This week we spoke to Ricky Armellino, music producer, songwriter and touring musician from Ice Nine Kills. Ricky talked about his musicianship, his inspirations and some unexpected moments in his career. He also demoed the Matt Grenier plugin and told us how he uses it when producing.
What single piece of art (album, film, book, painting etc.) has had the biggest impact on you personally?
I would say that "I'll Sleep When You're Dead" by El-P was one of the biggest inspirations for me that led me to being a producer. The lyrical content just hit so many boxes for me and I started researching El-P and I saw that he rapped, produced, mixed and did everything. I shrugged and figured I'd learn how to do that, too. Ended up making a ton of heavy records.
How does the Matt Greiner sampler increase your creative productivity / workflow?
The Greiner samples had a lot of low end energy that immediately fit into the mixes without needing to play around with them. For me, being able to write efficiently and get an artist to understand a part that we are writing is a must. This plugin is working out great for so many different sounds.
How would you describe your process of creating music for yourself or other artists?
I'm holding a guitar, standing in front of a couple keyboards, I've got a mic next to me. I just get to work making a song that I would like and hopefully at some point it becomes something that the artist is going to be excited about. Once they join in with me and start helping move the process forward we usually find a chemistry or workflow that gets us on the path towards the finish line.
What do you enjoy the most about making music?
I think that I needed to keep my brain really stimulated all of the time and being a music producer was the first process that really managed to make that happen. I love to learn and get better at things and I also love to perform live as a singer and a guitarist - Doing both of these things in my studio room is an absolute joy.
Do you have a fond memory of music you’d like to share? Who you were with, what was playing, how it made you feel?
I was walking out on stage for my first time opening up for Metallica in the band I tour with. Lars approached me and our drummer Pat and introduced himself; he was so kind and friendly. Literally introduced himself as "the drummer of the last band". I could see my tour manager, Dawn, calling to us from about 50 feet because we had to get to the stage and neither Pat nor I could figure out the social calculus on how to tell Lars we had to get out of there.
Thanks to Ricky Armellino for taking the time to speak with us!