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Ira Blonder
Franklin, TN, United States
Ira Blonder is the Managing Partner of Sound Kitchen Studios (www.soundkitchen.com)and The Blonder Group, LLC (www.blondergroup.com)
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sound Kitchen Interviews Producer Skidd Mills

Skidd Mills is the owner of Skiddco Music, a production company based at Sound Kitchen Studios in Franklin, TN. Currently, Skiddco Music has 4 bands on its roster. Saving Abel, signed to Virgin Records. Tetanus, from Memphis TN, Deepfield from Charleston SC, and Brent James. Saving Abel's debut
self- titled platinum selling album is available everywhere on Virgin Records. The band is currently touring behind their hit single "Addicted." Tetanus is available on I-Tunes. A special pre-release EP of Deepfield new material is available now on I-Tunes. Brent James is currently in production.

Sound Kitchen
: How did you get your start in the music business?
Skidd Mills: Dumb luck. I was playing in a band in a club, and this guy walks up to me and asks me if I want a job at his studio. I was like “heck ya!”. I think he thought it would be easier to record my band if I was working there. So, I worked there for a few years, went to Fullsail for a year, and got a job at Ardent studios in Memphis TN. Just kind of worked my way up the ranks. Later, a producer friend, Paul Ebersold and I opened 747 Studios, and in June of this year, I moved my operation to The Sound Kitchen here in Franklin.

S.K. Who are your musical influences?
S.M. So many….My parents always encouraged anything musical. As a kid, I remember going to listen to my Mom practice organ and piano all the time. That really stuck with me through the years. Lots of classical stuff. And then I heard Moving Pictures by Rush and that blew me away. Then I got into Queen, Elton John, Genisis and then Metal came along and that was it. I liked all the 80’s bands. But I listen to everything….Rock, Pop….whatever.

S.K. How would you describe your role in the studio?
S.M. As a caretaker for songs. My job is to make the song the best it can be. Just serve the song always, on all levels…

S.K. What do you think makes a good producer?
S.M. I think being musical, and being able to bring out great songs.

S.K. What is in your CD player right now?
S.M. The only CD player I have is in my car, and whatever I’m working on now is what’s probably in there.

S.K. How did you get your first cut as a songwriter? Who was the artist?
S.M. My first cut was a song that I wrote with a band called Fighting Instinct. It was called “I Found Forever”. I was producing the song demos, and we just kind of came up with it. It ended up getting them a deal and cracked the top 30 on Active Rock I think.

S.K. What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into the music industry?
S.M. Good luck. Work hard. And…. My advice is that a great song will take you farther than anything. Once you can get past all the technical crap and truly focus on the song, then you can really start moving forward. I’m not saying technical stuff is not important, I’m just saying you gotta get to a point where you're not thinking about it and you are concentrating on the song.