Able to do a little of everything, slowly became an home producer by writing my own metal songs, starting with just a cheap guitar and GarageBand, to upgrading gear, software and the skills. Aiming to create studio quality content and work from the concept phase, to the producing, tracking, editing and mixing.
My roots are based in the metal genre, mostly around metalcore and heavy metal. One of my passions is cinematic and orchestral pieces of music, so I’ve been composing my share of that as well and trying to blend it with the heavyness of metal, akin to performances seen by the likes of Bring Me The Horizon in their Royal Albert Hall concert.
Guitar wise, my mind thinks a lot in the melodic vibe, my foundations in playing an instrument came from Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates and I do have a tendency to lay the song to feature melodic leads. Though not to say I don’t enjoy a punchy and heavy breakdown.
My passion for music is immeasurable and I could spend every hour for the entire week working on projects and I have a goal to work with as many different musicians as possible, be it to learn from different views of the craft or to share my own and to help each other make the best music we can.
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Interview with Simon Flames
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The song If You're Gone by My Own Demise. It has a few flaws, but I think it turned out really well. It was entirely written and produced by me and worked with a singer on the vocals. The foundations started being constructed when I was 16 and, despite having to go through a lot in my life to shape the song to be how it is, I'm proud of how it turned out.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently working on finishing and releasing my first set of singles, which will eventually combine into my first album under My Own Demise, a self reflection of the struggles we go through in life, work, relationships, etc. Want to make music under different genres and work with different people, growing my YouTube channel, releasing a new cover every week and improve my skills in producing, guitar and vocals.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Jeremy Sutherland has a fantastic voice and great production skills.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both have it's pros and cons. I believe eventually digital will start overtaking due to AI, easier to use and being cheaper.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You will enjoy the work and you won't regret anything.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Making music is fun and can be very rewarding. Pretty much everyone listens to it, but those 3 minutes of music take hours and hours to go from silence to that.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Usually they ask if I can do more than I'm offering and for cheaper. I think you know the answer.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Anyone with a computer and AirPods can do it. No.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are some references for the song? Do you have any melody or specific way you want the delivery of the chorus/verse/etc be? How soon do you need this to be done?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you ask me to write the lyrics, expect them to be very depressing. Bring me some references of the sound you're looking for, that really helps me out to what you enjoy sonically.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Discounting cables, I'd bring a computer, a dynamic microphone, an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar and a pair of headphones. I think that's more than enough for doing what I do. Obviously more gear is always great, but you can do it all with the just the basics.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Been involved with music for over 7 years. Started with guitar after first hearing Avenged Sevenfold and played in a music school and bands. I've been doing guitar covers on YouTube for fun almost since the beginning, firstly over the original song and eventually started creating my own backing tracks, getting better and learning about production since. I'm currently enrolled in producer Nathan Larsen's Producer Accelerator course and I've improved immensely in just the first 3 months of the time of writing this. I've started in 2020 producing and finishing my own song under the name My Own Demise, songs I've been working through the years and newer ones with the knowledge I've compiled since. I've very recently started to practise my vocals, mainly the fry and false cord screaming.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I don't obsess over things and let things take it's time. If I believe a work needs longer to make it, I will take longer, and if I think a song need something that "it shouldn't have" I will add it. Creativity and originality come from breaking the rules. "There's nothing you can do that can't be done."
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: You can learn from anyone you work with. That said, going from my influences, can't exclude Mike Shinoda, the catalog he's worked all his career is incredibly diverse and the man just "has it". Vocally, I'd love to work with Sam Carter from Architects, to me there is not a single person with a better scream out there, in addition to his fantastic singing as show by their album For Those That Wish To Exist. Finally I'll add Synyster Gates and Josh Middleton, both are incredible guitarists and can create riffs and solos out of nothing, guitar being the reason I got into music.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Arrange with the mix in mind, but don't leave problems to "fix in the mix". A good produced song is a good sounding song. A good mix can't fix a bad song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Most of my work has been around metalcore with the involvement of orchestral pieces, be it in intros, interludes, mixed in the chorus, whatever be. I've also worked on more ballad songs or punk/pop songs. I've done quite the covers on YouTube as well, either trying to replace the original song or reimagining it into a different sound.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My passion to do this and spend hours and hours on end to work and finish a song. But also my ability to work towards the goal and know when something is worth spending time on or you're just procrastinating. I believe my strongest working skill relies on editing sound and micro automating tracks, every strum, snare hit, etc deserves to be worked on.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I try to always bring different dynamics to a song and not just make the basic formula Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus. I have a tendency to work with orchestral sounds due to my preferences for orchestral metal. I don't like a lot of repetition, songs have to take us somewhere and not just feed the listener the same sound for 3-4 minutes.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to have the entire basic structure of the arrangement first, with the chords, riffs, melodies, you name it all laid out. Then I start adding the production, editing the recordings, and a rough mix. This is what takes me most of my time, experimenting different sounds and how they play with each other into the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Right now I'm working from home, with plan to build my own studio in the upcoming years. My recording guitar is a Schecter Synyster Gates Custom - S, a Fender Redondo Plater acoustic guitar and a Yamaha TRBX505 bass. Electric guitars are recorded DI with STL Tones for the sounds. Acoustic guitar is recorded via Shure SM58 dynamic microphone. My DAW is Apple's Logic Pro X with some third party plugins and sound libraries from the likes of Native Instruments and Spitfire Audio.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My favourite bands are Architects, Dayseeker and Linkin Park. My inspiration to pick up a guitar was Avenged Sevenfold's Synyster Gates. I've developed a special attraction into the music of the likes of Benjamin Clementine and Salvador Sobral.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Transforming a rough demo of a song into a final produced track or even writing the song from a few ideas or melody. I'm most experienced with the heavier genres of metal and rock, but I've worked on a variety of styles.