Mountain Co-Founder Creates Massive Guitar Tones with the M80
Pictured is engineer/co-producer Mike “Metal” Goldberg with TELEFUNKEN’s M80 dynamic microphone on Leslie West’s Blackstar amp.
South Windsor, CT, November, 2013 — Leslie West, co-founder of the Woodstock highlight group Mountain, is back with his massive riff-propelled guitar on the just released “Still Climbing.” Following the success of his previous album, “Unusual Suspects,” West approached the new release with a vision of tying the albums together.
“This record is a sequel to the one where I had my friends Slash, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa, and Billy Gibbons come to the studio and play,” says West. This time West’s guest include Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Alter Bridge / Creed’s Mark Tremonti.
“I knew right away that TELEFUNKEN”s M80 dynamic mic was perfect for capturing Leslie’s signature guitar sound,” commented co-producer and recording engineer Mike “Metal” Goldberg. “The M80’s punchy-but-accurate mid range, clarity on the top, and the rich lows gave me the exact perspective I was looking for.”
West has been performing since 1965, when he fronted the soul-fired Vagrants in his native New York City. After that group opened for Cream and The Who, West was inspired to begin his lifelong devotion to perfecting the big guitar riffs that are the framework of his songs, which earned him the #66 slot on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists.”
“What’s different on ‘Still Climbing’ is that I wanted my guitars to sound as big as I look,” says West. “I used four of my Dean signature model guitars with my Mountain of Tone humbucking pickups. I plugged them into my Blackstar amps — no pedals — and turned them up loud and raw. I played one of the early tracks we recorded for Slash, and he said, ‘That is as heavy as it gets.’”
“You know you have the right mic for the job when no EQ is needed to capture the sound that you’re going for,” continues Goldberg. “It’s just Leslie’s guitar through his amp with an M80 on the cabinet.”
“Still Climbing,” excluding the tracks “Tales of Woe” and “Rev Jones Time (Somewhere Over The Rainbow)” was mixed by Mike Fraser, who’s worked with Metallica, AC/DC, Rush, Joe Satriani, Bad Company, among many others.
Over the years, Mike Goldberg has sharpened his sonic vision by working both sides of the glass during 25 years in studios as an engineer, producer and musician. He’s honed his skills alongside some of the most talented producers, engineers and musician’s in the industry, including Ritchie Blackmore, Slash, Jonny Lang, Dee Snider, Hugh McCracken, and Glenn Hughes.
“When I first listened to the M80 on Leslie’s cabinet I knew we were there,” added Goldberg. “No tricks, no EQ — just guitar, mic pre, M80, amp – and that’s exactly what you hear on the new album.”
Learn more about “Still Climbing” at: http://www.lesliewestofficial.com
Visit IMP Studios, where the album was recorded: http://impstudios.us/