Rich Costey is a producer and audio engineer who has such a stunning CV of incredible artists that you only wish you had three hours to interview him and talk about them all: Biffy Clyro, Muse, Foo Fighters, Fiona Apple and so many more. Headliner talks about Costey’s amazing career, how his time working at Philip Glass’ studio shaped him professionally, and how Waves plugins fit into the whole picture.
One of the most fascinating times in Costey’s career is undoubtedly his time working at Philip Glass’ The Looking Glass studio in New York.
“I still remember the first day I was sitting at the console and Philip Glass walked in,” he recalls. “He just sat on the couch and opened up a notebook and started working on something. I was terrified sitting there, as I’m a huge fan. Working there was a crucible for all kinds of learning.
“I learned a lot about orchestral sessions and about synth programming. While the music often just sounded like a series of arpeggios flowing over you every day, the specific output was often quite different. So you'd be working on a commercial that he was writing music for one day, and then the next month, you'd be mixing quadraphonic sound for an opera to be installed in La Scala in Italy.”
Out of Costey’s very illustrious career so far, two projects that really stick out for him are working with Muse and Fiona Apple.
“Working with Muse on Absolution is one of the most fun albums I ever helped make. It was like we were kids and there were no grownups around to tell us you shouldn't do drum overdubs in the swimming pool. We just did whatever we wanted. The feedback coming out of speakers was so gratifying, and the gratification was the work itself.
"The Fiona Apple album [When The Pawn, 1999] was fantastic in a different way, although kind of similar in that we took as long as we wanted. It took 11 months and nobody heard anything until it was being mixed: her manager, her label – nobody heard a fucking note.”