World Record Productions

Media Production / Recording / Mixing
Rock / Pop / Metal
At World Record Productions, the production of a song is never quite finished, figuratively speaking that is. Songs, of course, reach a comfortable completion point and even earn accolades – including a Top 40 hit in 2007 - yet still James Harley and Jeremy Tappero obsess about ways to improve and find that musical utopia.
Passion and drive are contagious and addictive. Lofty goals encourage other lofty goals - Per project, per band, per song.
Producer/Engineer Harley uses one-word descriptors when he expands upon the path to a perfect song: "Intense. Satisfying. Grueling. Instinctive."
Cohesion is word that describes the tandem's work. Harley and Tappero met in 2007 when James was recruited by Tappero to mix his own band, Attention. It didn't take long for them to discover how much they had in common. They liked the same music and approached it the same way: with a keen but demanding ear.
In 1999, Harley started what would be a four-year stint at Mastermix and worked under engineer/mixer Tom Tucker (Lucinda Williams / Soul Asylum) as well as Desmond Child (Clay Aiken), David Bottrill (Mudvayne), Chris Kimsey (The Proclaimers) and Japanese mega-producer Masataka Matsutoya (Yumi Matsutoya). Tappero was born into the rock world, he grew up in recording studios watching Butch Vig make records. He has also toured most of the world in rock bands since the age of 17 worked as freelance producer at a variety of studios and worked alongside Jim Scott, John Fields, and J. Robbins. The two developed respected pedigrees from all around the world and in 2008 Tappero became the newest member of World Record Productions. They now had a blank canvas on which to create art with their clients.
The underlying principle is the same today as it was the first day: No matter the project budget, the finished product should sound like all the money in the world. Put plainly, big ideas know no fences. World Record Productions.
"We want to do things that haven't been done before. We want to use different ingredients," Harley says. "We want to find that pure sound and fill up speakers, in new ways."
"We want to make records that outlast us." It's never been a two-man show, however. Tappero and Harley are adamant that the artists' vision, energy and pride are never compromised. The pitch is simple: "Jeremy is the musician and James is the sonics. We bring it together. We help you make your music."
Several years after the company's start, the guys have the freedom to be selective with their projects but the principles have stayed the same. In fact, with the added toys behind the board, more complex approaches from artists and an ever-competitive music industry, the focus on the original company mission is stronger now than ever. "Million-dollar music no matter the project agreement."
In a time of difficult-to-describe music and unpredictable decision-makers, the ear of the fan has never been more important. Tappero and Harley take a full-circle approach to a project with that fan in mind. "It's all about research. We spend hours online, at their shows or cranking demos in our cars. We indulge in the band. We realize that down-the-line a new fan will be doing the same. We want to help make that experience even better."
That tight approach helps bring focus to the band too. "Making a record is 50 percent mental and 50 percent physical. Bands have a pretty good idea what record they want to make. They have certain influences. We help them see through the music and develop good recording habits," Harley says.
Getting there isn't without challenges. Tappero and Harley play the mentor role and embrace hard-headedness from a band. Self-professed "audio-dorks," the two take their roles very seriously and light up when talking their favorite records. Tappero is the energetic spirit-leader while Harley plays the driver. They help bands find common elements in their sound and develop a vision. It is a constant learning environment – for the band and the production team. Every record is a struggle. And, every record is difficult to let go of once the project wraps.
Today, World Record Productions has a healthy list of accomplishments from doing a Radio and Record Top 30 hit with Minneapolis pop-rockers Quietdrive for "Time After Time" from their album When All That's Left Is You and the theme for NBC's America's Toughest Jobs with The SuperSuckers.
A proud result and happy band culminates everything.
"Listening back to what we've all created and watching the band freak out is what it's all about. That experience pretty much encompasses the project."
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