Virtual: Do you advertise anywhere?
Does Chicago Trax offer their services in Recording and Mixing magazines?
I saw Dave (RAVE) Oglivie in the Recording Industry Sourcebook under Producers and Engineers, but I didn't find you or Chicago Trax.

Fluffy: No, not really in a formal sense. I really haven't advertised. I haven't gotten myself listed in these sort of things, but it's definitely something I'm looking into.
People can always contact me through Chicago Trax at (312) 944-5599.

Virtual: Do you play any instruments or have you ever been in a band?

Fluffy: Yes and yes. I play guitar. I was never really in any bands that became something other than garage bands, playing parties and small bars at one point. This was all before I was 21. Since I got into the world of engineering and producing I don't find myself playing as much anymore. Lots of people will go, "Play some guitar on this song", but that's pretty much a rarity.

Virtual: What are some of the bands you've toured with?

Fluffy: I toured with TKK and we toured with Siouxie And The Banshees, and we also did a tour in England with EMF. I worked more for EMF than I did for TKK in the sense that I was part of the PA crew. I did that too for the Siouxie tour, but not officially.
I've also toured with L7, we did a headlining tour. We toured with the Beastie Boys right before both of them played Letterman, and before both of them did Lollapalooza.
I toured with Ministry once, though I wasn't doing house sound. When they went on tour that was always a break for me.
Other bands I've toured with include Skatenigs, Acumen, Drag, before they changed their name to 13 mg. and Fear.

Virtual: What are some of the best live performances you've engineered?
Is there a particular club you like working at?

Fluffy: Live performances in town in Chicago I'd have to say the Rivera Theater (save any power tie nightmares) and the Metro are my favorites. There are a lot of smaller clubs that are trying to put there PA in a good situation. There are a lot of clubs in the country that have just shit.

I did live shows with Acumen and I like them a lot. We kind of hurried up and did their last record, Transmissions From Eville in studio B. We mixed everything in a day and a half, two days. That was just so quick.

The Ministry show the other night was really good, really fucking cool by the way. I particularly thought their lighting was great as well as the stripped down look of the stage.
Ray is playing drums on a riser in back, Dwayne is playing keyboards in the back on a riser, stage right instead of centered, and wall of guitars up front. In fact, their front house engineer was a guy I remembered from the tour I was on, he was doing their monitors at that point.

Virtual: A lot of musicians drink and do drugs.
Does this sort of thing go on while you're recording with a band?

Fluffy: Sure, bands are musicians. I try and persuade people to not do that. Very few people can do tons of drugs, I'm not talking about smoking pot, a few beers or a couple of shots, I try to limit myself to that. The bands that come in are pretty serious when they come into the studio. When I worked with Armageddon Dildos, hey they're from Germany, they wake up in the morning and they drink beer. They weren't drunk while we were doing the record, drinking beer is just part of their thing.

I try to persuade bands not to totally go off the edge with harder stuff than that. It's really difficult unless you work in the studio all the time to still have a perspective. I feel it's best to keep that stuff out for the betterment of the record. I would never dictate any rules. I don't play mom with people, I play Sargeant Carter with people, but I don't play mom.

There is as much of that going on as the band normally does, I guess. I definitely don't feel I contribute to that sort of stuff. It's a lot easier to whittle away time when your not so focused in the studio. It's also easy to not have in the end what you really want. There is a lot more concentration involved than I think people realize.

Virtual: Do you still drive a Monte Carlo, or have you ever?

Fluffy: I never owned a Monte Carlo, that was just another nickname. That was more of a reference to the place, Monte Carlo. "When I'm in Monte Carlo, I always play at Fluffy's black jack table."

Virtual: You've worked with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult on Confessions Of A Knife.
Did you do anything on 13 Above The Night, because they thank you?

Fluffy: They thank me, but I didn't work on that. I thought that was very nice of them. When Marsden moved to CA, it pretty much centralized a lot of his stuff as far as writing and touring. He has a lot of stuff at home now and better capabilities to use for rehearsing and demoing the songs before they go into the studio, which is always really cool. Except when the demo captures some special thing that your just not able to recreate and you just want to kick yourself in the ass till you break your legs. I miss working with those guys.

Virtual: Have you ever been the one to approach a band?
Or is it that the bands always approach you?

Fluffy: No, I've approached bands before. The Electric Hellfire Club was a mutual interest. I knew Thomas and Shane before the record and before Shane's untimely death. I was on tour with Skatenigs and we were in Milwaukee playing at the Unicorn, the lovely red, red room and all three of us just started talking. I think Thomas may have even started the Monte Carlo thing, years ago.

Virtual: What are your plans for the future?

Fluffy: I have some things in the works but I'm hesitant to say until they actually become more materialized. I'm really looking forward to the new Chicago Trax. I have some stuff booked there with a band called, Alternate Society and also with Headspin, who I've worked with for a couple of years. I'm just looking forward to more fun and many more better records.

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