The Second Coming

Perpetuating A Progressive's Icon's Essential Repertoire

By John Collinge

Progression, Spring, 2010

Seventeen years after his untimely death from prostate cancer at age 53, progressive music legend FRANK VINCENT ZAPPA still wields influence in strange and wonderful ways.

His body of work dating back through the 1960s remains a defining standard for accomplished musicianship in the realm of avant-garde rock-fusion. The band fronted by son DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA - won a "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" GRAMMY AWARD in 2009 for its rendition of the Frank-composed "Peaches en Regalia." And soon, we'll see Zappa's memorialized countenance casting its shadow on the streets of his native Baltimore.

It took more than a year, but Baltimore officials finally decided where to put a bust of Frank donated to the city by adoring fans in, of all places, Lithuania: The sculpture, atop a 15-foot pedestal, will be erected outside a public library.

Zappa never visited Lithuania, but his music is popular there. A Lithuanian fan club placed a Zappa statue in the nation's capital and last year donated a replica to his hometown city. Baltimore's public arts commission considered multiple locations, including the bohemian Fells Point waterfront, before deciding on the working-class Highlandtown neighborhood known for its Greek restaurants.

Zappa would be pleased with the location, according to his widow, GAIL. Frank's mother, ROSE MARIE COLIMORE, was a librarian, and Gail lobbied to have the effigy placed near a city library. "I'm thrilled," she told THE BALTIMORE SUN last December. "That's where he went to school, in the library. The library was a really important place for him in his teen years."

Frank Zappa was born in 1940. His family lived in two Baltimore area neighborhoods before moving to California when Frank was 10. "[Baltimore] is not a bad place to be from when you consider who else is from there," Gail Zappa said. "EDGAR ALLAN POE, JOHN WATERS ... Come on, it's all great!"

A memorial statue is one thing. Keeping the icon's music alive and relevant to younger generations is quite another. About seven years ago Dweezil, now 41, decided to make that part of his life's mission through the ongoing ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA project. Conceived as a vehicle for live performance of classic Frank Zappa compositions, the virtuoso ensemble - cast in the mode and spirit of Frank's legendary MOTHERS OF INVENTION lineups - has forged a life of its own since initially showcasing "name" players from Frank's classic era.

The youthful band tours heavily, and last year enjoyed second billing on the PROGRESSIVE NATION tour's U.S. leg featuring headline ad DREAM THEATER along with BIG ELF and SCALE THE SUMMIT. Now touring under the name DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA 2010, the band comprises Dweezil on guitar, SCHEILA GONZALEZ on saxophone, flute, keyboards and vocals, PETE GRIFFIN on bass, BILLY HULTING on marimba, mallets and percussion, JAMIE KIME on guitar, JOE TRAVERS on drums and vocals, and BEN THOMAS on vocals.
ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA has one official release so far, a self-named CD/DVD live performance from 2008 covering 12 Frank tracks featuring "Zomby Woof," "Cheapnis," "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," "Black Page #2" and the aforementioned Grammy winning "Peaches En Regalia." More live recordings are scheduled and the group plans to eventually introduce new material penned by Dweezil.

An accomplished composer/guitarist in his own right, Dweezil emerged professionally in the 1980s with a stint as MTV VJ and a string of musically audacious solo albums reflecting his father's trademark irreverent humor. This included the debut MY MOTHER IS A SPACE CADET (1982), HAVIN' A BAD DAY (1986) and MY GUITAR WANTS TO KILL YOUR MAMA (1988). Other solo works are CONFESSIONS (1991), AUTOMATIC (2000) and GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW (2006). Dweezil also issued two albums in collaboration with brother AHMET in the mid-1990s.
From FREAK OUT! (1966) through THE YELLOW SHARK (1993) and beyond (original Frank recordings continue to be unearthed and released), Frank Zappa was known as a fearlessly uncompromising artist who straddled myriad genres. His compositional calling card was rock- and fusion-based music blending highly skilled playing with wild, sleight-of-hand rhythmic shifts, satirical humor and campy theatrics. At the time of his passing, Frank was pursuing neo-classical composition and performance.

In the following interview, Dweezil discusses his father's legacy and demonstrates why prog fans, in particular, should laud his efforts to educate young listeners on the sublime merits of complex, boundary pushing music.


PR: You've stated from the outset with this project that your goal was to make your father's music available to a whole new generation. Have you seen tangible evidence of accomplishing this?

DZ: "We see it every day. On the Progressive Nation tour, for example, [it was] an even different kind of thing. We set out to play in front of a new audience every night. We went out there with the feeling we had no idea who knows this music and we'd like them to be interested in it by the time we're done playing. Kids who were big Dream Theater fans and didn't know anything about Frank's music became inspired and were interested in checking out more of it, and coming to see us again.
As far as our own shows we've seen a definite increase in younger people as time has gone on. It used to be parents bringing their kids, now we're actually seeing groups of teenagers showing up on their own. That's the kind of thing we've been hoping for; it really does make a difference. If young kids appreciate Frank's music on the level of what is possible musically, that's what we hope for. It's so limited if the so-called 'modern music that kids hear on the radio is all they're familiar with their whole lives. I think it's a good thing for people to hear this and say, 'Wow, I didn't know that was even possible!' And watching people do it, you still look at it like, 'How did they do that? How is it possible?'

"That's what I used to wonder when I watched Frank's bands. I just would think, how can they play that? Who possesses that skill? So we get a similar thing happening when we play shows, because people aren't used to seeing that kind of rehearsed, sophisticated music. Beyond that, there are wild improvisational things that can just happen. That's the excitement of music and live music, in particular. I think kids today watch music and 'listen with their eyes.' This is more about experiencing the connection of music and how humans play it."

PR: Absolutely. More power to you, I think it's great to see truly complex music being embraced by fresh ears. So, what are your thoughts in general about the Progressive Nation tour concept?

DZ: "I think it's a strong concept. The interesting thing is fans coming to the show obviously have an open enough mind, because there was quite a contrast between all four bands, very different sounds. People hearing my father's music for the first time certainly enjoy the spectacle of it. We got a lot of standing ovations. Considering we weren't the headliner it's nice to see people respect the music and the way it's being performed, and get up on their feet and say so.

"The whole goal of us playing on that tour, ostensibly, was to create a situation where we could be playing for an entirely new audience on a nightly basis. We wanted to reach a younger audience and expand the fan base. We knew there is a certain amount of risk doing something like that in terms of the core fans you've already developed. Maybe they wouldn't necessarily be interested in other bands on the bill. But I wasn't so concerned about that because when we do our own [headline] shows they'll likely return. I wanted to get a bunch of new people interested."

PR: Do you welcome your father's music being categorized as progressive rock?

DZ: "That's better than saying 'alternative,' or comedy music. 'Rock' is a very overused term at this point. It's a very confused adjective, because people will call themselves rock stars even when they have nothing to do with music. In this day and age anything can be 'rock,' and usually when people use it in that context it's anything but rock. Ultimately, for me, the music speaks for itself. Its just music. There's a lot of variety in it and really nobody wrote music like Frank. We're playing stuff that's 40 years old, and it still sounds like nothing you'd ever hear on the radio or that is being written today. So for young kids to be exposed to it, I think it's important.

"There really is a lack of music appreciation these days. People don't know that much about the history of where things come from and so you've got a lot of bands playing in the so-called jam community that don't know anything about Frank's music. Then they come to find out when they do hear some of it, 'Oh, that's where these ideas came from!'

"It's just funny there aren't more people who are aware of the origins of things inspiring them these days. The majority of the music that comes out and becomes popular is, in some way, just a nostalgia trip. Bands are influenced by other bands that were popular in the '70s or '60s, or whenever. They do their own thing with it, but it's still very obvious who their influences are. You've got a lot of bands that sound like Black Sabbath and others - you can choose examples of dozens of other bands that sound like those of a certain era. The thing about it is they're identifying with this element that came before and there's not necessarily a lot of forward momentum to create something new and original beyond that. Which is a really challenging thing to do, because some of the best music ever written and recorded happened in the '60s and '70s, and to some extent in the '80s. After that, it's been a downhill slide."

PR: It's interesting you mentioned the jam scene, because your band played on the annual jam cruise early this year. That would seem to be another statement on reaching out to other demographics with your music.

DZ: "I've found that the people who are heavily into that scene might have an idea of some of Frank's music, maybe more than other casual listeners. But they still don't have an idea of the depth of it. So part of this whole process of touring, and the way that we present the music, is to give people a broader perspective of Frank's music other than things they might accidentally have heard on the radio. That bit of education goes a long way for the new breed of fan if they're going to hear stuff and be exposed through a different gateway.

"It's a very different thing if the first couple songs you've ever heard are 'Valley Girl' and 'Don't Eat the Yellow Snow.' The comedy element might draw some people in at first, but overall I think it's been a detriment to the way Frank's music has been represented in the media. People tend to focus on the comedy elements of it and almost put him in the same category as WEIRD AL YANKOVIC. For that to happen when he's written compositions like 'The Black Page,' and 'G-Spot Tornado' and even 'Peaches en Regalia' - iconic melodies that have rhythmic elements that really nobody has done anything even close to before or since - it's those things we like bringing to people's attention. We just really want to say, 'Hey look, there's so much more possible with music.' These kinds of concepts should be more prevalent and familiar to people.

"Take a song like 'Inca Roads.' That song has some impossible interlude sections in it, really hard rhythms and it's very hard to execute. But it also has this immense freedom in the solo sections where anything can happen. You could play 'Inca Roads' every night and it would never be the same. Whereas, many people go out and play their song and they play it the same every night, and they make a point of playing it exactly the same every single night.

"Sometimes that's fine, but a lot of times it gets a little old. Frank was always messing around with different feels and different things and changing arrangements as he would do different tours. So those kinds of elements within the show take place in various songs and what you ultimately capture is a snapshot for that particular audience. They get to see something that really only exists that evening for that audience."

PR: I was going to ask you about that. There are those, of course, who have been into your father's music for decades and maintain that his compositions were forever evolving and constantly in flux. Whereas, some have said that you've kept the arrangements pretty consistent from night to night. Would you agree with that? Or do you feel you are changing things up as well?

DZ: "The difference is that Frank would work up specific arrangements for specific tours. One of the things I set out to do when we put this together was not necessarily follow the concept of putting a different arrangement on everything every tour. That's because we were going to want to be playing for new fans as well. One of the things we want to offer them is a chance to hear the version of a song that Frank mostly likely never played, which is the album version. In a lot of ways, that's very different than what Frank would have done on stage, but it's the most well-known version of the song. If they've never heard the music, I want them to be able to hear something so if they buy the record they're already pretty much in the same ballpark.
"As we progress and evolve, we might decide to make adjustments to arrangements just like what Frank would do on a touring basis. But that takes time and rehearsal and we don't necessarily always have that time. My focus has been to present the most iconic versions of the songs. Sometimes, we'll make hybrid arrangements of things. We do a version of 'Bamboozled by Love' that starts as the original does and then morphs halfway through into another well-known version that came over a decade later. There's a tempo change and other things involved in it.
"As far as arrangements go, I don't ever take something and make my own arrangement of it from the ground-up. Even if it's two different arrangements, if they exist on a recording that has officially been released, I don't mind combining two elements. But it has to be something that Frank did originally. I never approach something with the idea of doing my own thing with it -- I think that's totally unnecessary. We do make adjustments to things here or there, but my goal is to keep expanding the audience and give people a chance to hear stuff that most likely will be representative of what they hear when they buy the classic records."

PR: Do you ever feel there is no pleasing Frank Zappa purists with this project? Or is that just never a concern?

DZ: "It's not really a concern, because nothing in life is universally acceptable to people. The majority of people who enjoy what we do are very positive about it. We have a lot of repeat visitors to our shows. There are dozens of people who have seen more than 10 shows. In fact, I'd have to say that more than half our audience is now repeat customers. What you want to do is keep them and add new ones, so there's a certain standard you have to live up to, and we do our best to maintain it.
"For the hardcore fans that want to bitch and moan about things, it doesn't really concern me. The ones who get super nitpicky about stuff, at a certain point it would be hard to call them fans. Once they move out of their mother's basement maybe they can enjoy the rest of the world."

PR: Being as objective as you can about this, where does Frank end and Dweezil begin in these performances?

DZ: "There was somebody who actually had a pretty good description about how the music is presented. They said after one of the shows that watching and hearing this music performed this way, is like taking a tour of the world's finest museum where the curator never stands in front of the paintings while you're trying to take a photo. What I can appreciate is it's coming across that I'm part of the ensemble. I'm not doing this to say, 'Hey, look at me! Look what I can do!' I'm a big fan of this music just like everyone else in the band and the people who are coming to see it. What we all have in common is a great love and respect for this music, and want to do the best we can with it.

"Where my personality will sneak its way into things might be certain elements of arrangements. Certainly in guitar solos my own personality's going to come out, and in the way I might conduct the band or create improv differs from the way Frank would do it. Other than that, we're just taking a page out of Frank's playbook. The goal is to play what's there, and play it with respect.

"As far as solos go, I try to play in context with the music. That took a lot of studying of Frank's guitar style, mannerisms and idiosyncrasies. Typically what I'll do is take phrases that exist from different versions of songs - things that were from SHUT UP'N PLAY YER GUITAR or different eras, and I'll use some of these phrases as guideposts throughout the solos. I'll take things Frank played in a solo section and tie them together with stream-of-consciousness improv stuff. People generally get a sense that you hear a little bit of both of us."
PR: This is such difficult music to play, what made you decide you were up to the challenge?
DZ: "What it came down to is I had noticed over a period of time that if I was talking to anybody under 30, they had no idea of anything about Frank's music, and that really bothered me. I was thinking I didn't want to see his music fade away during my lifetime, I would love for people to understand it and respect it more for the musical elements of it. The comedy stuff is one thing, but I wanted to change the focus and give people a different perspective, a different way of looking at it.
"I knew that was a tall order, so I studied the music for two years, made a lot of changes, put a very competent band together and we've been doing it ever since. This is the fifth year we'll be out on the road."

PR: Your band is quite impressive. Was it difficult finding players to fit your qualifications for this kind of music?

DZ: "It was and it wasn't. I say that because I knew there would be a limited number of people interested in the job, and I focused the auditions in such a way to really weed out any delusional people.

"I made incredibly difficult auditions for the core players. Scheila Gonzalez plays so many instruments. I had her come in and play 'Peaches en Regalia,' and she was only playing with [drummer] Joe Travers. Right there that puts somebody in a weird state of mind because the focus is completely on them. Any mistake you make is out there in the open, because it's just you and a drummer. But what she did was hilarious: She plays flute, keyboards, she even played a little clarinet in her audition. She played the whole song and throughout she would leave off just three or four notes, just enough of a gap so she could pick up the next instrument and continue on.
"So she played the whole song and made all these changes. Knowing she had the ability to do all of that, it gave me the idea she could go even further in certain directions. We've seen her play multiple things at once - keyboards and saxophone at the same time, sometimes two saxophones at the same time - all kinds of crazy stuff. She had some other hard things she needed to execute at the audition and it was obvious within a few minutes of hearing her play that she would be a perfect person to have in the band.

"Similar things were set up for other players. When we formerly had a lead keyboardist -- we'll probably get another one when we have time to set up tryouts -- that was another brutal audition. They'd have to learn 'Inca Roads' and 'The Black Page,' but they'd have to transcribe it themselves and do it in two days, then come in and nail it. I knew that anyone who did that would pretty much have to stay up two days straight, learning it and practicing it. So anybody who thought they could just sail in and fake their way through it would be weeded out from the start. Very few people even got close to that, so it was easier to decide who could be in the band.
"Part of the process, too, is choosing personality types that might work well together, because you're going to be in confined quarters and spending a lot of time together. You've got to make sure there are not any real personality conflicts. We've been very fortunate that everybody gets along, and you can see it on stage. There's a real positive feeling performing live. Everybody's having fun and enjoying the process of playing this music."

PR: What are your thoughts on Zappa alumni, and what place they have or don't have in what you're doing now?

DZ: "When I started this whole thing I really had no intention of having alumni in the band. But the first year out, promoters were of the opinion that nobody would come to see us if we didn't have alumni. I disagreed, but they didn't want to take that risk. They wanted as many alumni as they could get in the band. I fought that from the beginning because they wanted to turn it into a circus. The reason the music sounds the way it sounds is because of the way Frank wrote it, it has nothing to do with the alumni. They were lucky enough to be chosen to play the music with Frank, but they were not the reason it sounded the way it did.

"When we did the first year, I thought all right, we have no idea if we'll be able to do this beyond one tour, so we'll have a few people come out. We had STEVE VAI [guitar], NAPOLEON MURPHY BROCK [sax/flute] and TERRY BOZZIO [drums]. They respectively were on a handful of songs throughout the show, but the core band was the real engine behind the whole thing. So after the first year I decided we don't want to have any more alumni, but we ended up having [singer/ guitarist] RAY WHITE, which was fun. He was working with us for a couple tours. Then he just didn't show up for a tour. We were supposed to go to Australia and Japan [in early 2009] and he didn't show up. That was something he had done to Frank as well, by the way. At that point I said, 'All right, we don't need alumni. I'm not interested in pursuing that any further.'

"Some of the best shows we've done have been since that. The energy level is very different having Ben [Thomas] singing. It also brings the overall age of the band down. I think that's an important thing, to present the music to a younger audience with a band that actually looks a lot younger. It's harder to get younger kids interested if you've got a bunch of 50-year-olds or older on stage."

PR: This brings to mind Zappa alumni touring groups The Grande Mothers and Project/Object. What's your take on them?

DZ: "I don't have anything good to say about them so I won't spend any time on it. Those guys not only disrespected Frank while Frank was alive, they continue to do it in various ways after the fact. I'm really not interested in what they have to offer."

PR: Do you foresee a time when you'll be introducing newly composed music to the set?

DZ: "People have been asking about that over the last couple tours. I've been careful to keep any of my own musical elements out of the show. Certain little things creep in here or there. When we do improvisational sections I might come up with a little vamp or a little rhythmic element that doesn't exist in any of Frank's songs. But it's just something that's interesting and of the moment, and most people don't even know those things have been infused into it.

"The real question is about my own music, and will some of it appear. I've been asked enough and people seem interested enough that I might as well write and record some new music and introduce some of it at some point. But I'm not going to suddenly turn it into mostly my music and a few of Frank's songs. It's just a natural evolution. I think 1111 what it comes from is that people who are familiar with this band like it as a band. They accept it and think of it as a band, and are interested in hearing the band grow and evolve outside of what they've grown accustomed to hearing so far.

"They obviously want to hear more new songs from Frank's catalog, but they just want to see how much further it can evolve and what it would sound like in other contexts. I think that's probably going to be an important feature to focus on over the next long haul. At the same time, I will have been doing this for five years and it probably is time for me to be doing something that's my own as opposed to making it a continuous focus only on Frank's music. I'm certainly happy to keep the torch for that lit, but it might start getting a little silly if we do this for a whole lot longer and I don't introduce anything of my own."

PR: It is both encouraging and exciting to know you'll be introducing new music with this particular band.

DZ: "Looking at it as a composer, there are so many challenges I've seen this band handle. Over time they've been able to learn and execute really difficult things. Working from an open canvas or palette of ideas, I can really draw upon anything and it will make the new music I write a lot different than I otherwise would ever have been able to do. Certainly with all the skill I've developed from doing this, it's going to change how I think about music and what I want to do when I make the record: But yeah, I also am very interested in what it will sound like to hear this band play some new music."

PR: So what would your dad say if he could see you now and reflect on what you're doing?

DZ: "I think there's no question he would appreciate all the members of this band. What he had to deal with many times is people try to get into his band to make a name for themselves. A r ain14 point you're battling a bit of an ego thing, because people try , to change parts or draw more attention to themselves;1 rank would; constantly have issues saying, 'Listen, you're overplaying here and 1.reati want you to just stick with the parts you're supposed to do.' Conversely, in this group, we really just look at the frameworks of the songs an try to execute the parts that are there and not go beyond that.

"Everybody gets their special moment of what Frank would call 'body commercial time.' Everybody's going to have a chance to solo and do stuff, you don't need to add special ornamentation on top of the parts. I think Frank would appreciate this band's respect for the music and dedication to executing the parts. Besides the talent of all these guys, and lady, he would appreciate their coming from a real basic place of respect. That's the best thing about it; everybody is dedicated to doing it the best they can. This stuff's not easy, so it really takes focus and dedication to do it."
PR: What is the status of archival, previously unreleased Frank Zappa material we can hope for in the near future?

DZ: "There is a lot of different stuff that has been put together and is waiting to be released, the only question is when. My mom is the one who plans that stuff and I try to stay out of that.

"Certain specific records and real pivotal things, I get involved in. I'm getting involved in the ROXY film [from 1974's ROXY & ELSEWHERE concert], for instance. It's all been transferred to high definition but the problem is it all has to be put in synch, and there's more than 30 hours of footage. That's hundreds of hours of time spent to get it all together. At the time it was filmed they really didn't have a great crew, they just didn't have it together. There are a lot of annoying hours ahead getting that stuff organized before you can properly edit it."

PR: What about unreleased studio material?

DZ: "There's a lot of that stuff. Joe Travers, the drummer in the band, is the vaultmeister, and he knows more about what's in there than anybody. But there definitely are trims and outs of things, even from well-known records. We're approaching 40-year anniversaries and 35-year anniversaries on some pretty big records, so there will be some elements like that [on reissues].

"One of the newest things coming out is a full concert from Philadelphia by one of the bands that hasn't been represented much in the catalog. It's a smaller band but it had a female vocalist who also played keyboards, named BIANCA. She was in the band along with Terry Bozzio, Ray White and I think ANDRE LEWIS was playing keyboards. I'm going to say that was 1976, '77. I don't remember exactly. But that's going to be one people will like to hear. It sounds really good and is a band that only did a short tour in that configuration before it disbanded."

PR: Did your father pass along instructions on what to do with any of this material?

DZ: "Coming from his sense of humor, at one point he said, 'You guys should just go take it out into the desert and destroy it.' We didn't really take that one under advisement. I think the path we're on is the path he probably couldn't have conceived, because he probably would've wondered why we'd take time out of our own lives to do this. But I think he would be happy with the results.

"I think if he was around he definitely would be wanting to work with this band and write some new and challenging stuff."

PR: Did the Grammy award surprise you?

DZ: "For sure it was a surprise, first to be nominated and then to win. I've never been that interested in the Grammys before, so I had very little notion we actually would win. What it ultimately did was solidify a place in history for the song 'Peaches en Regalia.' It's one of the few songs Frank wrote that's as close to being universally well liked as anything he'd done. But it's never gotten real critical acclaim.

"For the time it was written it was a groundbreaking piece of the music in the technology involved and the way it was constructed. It's an amazing piece of work. If anything, the Grammy acknowledges that particular song as having a place in rock history, more so than having anything to do with us presenting it to people. That's last my feeling on it, it's a way for the music industry as a whole to say, 'This has been overlooked, but let's make sure people know that yes, this is a special piece of music.

PR: What are your plans for the project going forward? Will this be an indefinite enterprise for you?

DZ: "It's definitely something that has a broad spectrum. There's tons of music to choose from in terms of learning new music and performing new music. But the industry itself is a challenge. It's very expensive to tour and the economy being as it is, you just never know how many times people will keep coming back, even if you present a whole new show.

"Very few bands will tour every year, and we've been touring four to six months over each of the last five years. We have enough material to keep it different and make it a different show all the time and could continue to do that for even another 10 years. But it needs to keep evolving. I don't know if there's going to breaks between years touring, or what. I have two young daughters and a family life at home I would like to spend more time with vs. constantly being on the road all the time. It's something I can't pinpoint, I think it will just develop as time goes on.

"I likely will include some of my own music, and there are other things I'd like to get involved in. I've had the opportunity to do a few things along the lines of a clinic and 'an evening with' type of approach. It basically is like a question-answer forum -- play a little music and just have some fun, tell some stories and teach people some stuff. That is a fun and rewarding type of thing to do. I've spent a lot of time learning a lot of these techniques and things, which I think a lot of guitar players would be interested in. I'd like to create a situation where we can make it possible for people to have some one-on-one training."

PR: I know you've also offered show downloads. Is that something you plan to do more of?

DZ: "Not all of those are completed yet. We've spent a lot of time to make sure they've really sounded great, and have not had enough time to do them all in one fell swoop. At some point those all will be available as full concert downloads in official capacity. Right now they're just available to the small amount of people that attended the shows. Those shows were done in small venues on purpose. We were playing to 300 to 800 people, and so it's limited amounts getting the free downloads.

"I wouldn't say we'd be able to do it on the same level again, because it's just so time consuming. Typically when people do that kind of thing and offer it to you the night of the show, you're basically just getting the house reference mix, which is not always accurate and does not always sound good. We didn't want to do that, we wanted to make shows available fully mixed as a complete record."

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