Wilco is a band I hope you listen to. They not only have solid songs, but their live show is the best thing I’ve seen in the last 5 years, and I go to a lot of concerts. So whenever Wilco talks talks I listen. The Los Angeles Times featured a tasty little nugget of wisdom about their recording process
Late in the recording process for 2009’s “Wilco (The Album),” leader Jeff Tweedy placed a call that keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone was not expecting. Sansone was a five-year veteran of the Chicago-based act, having joined the band after its most volatile period had come to an end, and a decade worth of material already existed. It was Sansone whom Tweedy drafted to help him mix the album in Los Angeles….
“I have a real deep admiration for his abilities in the studio,” Tweedy said. “Aside from that, I have a realistic awareness of my inability. I can’t stay focused for really long periods of time on details without losing sight of the big picture. I can’t lose sight of the big picture. I have to do everything I can to not lose sight of that. If I do, I just get completely lost and it doesn’t feel like a song anymore. There’s a real complement of those two abilities when Pat and I work together. He seems to have infinite stamina for the details.”… (more here)
The idea of knowing your limitations is something that doesn’t get talked about enough in music. There are great engineers, great mixers, great drummers, but rarely do you find someone good at everything. Besides who would want all that talent? It seems like you’d be too busy. Jeff Tweedy knows his limitations and understands he needs help. Take a look at where your talents are and don’t be afraid to get help if your own skills aren’t achieving what you want.