Cris Cohen: When you say that you recorded these live, just to clarify, I assume you mean everyone playing in the same room at the same time. You recorded at Mark Miller's house even. And again, in the days of all this technology, where everyone can just piece things together in their own individual homes and recording studios, what is it about getting together and actually seeing one another as you play that creates a better sound?
Billy Sheehan of Talas: It's an intangible. I'm not sure exactly what it is. And I believe you can carry on without that. And I've done a lot of records where I'm in another city. But I've played for a long, long time and played a lot of different styles of music, so I'm listening to the drummer anyway. And if I was recording, I would probably be in the control room listening to the playback monitors and playing along like that. Because it's difficult for me to be out in a room with headphones. I really can't hear what I'm doing. So I've done a lot of records like that. Which are, in effect, us not being in the same room technically, but because we're all there, there's a group dynamic that happens with any bunch of creative people. They work off each other and I do believe that you get a better product.
Because right up until you record, things are still in flux. They're still malleable. They're still plastic. They can be moved around, and that's a very important factor. Because many times… I remember doing the “Sink Your Teeth Into That” record (Talas). As the vocalist was at the mic, I would have to say, "Hold on a second." And one song was just particularly too wordy. I just crossed out every other line.
Cris Cohen: [Laughter]
Billy Sheehan: And it made for a much better song. The vocals sat in the track better. He wasn't trying to rush and get all these mouthfuls of words out. So, everything changed throughout that.
When you have a whole bunch of people in a room together working on a piece of music, many factors are at play. And the one I believe that is probably the most noticeable is that interaction and creativity in last-minute changes.