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“I had been part of the previous album, Shaken ‘N’ Stirred, and was brought in by Robert to work on this record. Robert didn’t want to work with the regular ‘rock guy’ producer; he wanted someone who had a knowledge of electronic music, as he was enjoying bands like Depeche Mode around this time. I had worked with a lot of electronic artists like Dead or Alive, John Foxx [Ultravox] and Kajagoogoo, so I seemed to fit the bill.
'The first time I actually did a session with Robert on Shaken ‘N’ Stirred, I felt very out of my depth because I honestly hadn’t recorded a lot of full drum kits before. I was part of the Linn Drum generation, and now, suddenly I’m in the studio with Richie Hayward [Little Feat] on drums and a full band lineup. So the Shaken ‘N’ Stirred album was a big learning process for me.
“For Now And Zen, there was a complete lineup change from the band of Shaken ‘N’ Stirred – I was the only returning face. The album featured less of a rock sound and more of an 80's aesthetic – keyboards, etc. Robert was enjoying this, but the label was not so happy; they were pushing for more guitars. That was a little bit difficult at times, but the album was a big success and is still his biggest solo recording.
“Robert asked Jimmy Page to play on the album, which was phenomenal. The day Jimmy arrived at the studio to add some solos, suddenly we had four assistants and the tech in the room, all ready to help. Everybody wanted to be there. That was a fun day.
“And for the first time, on Now and Zen, Robert acknowledged his past by using the Zeppelin samples on the song Tall Cool One. I remember I played the samples onto the track from a AMS harmonizer sampler. It was a lot of fun and all very tongue-in-cheek. It was Robert’s way of getting back at the Beastie Boys for pinching the When The Levee Breaks drums.
“To this day, Robert does exactly what he wants to do and is not influenced by the lure of the dollar. I respect that very much. He is a true artist, always ready to try new directions and keep learning.”