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Glen Drover - Interview
The Rockpit interviews
GLEN DROVER



Metal For Hire is a new company that has compiled together some of metal and rock's big names to be available for hire for session work including production and recording. One of the many names on the roster is Glen Drover who over the years has been a part of some very well known bands including Megadeth, King Diamond and Queensryche. We had a chat to Glen about Metal For Hire, his love of session work and what he is currently working on.

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Glen: Hi how are you?

Andrew: Good thanks, how are you?

Glen: Good thank you.

Andrew: It's great to be talking to you today and happy birthday as well!

Glen: Oh thanks a lot, appreciated!

Andrew: Did you do much on your birthday at all?

Glen: Just kinda chilled out pretty much, did stuff with the family. That was about it.

Andrew: The main thing we gotta talk about here is the Metal For Hire which has a great roster of tremendous musicians on there. So tell me a little about Metal For Hire and how you got involved with them.

Glen: Well I was contacted by Devin (Walsh) about the whole concept which I thought was great because it's what I had been doing anyway, I do that all the time which is basically helping out artists whether they're an established band or an up and coming artists that is getting going so it's doing guest solo spots, mixing, mastering, song development...all that stuff that goes into recording music. And I do a lot of stuff over skype and so same kind of idea, yeah this is great so it's another outlet for that kind of stuff that I had already been doing. I like doing all that interactive stuff so it was right up my alley.

Andrew: What is it about session work that gets you involved and interested in that kind of stuff?

Glen: I don't know, I just always have been. I've always been interested in, of course the recording process obviously initially because I had been doing it for 20 years. I've been doing the home studio engineering thing since the early 90's but I've always been pretty interested in doing the whole collaboration with people and helping out and just recording and doing different things.

Andrew: Is there any type of music that you don't do or do you leave the door quite open?

Glen: Well I won't do rap or country. Country rock I could maybe do something but it's definitely not up my alley so it's something that I'm not 100% keen on or really comfortable with. But I would probably shy away from it because I never want to do something that I wasn't really into, it's not fair to the person that I'm working with to do that. So it's gotta be something that I can relate to and feel it and music has always been a very sacred thing for me and I never want to abuse it in any way so it's always got to be treated as such. So aside from that, hard rock, rock, prog rock, metal obviously...all that stuff, I like all of it.

Andrew: Has there ever been a band like a small band just starting out that you were surprised by how good they were?

Glen: I can't think of any that stands out to be honest. I've worked with a lot of people along the way that were really good but I can't think of anybody in particular that stands out.

Andrew: This roster on Metal For Fire, there's some great names on there. Do you know a lot of these guys at all?

Glen: Some of them I know sure!

   



Andrew: Obviously this has only just started but will there be opportunities for you guys to work together at all?

Glen: You never know. I mean indirectly it could definitely be a very strong possibility because you could have somebody come onto the site maybe looking for somebody to do a vocal track and then they'll say 'Oh maybe you could get this guy to do the solo' so there's always those possibilities of somebody going in a band or an artist wanting to have multiple instruments to help out. Maybe the guy is a drummer and he want's a bass player and a singer and some solos or whatever it is. There's always that strong possibility of any one of us being on a particular recording, I don't think it would be something where we just get together because basically all this stuff is done online. Noone is going to anybody's homes as far as I know, not on my end anyway so it's all done this way like I say the way I've been doing it for the last 5-10 years now which is all stuff that's done on skype or whatever.

Andrew: Is teaching a big part of this for you?

Glen: It's part of it, it depends on the situation like I say but I like doing that absolutely, of course! Sometimes if it's just a solo spot then there's nothing like that involved obviously but from working with somebody which I have a lot of different clients that I work with. For example a 1 man band type of thing was trying to form a band and he's looking to get some product under his belt before trying to find the right musicians, I got a lot of that going on [which] is a common thing these days. Through the process of doing all the work doing the various tracks and instruments, people learn along the way through whatever platform like if they are using pro-tools like I am then they end up learning tricks and certain functions of parameters that they need to know to better their skills and to do home engineering and I enjoy all that as well. So it could be musical or it could be that kind of stuff so it's more the technical end. Sometimes it tends to all tie together depending on the situation.

Andrew: You mentioned that you have been doing this a long time now and one of things you do is the production side of things so over the years how much has the production side changed at least on your end?

Glen: I used to use tape machines and then went from tape machines to pro-tools so it's a different world doing that. I think that you learn a lot of things along the way and for me it's always been that goal of learning from your last product. There are things that you learn not to do or certain things you need to do or whatever you need to do to improve the qualiity of the production and of course the performance. But just the actual production end of sound is always something we all learn a lot along the way and hopefully improve with and I certaintly think I have. Just with new tools that are available to us and different techniques that you learn along the way. I'm always striving to try to make the next recording sound production better, that's what keeps you motivated and keeps you wanting to do it.

Andrew: I guess with todays technology it has made some things easier but one of the things that has come up with a lot of people that I have talked to is pro-tools being used as a bit of a crutch or something. How do you look at the use of pro-tools today?

Glen: Well just like tape machines and any other format you can think of, they all have their pros and cons. If you're talking about pro-tools, the pros are that you have all these different doors open that we never had before or if they were, they were a lot harder to do. So editing, there's a lot of cool things we can do with pro-tools that with tape machines you had to pull off some serious tricks and it would take a long time. Without getting into all the different things and I can't think of all of them off the top of my head bu that's definitely one of them. The con is sometimes it can be a bit of a pain in the ass because it's more sophisticated so there's always a lot more possibilities for errors and troubleshooting so that can be a little bit of a trying thing and fustrating because you want to just start recording but then here's this error message and here's this and you're dealing with all these road blocks so sometimes that can be a real pain in the ass. No question about that but like I said the pay off is you have all these other really cool things that you never thought would be possible before so it's a balancing thing there. But as far as abuse or a crutch as you were referring to, people doing stuff that they really can't do and they use trickery's and that kind of stuff, yeah I mean what are you going to do? That's why I think when a band plays live people get to see what they are really all about as far as musicians and how they play together. Of course there's a lot of things, the auto-corrections and the beat detector with the drums, you can fix vocals, you can fix guitar stuff, there's a lot of things you can do. We were able to do these things before with tape machines but there's a lot more possibilities for doing it now, it's a lot easier for people to do it. You don't have to be a schooled engineer to do a lot of these tricks now so what can you do? For me I don't get into that, I've done the same as I've always done. I punch in sometimes, we've all done that. You just punch in if you're halfway through a rhythm track and you make a little mistake, you roll back a little bit and just punch in and finish the track. I never tried to do anything that I don't think I could pull off and see if I can fool anybody that's listening, that I don't believe in. That to me is just a wannabe type of thing, I'm not really into that kind of thing. I like to listen back and know that it's real, I know I did that. That's my capability and I didn't do anything stupid to try and make it sound like I'm any better than I really am. Bottom line, being true to yourself right?

Andrew: Absolutely. I think your right as well about the whole trickery side of things where when these bands go out to play these songs live and it doesn't translate very well.

Glen: Yeah I mean it could be a combination of different things. It might not necessarily be performance issues, it could be they just over did it and they weren't able to reproduce all the different effects or instruments live. It could be a combination of those things, who knows but different possibilities, there's no question about it.




Andrew: Now going into your history a little bit, you've worked with some great bands like Megadeth, King Diamond, Testament and all that kind of stuff. Has there been a particular project, band or whatever that you are most proud of?

Glen: A lot of the Eidolon that we did especially the latter albums, last 3 albums. Very happy with what we did with those. I'm happy with the stuff that I did with Megadeth and King Diamond as well of course. But if I had to pick one thing that I'm most proud of I probably would have to take the Metalusion album that I did a few years ago which was an instrumental record. Which might surprise people because people know me as a metal player which I am but I also grew up with a lot of jazz fusion and prog rock music as well which is what that album is all about basically. Playing stuff that I never recorded that I grew up listening to and still listen to just as much as any of the heavy stuff and I'm really proud of that album. If I had to pick one it would be that one.

Andrew: With Eidolon obviously you were working with your brother (Shawn) and he only just left Megadeth which you had also done a few years back. Have you spoken to him about that since he left?

Glen: Yeah we talk everyday, he's my brother and we've always been close and I talk to him all the time.

Andrew: One of those decision I guess that he had to make for himself. For you looking back on it now you are happy that you made that decision too at that time?

Glen: Yeah I have no regrets if that's what you're asking, no. I'm glad I did it though and it was an awesome opportunity and it opened some cool doors for me, a lot of cool things came out of it. It's not something I would revisit but I'm glad I did it.

Andrew: Aside from Metal For Hire, what else have you got going on at the moment?

Glen: Well for one, as far as dealing with recorded stuff, one thing I have been doing is periodically releasing singles and the initial concept was I was going to do an album and every song was going to feature a different singer. Then what happened was the first single I did was with Todd (La Torre) from Queensyryche and we decided to release it as a single for fun because you know these days everybody is kinda fumbling around trying to find some kind of direction of what to do because the industry is beat up pretty bad as we know. So do you do a full album, do you do an EP, do you put it on vinyl, do you do a single, do you do this...that's the big question these days. So we just decided to just do that for fun and I'm glad we did because it did really well, great reviews. On Amazon alone it was on their top 200 metal chart, it went up as far as number 5 at one point, climbed up really fast. Because it was released as a single online of course it was only for the digital download so it was distributed to those sites and a bunch of others as well but Amazon and iTunes everybody knows those as far as if you're going to buy a digital download, everybody knows those. And really glad that we did that so I decided I'm going to keep going with this, it's kinda neat and I'm really enjoying this and I think what's going to happen at the end of the day once I've finished about 8 or 9 or 10 songs, then I'm going to compile all of them and release it on hard copy so there will be a CD and a vinyl. That's the plan but right now I'm just sticking to just put the best songs together and put them out. So far there's the "Discordia" single, there's the "Seven Spirits" single that I did with Henning Basse from Metalium, there's the "Walls Of Blood" one that I did which is a little heavier one there and now I'm working on one now with Chuck Billy from Testament. There's another one I'm going to work on with Warrel Dane so 8-10 songs at the end of the day that I'm really happy with then I'll compile them and do that but along the way I'm releasing them for people to hear as a digital dowload intially.

Andrew: Yeah it's interesting you mentioned about the state of the industry being in a mess at the moment and everyone like yourself is trying to find different ways to release music. I guess the concept of an album is becoming less prevelant these days.

Glen: Yeah but it's not by choice though. This is what we want to do, we want to make albums but all the thievery makes it difficult. That's the downfall of course of technology and computers and the invention of CD's which of course I love CD's. But we put them together at the end of the day and we're able to upload music and then they wind up being on sites where people can just take them for free so what are you going to do? You gotta try to do something else, yeah the industry is definitely shot but for people like myself, this is what I do. I love music, I don't do it for money initially, it's done for the love of music. That's why I do it, I've never done it for any other reason and the proof for me is right there in front of you, I never would of left Megadeth if it was all about money. It's always been like that for me so I'll always find a way and I'll always do it. Do I like it? No but we're in a situation the way things are, of course nobody does but I still go ahead, I still have that inspiration and motivation to want to do it because I love music and I love doing what I do. So I'll always find that push that I need to do these things regardless of the negativity that's hit us in a big way.

Andrew: That's awesome to hear, the love of music is certaintly a big incentive to get involved in this kind of thing. It's been a pleasure talking to you today, thanks again!

Glen: I appreciate it man, thanks a lot.


For more info on Metal for Hire go to Metalforhire.com.

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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on May 27th 2015