Tower Records Live welcomed Johann Scheerer, longtime Hamburg-based musician and music producer, to speak about his label - Clouds Hill - and a few of the projects he has been working on recently. Scheerer takes Tower’s Whitney Moore through a brief history of his own beginnings as a musician and the development of his record label; he outlines his preferred use of analog recording, always at odds with the simpler and more widespread use of digital recording, and how it has benefitted the recording process for himself and the artists he works with.
His relationship with Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López stretches back about fifteen years, and for the past twenty months Scheerer has been working with The Mars Volta to produce a vinyl box set covering the entirety of the band’s discography - about 18 LPs in all - as well as two unreleased B-sides, a photobook and an unreleased album. Scheerer explains how the 5000 copies of La Realidad De Los Sueños sold out within a day, and why he isn’t planning to do a re-issue of the set which was gone unexpectedly fast. Nonetheless he does hint at a project coming up in the next couple of weeks which might interest those who couldn’t get their hands on a box set quickly enough. Stay up to speed with their Instagram @cloudshillmusic for updates in the near future.
Scheerer then takes us back into the meticulous process of producing a vinyl record, and a box set of this scale, but when asked by the host “Why do you think people love records so much” Scheerer perceptively explains:
“People appreciate that physical thing that comes out of the artist’s mind…that contrast between something that comes out of the artist’s brain becoming something physical to hold in your hands. That’s fascinating. And it’s less fascinating that something non-physical becomes something non-physical on your phone.”
The time and devotion that Scheerer took to produce The Mars Volta’s box set goes in part to explaining its success; quality over quantity, he explains, is the ethos which he sticks to - which is, no doubt, why Scheerer has become such a successful artist, producer and figure in the musical world.
Cloud Hill's recording studio in Hamburg