Phillip Cope is known mainly as a guitarist and vocalist for the Southern psychedelic riff monster Kylesa, but Cope is also a producer at the famed Jam Room in Columbia, S.C. He's manned the board for some of the grittiest and most brutal albums out there by the likes of Fight Amp, Baroness, Withered and, of course, Kylesa.

Originally, he never planned to produce his own band. "We tried [other producers] for a few records, but it wasn't working," Cope recalled. "The first record I did wasn't working that well, either." The second time around, his producing did work, giving the band their biggest success to date with 'Static Tensions.'

For many, playing the part of artist and producer is a tenuous juggling act, but Cope has never felt that problem. His strife is exhaustion. "It's not difficult to separate the roles, but it is difficult in that it consumes my life for a very long time," he said, describing Kylesa's recording days. "First one there, last one to leave."

For their newest release, 'Spiral Shadow,' Cope wasn't just assumed to be the producer -- though most fans expect it. "It was the band's choice, and they decided to go with me again."

The process this time was a difficult one, though, as 'Spiral Shadow' sees Kylesa jumping into very complex and heavy layered material. One song saw Cope and his engineers trying to assess how to mix 72 tracks.

"I'm definitely thinking next time around not taking the role," he laughed. "I'll just be the guitarist and vocalist and let someone else worry about everything."

With the long list of albums Cope has worked on, we thought a worthy question would be which has been his favorite to produce. "I put 100 percent into every one. When I decided to take on a project, I'm excited to do the project and do the best I can," he explained. "I try to make sure I'm happy with it and the band is happy with it. So it would really be hard for me to pick a favorite."

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