A good friend of mine, Stephen Penny managed to get an Interview with the SpyMob/N*E*R*D/Neptunes guitarist Brent Paschke, where they discussed Brent’s career, how In Search Of… changed his life, his experiences and plans, as well as everything Pharrell, The Neptunes and N*E*R*D, check out the video below, and underneath there is a brief timeline breakdown should you want to skip to a specific topic.
00:01 – Intro
04:30 – First getting in to music
05:45 – Spymob
06:50 – In Search Of…
08:20 – The Neptunes and getting introduced to Pharrell and Chad
10:20 – The differences between working on N*E*R*D, The Neptunes and Pharrell productions
12:50 – Pharrell’s process
18:40 – Adapting to new styles and improving your craft
20:45 – A busy few years – staying motivated and the touring process
25:00 – Essential equipment and tools of the trade
27:30 – Favourite and least favourite part of the recording process and being in the studio
29:30 – Future music you’re listening to and working with
32:00 – In Search Of… (again), the genius of Pharrell, and the N*E*R*D days
37:00 – Chad needs a hat
38:00 – Questions from theneptunes.org and OG Bape Talk Facebook groups
38:30 – Favourite tour moment s and memories
40:20 – Happy becoming big
47:00 – A Spymob reunion?
48:55 – Current/future work – Pharrell, music education and more shows/festivals
“Pharrell has been asking for older sounds recently,” says guitarist Brent Paschke. “He’ll say ‘Chuck Berry’ or someone in that style. I know that usually means a semi-hollowbody, and that was my excuse for getting a good 335.” Speed. For most guitarists, the word is synonymous with shredding. But for Brent Paschke—the longtime session and touring guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams—speed means something else: It’s about delivering the right part and perfect sound at a moment’s notice.
“With Pharrell, time is very limited,” says Paschke. “We can be bouncing from room to room quickly, so I have to adjust to his workflow. If I had to tell him I need five or 10 minutes to adjust mics and check out different amps, I’d totally kill his vibe—and that’s the first thing to keep intact.” Paschke knows a thing or two about nurturing the vibe, as evidenced by his datebook, which includes session work for such hitmakers as Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, and Rob Thomas. Thanks to YB.
As Cris Cab preps his new project for an early ‘13 release, he continues to feed his fans, this time with “The Fire.” Produced by Brent Paschke, Cris Cab, and PJ McGinnis, and featuring The Green,”The Fire” is a feel good record, reminding us to take a step back every once in awhile and enjoy what we have.
Cris Cab – The Fire feat. The Green (Brent Paschke) (12′)
Meet Pharrell’s guitarist, GF native Brent Paschke. It might seem strange for a self-described “indecisive” guy like Grand Forks native Brent Paschke to make career plans before he was old enough to apply for a driver’s license, but he said he “just knew” all along that music was his calling. “That was just never a question,” he said. “In the seventh grade, I quit all sports. There was never a backup plan.” His risk paid off, and Paschke has gone from an ambitious guitarist who was convinced he’d make a suitable replacement for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante in the early 1990s to a musician, producer and songwriter who seems to have his imprint on everything these days. Over the years, Paschke has earned acclaim and the respect of fellow musicians — not to mention an ongoing gig with one of the biggest names in music and the chance to open for major acts like the Black Eyed Peas.
Getting A Break
Paschke graduated from Red River High School in 1990 and then attended a music school in Minneapolis. He cut his teeth as the guitarist for Twin Cities pop rock group Spymob, a band formed in 1993 that seemed poised for stardom. But a common occurrence for new bands — unexpectedly getting dropped from a record deal — changed those plans. Paschke said the band’s lawyer also represented Pharrell Williams, half of the Grammy-winning production team The Neptunes. Pharrell had a meeting with the president of Epic Records, who had just dropped Spymob, and Paschke said the timing worked out perfectly even though the band was “really bummed.” “Pharrell went in there telling her he loved Epic Records and his favorite band, Spymob, is on her label,” he said. “She then had to break the news to him that she just dropped us. Pharrell was like, ‘O.K., that’s fine, then I’ll sign them.’ That’s where it all started.”
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