For well over a decade, songwriter and keyboardist Loren Gold has been at the top of his field having worked with such artists as The Who, Roger Daltrey, Kenny Loggins, and Musical Director for Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. Gold talks to iZotope about how he has made his way in the music business and his love of Ozone.
Tell us about your journey from a kid playing Mozart to someone who works full-time in the music business.
I have fond memories of sitting in front of the piano as a child, even as I struggled to learn. Initially, it was all about having fun and being able to play the songs I loved and listened to everyday... songs from The Beatles to Elton John to Billy Joel.
Songwriting came as a natural evolution; I simply ‘found’ the inspiration in the works of the great artists to begin expanding on my own thoughts and creativity. Becoming a full-time musician was a decision that I made as an adolescent, and the road to get here was not really different than any other profession: gain experience through smaller jobs, get in front of as many people as possible, and work really, really hard.
How would you describe the work you do now to someone who wasn’t familiar with the music business?
I would say that being a professional musician is as all professions are…it’s a job. I have deadlines and responsibilities just as every job does. That being said, I would have to say my job is WAY more fun than most others! It was a lot of work to get to this stage in my career, but well worth it.
You’ve worked as a musical director for such artists as Tiffany and Hilary Duff. Give us an idea of what’s involved in the job of musical director.
I am responsible for everything from hiring musicians to coordinating with the crew, working out arrangements and rehearsing with the band, and of course working with the artist. I really enjoy leading the group and being a part of the creative process.
What do you love about the work you do, and what would you change about it if you could?
I love playing and performing every night in front of thousands of screaming fans, and working for Hilary is pure joy. I couldn’t ask for anything more there. What would I change? Maybe more play time to jam with my band!
What makes a great song?
What’s going on melodically is the first thing I tend to listen for (especially in the pop world), and lyrically it has to say something special to make it a great song. I think we all have that special song that speaks to us, and a great lyric with a fantastic melody is what we all need.
Your album, Keys , seems like a departure from some of the other projects you’ve worked on. Tell us about your reasons for starting the project, and tell us a bit about what the process was like.
I started Keys for many reasons. The primary reason derived from being immersed in all the latest technologies out on the road. I was anxious to put these technologies to use on my original material. Additionally, through my travels I have met so many wonderful musicians that I wanted to write a record which they could all play on. Working with Alphonso Johnson was an amazing experience!
"I simply cannot live without the Ozone plug-in anymore. My clients really notice the difference as well; it makes my tracks come alive."
How is working on a purely instrumental project different from working on a project with a singer and lyrics?
I come from a pop background. My arrangements are very similar in structure – verse, chorus, bridge, etc. I like simple themes that keep coming back around, but take a nice turn every now and then. Also, when I record instrumental music I am covering the “singer” parts on the keyboard – so that becomes a key element with my arrangements.
You cover a lot of different musical styles on this album, but one of the surprises we encountered was the Latin influence on some of the tracks. Has Latin music always been an influence for you?
For Keys I wanted to experiment with different sounds and musical styles, and although Latin music specifically has not been a huge influence on me, I really enjoy the rhythms and sounds this style of music offers. Also, the equipment I use, the keyboards and synthesizers, have such phenomenal sounds that they actually play a part in the inspiration of the music.
What projects have you been using iZotope plug-ins for? How have you found them useful?
We found the song "Bad Mac" on your website, and we think it’s cool - it’s kind of a funky, moody, minimalistic track. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
That was done for a documentary quite a few years ago. I really enjoy that one too! I like it because it is a bit different than some of my other work.
Tell us a little about your recording facility, Logo Records. How do you think the "digital revolution" has affected the way music is recorded and produced?
The digital revolution has provided the technology to make recording equipment available and affordable on an individual basis. With Logo Records, I have a good balance between old and new; I can crank out a Hammond or Rhodes part, or get a funky drum loop going with a soft synth or two.