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The Public Record:
Tommy Lee’s New Interactive Recording Project
No matter your personal opinion on the
matter, it’s undeniable that music consumption has changed drastically in the digital
age. Gone are the days of bringing home an
LP and leisurely listening to it until it’s worn
out and scratchy. Now, some amount of
interactivity is expected—even demanded—
of music. The Public Record, a cool, new
recording project with Motley Crue’s Tommy
Lee, is capitalizing on this interactivity.
In today’s digital world, interactivity takes
on many forms. We can watch our music
be made through reality shows, blogs and
DVDs. Those without musical skills can
“play along” on drums, guitars or vocals
thanks to games like Guitar Hero and Rock
Band. We can “mash up” and remix to our
heart’s content with the accessibility of
digital files and audio editing programs.
This interactivity had previously reached its
pinnacle in 2008 when Radiohead released
stems of tracks from their In Rainbows
album for fans to remix and upload.
Now, picking up where Radiohead left
off, is Tommy Lee and his producer Scott
Humphrey. Dubbed, “the first large-scale,
truly interactive recording process,” The
Public Record gives the public the tools to
craft Tommy Lee’s new record with their own
instruments and styles. Instead of releasing
stems of a finished record Radiohead-style,
Tommy is releasing stems of his in-progress
record, inviting musicians and fans to contribute their own parts. If a part is good
enough, it could make the finished product.
They’re even open to the idea of replacing
Tommy Lee: “We’ll be willing to put other
people on drums… if the submission is
great,” says producer Humphrey.
Tracks will be released for all types of
software—Pro Tools, Garage Band, etc—
along with an iPhone application version
and simpler video versions for those
who just want to play along via webcam.
Submissions will be taken for guitar, bass,
drums, vocals and any other instruments
that someone may contribute. The best
(and a few of the worst) will be showcased
in video segments where Tommy hears the
submissions and gives his opinion.
The site also features video recording tips
from Tommy Lee and Humphrey ranging
from simple mic’ing ideas to more complex ideas. Humphrey says they have more
than 50 videos of recording advice to help
those who are interested in submitting
their own tracks.
The Public Record is the brainchild of
Humphrey, who says there are more artists
on board to carry on this challenge once
Tommy Lee’s project has wrapped. The
album, titled Public Mayhem, is expected
to be finished in Spring 2010.
Sumbit your tracks at thepublicrecord.com