song. Literally."
To read the whole interview, click here.