SPOTLIGHT : BEN SALER AUDIO
SPOTLIGHT : BEN SALER AUDIO
Ben Saler is a fantastic music producer in high demand within the local industry, his studio is based in Ultimo, Sydney. We asked Ben for a little insight into how he makes the magic happen.
Q.) Ben Saler! Give us the rundown. Who are you and what do you do?
A.) Hey! I’m Ben! I make songs for a living with artists, I record them and produce them and make them sound the best I can! You can usually find me in the studio all year round, keeping musicians happy, staring at screens, twisting knobs, pushing faders, mashing buttons and nodding my head along to some great tunes! Haha, yep thats me!
Q.) You tend to work a vast array of genres / artists, do you consider yourself a bit of a chameleon of sorts?
A.) A chameleon! Why yes! I love exploring every genre and falling in love with all kinds of them! In the beginning I was only interested in a handful of genres but through learning to play new instruments I eventually started diving in deeper to the world of music and discovering that there is a lot more out there to enjoy! So much to explore and enjoy!
Q.) What’s the most rewarding part of the process for you?
A.) The most rewarding part of the process would have to be right as I hit the record button, sitting still as the take unfolds before me, it’s like having my own little intimate concert with the artist! Musicians can be the most absolutely hilarious people to work with! I love the friendships that develop and also the epiphany moments when artists really start to believe in their songs and want to take their music to the next level.
Q.) Who are your favorite artists to listen to? Is there an artist who has inspired the way you work, or someone you look up to in the industry?
A.) Back in my high school days, I was a huge fan of Underoath, they were the first band that I really liked! I was hooked on metal and heavy riffs, I started learning guitar and drums and my musical journey kind of exploded from there! I love Rufus and Decap they’re sick electronic artists! Vera Blue - love you babe! Also love me a cheeky bit of Reggae, Mike Love’s album The Change I’m Seeking is all time! I also love Sticky Fingers and Tash Sultana! Matt Corby’s album Telluric and Sampha’s album Process were my most listened to albums over the last couple of years 100%! I definitely have some older favourites too like Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Toto, Shania Twain, Fleetwood Mac, The Police, the list goes on. Guilty pleasures would definitely be all my favourite sassy pop classics like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande. But shhh you didn’t hear anything! Speaking of wildly successful pop music, I definitely see Max Martin (music producer) as one of the ultimate idols in the industry! What an ultimate babe of a producer to look up to! Maybe I’ll get to meet him one day!
Q.) What were your highlights of 2018? And what can we look forward to in 2019?
A.) All of the artists that I worked with!! I worked with a lot of people - it would be tricky to list them all on the spot here (but you all know who you are)! And here were some great moments of the top of my head: The time that I forgot to bring a rug for recording drums so mid session John Lawrie scouted the most perfect persian rug from gumtree for me! (Still resides in the studio today). Trying to do spontaneous adlib vocal takes for Edith Tan but absolutely hilariously failing, acting crazy along to insane trap beats with Elijah Hewitt and Doug Lawrie, stumbling upon a big ol’ FART right before a drum take from Murray James and then sampling it and sending it back to him on repeat! Haha. One project in particular I’d like to mention was an album I completed with Murray James! That took up a big chunk of time last year and I am really proud of that record! Another highlight was a little studio party that we had at the studio where I got to see a bunch of my friends and family meet the artists that I’ve been working with and the other producers from the Viking Lounge Studio. Boy that was funny at times watching my family meet with my crazy artist friends, the most random connections happened and also it was actually quite special to get the support from everybody that was there!
Q.) What’s one piece of advice you would give to a young gun trying to make it as a producer?
A.) If you want to find new opportunities to build your showreel and record new artists, you will need to meet them first at gigs and at music industry events! Don’t undersell yourself for prolonged periods of time! Find a good mentor! Find a good mentor! Find a good mentor! The biggest turning point in my career was stumbling upon a great mentor that had real experience working in the industry for many years. I was shown my blind spots, and all the advice I’ve received has helped me take my music to the next level. The more people you work with, the better you will get! If you stick in it for the long run, you’ll eventually look back and realise how far you’ve come. If you are really passionate about this, you’ll never give up!
Q.) And last but not least, what artists should we be looking out for in 2019?
A.) My boys in ‘The Lilos’!! These guys have all been really close mates so this one is gonna be a blast! The drying shed have an EP that is currently unreleased as well - a darker rock / grunge kind of vibe! Edith Tan (Once With Us) has been making noises about creating another release this year! Brenton Rakebrandt - oh my gosh watch out for his stuff!! Adaptors have some cool science / psych rock coming for you that is currently being finalized as we speak, Sam Lily’s release is going to make you cry, Kyla Frank is gonna have you vibing all night long with her EP coming as well! These legends are all gonna be killing it this year! I can’t wait for the year to unfold!