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Old 16th December 2010
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years

Hello Ken, and thank you so much for taking the time to share your great wisdom & experience to help the readers of this forum.

I am a big fan of the band DADA, and i noticed that you Produced/Engineered their debut album "Puzzle".

My question:
Could you share a brief overview of your experience working on "Puzzle", and do you personally feel the band deserved more commercial success then they achieved.

Thank you Ken!
Old 21st December 2010
Special Guest
Ken Scott's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Hi, This is an interesting one as it is quite likely to open the cell door to the grumpy old man. Let's see how it goes.

I first saw dada when they were opening for a band that my best friend played with, Mary's Danish. I REALLY liked them and so we got to talking and I eventually went into the studio with them and recorded demos. The only cost to them, if I remember correctly, being for the strings on Timothy. These demos led to their record deal. Into pre-production. About halfway though they came in with a song they had just written entitled Dizzkneeland which they had put together the night before. I loved it. Commercial and yet so them. Perfect crossover material. We worked out the basic arrangement immediately. Time for the A&R man to visit, the time I always dread, quite rightly this time around. I was given explicit instructions to drop Dizzkneeland. As anyone that has heard of the band knows, I didn't. He also made us drop other songs that I thought would make a better album but didn't feel quite as strongly about, so we followed his instructions.

We completed the album. I later learn that they went back into the studio to record other songs as the ones that had been insisted on by the A&R guy, the ones we felt didn't work, in fact didn't work and of course I was wrong for recording them. There was also a major internal battle, within the label IRS, wherein, as I understood it, the president of the label Jay Boberg wanted Dizzkneeland but the CEO Miles Copeland hated it. Jay won out and gave dada their biggest success and brought them to the attention of the public. Something that wouldn't have happened without it.

The next thing I know is Joie of dada is knocking me for perfectionism in a magazine. I was dumbfounded and regrettably jumped into the situation both feet and railed, in a not too nice manner, against Joie. That's my dada history.

Do I feel they deserved more commercial success? Yes. And no. They had all the potential to become a big selling act, in my opinion anyway. They had the breaks but fell foul of the record company "We know better than everyone what direction you should go in". The biggest downfall of many potential stars. Any artist worth their salt should follow their gut and win or lose on their own terms, not pander to the ever changing whims of "the label".

OK. He was held somewhat at bay. Thank the lord.


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