“Who Loves Ya Baby?”, the first ep for Sydney band Leadlight, was recorded in a 24 hour period at Damien Gerrard Studios with TJ Eckleberg at the helm. TJ’s focus, stamina and creativity were amazing to behold! He moved seamlessly from recording the bass and drums, to coordinating the horn section, to inspiring great individual performances from a diverse bunch of musicians, all the while keeping the singer/songwriter (me!) positive and sane. TJ provided an endless supply of melodic and rhythmic ideas, singing possible melodies and harmonies to eager musicians who would translate his ideas into beautiful music. TJ was tireless, and it was his energy and motivation that ensured the recording was completed to the deadline. He relentlessly pursued great performances, asking musicians to think and play outside their comfort zone. At one point he pulled out a casio keyboard and asked me to improvise a line which came to be an integral part of the song.
TJ worked hard in the lead up to the recording. He spent time at rehearsals, building relationships with the players that would allow him to find the best way to inspire them during the recording session. As a songwriter himself, TJ engages with the essence of what the writer is trying to communicate and looks for ways to develop their ideas. He has a broad knowledge of music and production from his experiences as a musician, performer, producer and musical autodidact! As a producer TJ brings his restless energy and excitement to the pursuit of unique musical adventures.
The song: I had finished the basic structure for “long road home” when I went for a walk and heard an old Chinese guy busking with a one stringed Chinese instrument on a street corner. The sound was beautiful and I immediately thought that it would suit the track so I went home to get a sample recorder I had borrowed from my brother. I recorded a snippet of what he was playing, attempted unsuccessfully to explain why I wanted to use the recording, thanked him for his playing and put a bunch of coins in his hat. I took the recording home and it fitted perfectly with the chord structure. No need to change the pitch or tempo! This sample became integral to the song, you can hear it coming in about 10 seconds into the track. TJ Eckleberg wove his production magic and you can hear the results! I hope you enjoy it.
Nic danta, 16th march 2011
You can hear more of Nic Danta at: