You Listen to This Man Every Day

Rick Rubin has produced some of the biggest hits of the past 30 years, from LL Cool J to Black Sabbath. He explains the secrets of the creative process:

“We worked on [the Beastie Boys’] debut album, Licensed to Ill, for a long time, two years in all, which is part of the reason the record is as good as it is. Each song really has a life of its own, because it might be a month between writing two songs. It wasn’t like ‘OK, we have six weeks to make an album.’ It was natural—the natural flow of making a really good piece of work. I can remember at one point getting a call from Mike D really upset, like, ‘What’s going on? Why isn’t our record done yet?’ I just said, ‘I don’t really have control over that. It comes when it comes.’

“NEWSWEEK: Usually young people are in a rush. Why did you feel like you could take so much time?

“From the beginning, all I’ve ever cared about is things being great. I never cared about when they were done. Because I also feel like I want the music to last forever. And once you release it, you can’t go back and fix it, so you really have to get it right. And that takes time.”

Source: Newsweek
Published: Jun 26, 2013
Length: 21 minutes (5,406 words)
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