You have worked with plenty of big name drummers like Taylor Hawkins, Jimmy Chamberlin and Simon Phillips. How did you get to a point of working with drummers of such calibre?
"At the end of the day it's really word-of-mouth. In some ways it's who you know but you have to have the talent to back it up when you get the opportunity. They have to respect what you do because they're on such a high level of musicianship."
Is it daunting working with artists who have a lot of recording experience?
"It can be very intimidating but you have to keep in mind that you're there for a reason and that's to record a great track. You can't be starstruck, you just have to get your head wrapped around the music as quickly as possible."
Have you ever had to sack a drummer from a session and if so, what was the reason?
"Sadly yes. Sometimes the name on paper seems like a perfect fit but it just doesn't work for whatever reason. It's really nothing against their playing. Sometimes styles don't gel with certain songs."
When recording a drummer, how hands on do you get in terms of getting drum sounds and suggesting parts?
"When it comes to sounds that's not really my thing. I'm really fortunate to work with some great engineers. But as far as the playing is concerned if the drummer needs direction I'm more than happy to give it, but I like to work with people that know what they're doing and don't need a lot of direction - that's why I hired them in the first place! I think it's important to let the drummer do his thing first and then make some suggestions."
Do you know how to play drums yourself? Either way, do you find this a help or a hindrance.
"Drums were my first instrument, so yes I play drums a lot. I think it's really helpful. It really helps my guitar playing. It makes you play and think more rhythmically. It's funny, most of my closest friends are drummers not guitar players!"
From the perspective of working with other drummers, what have been your most memorable sessions to date and why?
"I was recording Jeff Berlin's CD Aneurythms and Vinnie was on the session. These songs were hard and I worked on them for a couple of weeks. We all played live together in Brian Bromberg's studio and Vinnie killed it every time. The stuff he was doing with the hi-hat on the fly would have been genius enough but he also made it feel good and sound easy. I was blown away."