I suppose that probably three-quarters of my working life has been in collaboration. I spend time in the evenings in this room on my own, and really what I am doing then is building up sets of tools for sometimes my own work but actually very often for working with other people. So I have a huge backlist of things that might come in handy at some time, instruments that do particular things or noises. For instance, I came up with one this afternoon that sounded like bass pit staccato you know on an upright bass where just that sound I thought, ah, that’s bass pit staccato. I don’t have any use for that at the moment but I now know that I have a very interesting version of that sound. So sometime in the next few years I’ll think, what I need now is bass pit staccato, and I’ll know I have it.
I keep a lot of things like that in the toolkit and when I am working with people I tend to pull them out. Very often a situation can be set on fire, set to light by an ingredient being thrown into the mix. Something that nobody has ever heard before, and suddenly everyone is excited about it and suddenly it comes to life. Because I work with producing quiet a lot I am often working with musicians who have been months in the studio and who are getting bored rigid with everything. Sometimes it really helps to throw something that changes the perspective on everything.
Collaboration I like for myself as well because it means that I do things that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Because when you are working with somebody else they are pulling you in another direction and you sort of reluctantly have to change your habits to follow them and that’s very useful. I must have made 50 collaborative albums, far more than solo.