Producer Neil Kernon on Working With Nile
Producer Neil Kernon knows a thing or two about diversity. The knobsman has worked with everyone from Hall & Oates — no, we’re not kidding — to Cannibal Corpse, and most recently, death metal titans Nile. Kernon is known for his orderly approach to working in the studio, including the purchasing of brand new equipment.
“Being meticulous is just part of the process,” Kernon told Noisecreep while in the studio with Nile. “There are lots of things that need to be taken care of up front before you embark on a project, and in particular, before you head into the studio. If you’re not prepared, it’s possible to end up hitting a brick wall at some point and having to scramble to find a way round it, which might end up compromising the bigger picture in some way. I like to have a main plan and several contingency plans so that there are options, if Plan A goes awry for some reason.”
He continued, saying, “These days, with lots of projects being done in very different circumstances, such as in home studios, as opposed to in professional studios, it’s important to be prepared to adjust things on the fly as you go forward.” Being able to adjust to situations doesn’t have anything to with creating a cleaner sounding record, though, according to Kernon. “It’s just helping keep the nuts and bolts of the organizational side of things nice and tight,” he said.
As for why Kernon chooses to traffic in death metal, especially with his background, he said, “I’m not necessarily a fan of everything in the death metal genre, but I do like a lot of it, and in particular I really enjoy some of the more challenging and technical bands out there. I was already a fan of what Nile was doing prior to being asked to work with them on the ‘Annihilation of the Wicked’ record, so I was honored to be able to collaborate with the band on that project.”
He stated that the band’s music is “particularly challenging due to the complexity and the tempos they are often played at. From a sonic point of view, as we want to make the most epic, massive-sounding album possible, but without losing any of the intricate details in the music. That’s a tough balance to find, without making the album super sizzly and bright sounding as a result. Working on each album has been more fun, and a more involved and engaging experience. We’re all on the exact same page as far as mindset and the end result that we’re striving to achieve, which is very important of course.”