Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Producer Profiles...Howard Benson

Most music producers' careers have started as part of a band.

Howard Benson's career almost started in space. Literally. He graduated from well-recognized Drexel University, one of the best engineering schools in the country in materials engineering. During that time, he took time away from his major to take classes in music theory.

After graduating from Drexel, he moved out to California where he got a job in his field. At around the same time, he'd gotten into a band that hadn't really been successful and it was in the mid 80s when he decided that he wanted to become a producer.

And in 1988, Howard Benson got his first big-time gig with T.S.O.L (True Sounds of Liberty), a popular punk band in the Los Angeles area.

He produced Hit and Run, which became their biggest selling record.

Bang Tango & Pretty Boy Floyd would be next...

After hair metal bands went out of style, he went quite for a while.

But he came back with a vengeance in 1993 with Motorhead's Bastards. The success of that album led Benson to produce 3 more Motorhead albums. Motorhead's Benson-produced albums would actually be the inspiration for an album produced 11 years later...we'll get to that in a bit...but back to the late 90s.

It was in 1999 where Howard Benson would start to hit hard rock radio. His first project was P.O.D.'s Fundamental Elements of Southtown.

The album had modest popularity, but the song and video for Rock the Party got so popular that it beat videos on TRL from Britney Spears to N*Sync.

In 2001, he would return to the boards for their second album called Satellite. The album's release date is a date that will live forever in our minds: September 11, 2001. The band's lead single "Alive" became something of an anthem at the time. The album is their most popular to date, selling over three million Grammies and earned the band their first Grammy nomination.

In 2002, P.O.D. introduced their friends Blindside stateside with Silence.

Benson also produced albums from Crazytown, Skindred, and Switched that year.

In 2003, Benson would produce Depswa, Adema, and Cold, but his biggest artist that year would get another Grammy nomination. Hoobastank's The Reason became Benson's first pure taste of pop success with a hard rock artist.

So, you were wondering who was inspired by Motorhead to work with Howard Benson? It was My Chemical Romance.

He took Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge to platinum glory in 2004.
2004 also marked the year that he was Getting Away With Murder.

His reputation grew, but 2005 is when Benson really hit his stride. His work from 2005 and 2006 would also net him his first Grammy nomination as a producer.

Aside from working with Vendetta Red, The Starting Line, and Theory of a Deadman, Benson produced The All-American Rejects' most popular album to date, Move Along. He also produced a young artist who's still has tour dates off of their debut album.

In 2006, he worked with Less Than Jake, Saosin, and Head Automatica. He also worked with Papa Roach and Hoobastank again. But this year belonged to Three Days Grace and Daughtry.

In 2007, he worked with Mae, Relient K, and The Starting Line's last album. But towards the last quarter of the year, Seether dominated the rock radio charts.

2008 has already been productive with releases from Hawthorne Heights, Third Day, Theory of a Deadman and Gavin DeGraw.

And with upcoming releases from Halestorm, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Meg and Dia, and Ryan Star, there's no telling what the future holds for this space man from Pennsylvania.

No comments: