Producer's son gives Beatles modern update
Having the lineage of rock ‘n’ roll royalty has its advantages and its drawbacks, especially when following in a legendary father’s footsteps. Talk about great expectations …
“They tend to think, ‘We want Giles Martin, because he’s George Martin’s son, and we’ll sound like the Beatles,'” notes the younger Martin, as if the skill transfer was all genetic. “You sort of feel like you’re a disappointment.”
But Martin has earned some cred of his own, having produced many artists and won a Grammy, no less, for his work on the mash-up soundtrack to the Beatles’ “Love” Cirque du Soleil show.
“Being a producer and being a musician, as he is, was unquestionably a necessity when it came to ‘Love,’ ” notes Abbey Road Beatles project coordinator Allan Rouse. “Giles’ ability to musically work his way around and hear a bass line, even if it was in the wrong key and wrong tempo, but realize that it could sit on another song, was obviously quite useful.”
He most recently has been hard at work with engineer Paul Hicks on Harmonix/MTV Games’ “The Beatles: Rock Band.” The two have faithfully re-created sets of the group’s original mixes — minus, alternately, Paul’s bass, John’s guitar, Ringo’s drums, etc. — particularly difficult given many of the rhythm tracks were recorded in mono, requiring special software to filter out specific instruments.
While Martin is admittedly not a gamer himself, he notes “The Beatles: Rock Band” is unusually family-friendly. “It’s changed my view of videogames,” he says. “There’s no one carjacking or shooting aliens.”