Howard Redekopp visits Winnipeg

Veteran producer shares his opinion on the state of Canadian music

As one of our country’s finest record producers, Vancouver’s Howard Redekopp was brought in Sept. 22-24 as Manitoba Music’s producer-in-residence to lead a weekend workshop for local producers and musicians.

Redekopp is known for creating crisp, clear sounds with such artists as Mother Mother (Touch Up, Oh My Heart) and Hannah Georgas (This Is Good).

“We’re absolutely thrilled to host Howard as Manitoba Music’s producer-in-residence,” says Rachel Stone, communications manager for Manitoba Music. “This is a fantastic creative and business development opportunity for local producers and engineers to learn from his years of experience and accumulated knowledge.”

Redekopp is arguably one of the most influential producers that Canadian music has produced.

Redekopp has had his share of international success as well, working on big projects with such artists as The New Pornographers and Tegan and Sara.

Its been a long time since I did something I didn’t enjoy.

Howard Redekopp

Of particular note is The New Pornographers’ Electric Version, which was ranked #79 in Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top Records of the Decade”.

“It’s been a long time since I did something I didn’t enjoy,” Redekopp says. “The actual process of making a record doesn’t have anything to do with the artist except the budget, which means more time (for production of the record).”

While he can’t pinpoint a single album or recording experience as his favourite, Redekopp does point to Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood as a major highlight of his career.

“We got to record at Sound City (in Los Angeles),” he says of the 2009 release. “They recorded (Nirvana’s) Nevermind, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Weezer’s Pinkerton and (Neil Young’s) After the Gold Rush there. You look at the records on the wall and you say, ‘Wow.’ I’ve worked in far nicer studios but the history and the sound of it (made it special).”

Redekopp also made a point of discussing the current state of Canadian music, particularly music that fits into a more independent scope, without the assistance of bigger labels.

“I’m interested to see what the future really is, and in Canada I don’t really know,” he says. “Sometimes things that happen in Canada surprise us, sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much. For every (band like) Spoon, we’ve got one or two equals. A lot of creative and great stuff.”

Redekopp did express concern about declining revenues and viability for record labels.

“Every year people buy less records and that changes the game,” he says. “(Finding) the band that is used to selling 35,000 records (and) that can consistently play for anywhere from 400 to 1,200 people a night (is really hard to do). What that means for the music industry is an interesting question. It makes for an interesting conundrum. It takes time.”

For more information on Howard Redekopp, visit

Published in Volume 66, Number 5 of The Uniter (September 29, 2011)

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