Boston album might have taken Scholz a lifetime
Tom Scholz knows Boston fans waited a long time for his sixth album – but he says the wait would have been much longer if he’d been forced to abandon his beloved analogue recording gear.
Life, Love & Hope will be released on December 3, following Corporate America, which came out in 2002.
But in a rare interview with MusicRadar, Scholz says: “I can do things so much faster in an analogue format, The right frequency, the right amount of level change, tone change, delay time; whatever you want to do, I can find it so much faster with my ear.
“Doing this in digital, it wouldn’t have been a 10-year project – it would have been a lifetime project.”
Speed isn’t the only reason he remains passionate about using magnetic tapes, from two-inch studio reels to cassettes for rough recordings. “Analogue gear is very responsive,” he says. “You don’t to look at any numbers; you don’t have to input any data.
“Your fingers – and in my case, my feet, because I actually run the tape deck with my feet when I’m recording – my hands are busy, so I actually run the tape deck with one foot or another. It’s so intuitive with analogue, where you just move something and the sound changes.
“It’s like the difference between driving a sports car with your analogue steering, accelerator and brake inputs versus trying to control it with a keypad and punching in numbers. You can imagine what that would be like.”
Scholz insists that, despite the public perception of him, he’s actually very easily pleased when he’s making music. “I can sit down at a piano or with a guitar and just chug away for hours, and be perfectly content with whatever comes out.
“But when it comes to something that somebody else is going to listen to, then I do feel a great deal of pressure to do something that’s exceptional – at least in what I consider to be at the limits of what I can do.
“The pressure is all self-imposed: it’s to live up to the expectations of people who are going to shell out their hard-earned cash to listen to the music. It’s trying to write, play and produce something that I would want somebody else to hear.”