Interview by Joshua James
"He wrote some music and used the LiveBook. For me it was an awesome glimpse into his creative process and how what we do supports that."
James "Munky" Shaffer, guitarist and founding member of Grammy-winning artist Korn, had a problem.
On the one hand, the band's multi-platinum success over a span of seven albums to date allowed them the financial freedom to outfit the band's tour bus with a massive array of high-end recording gear -- an essential for maintaining and capturing the creative process over the span of a grueling fifteen to twenty month tour.
On the other hand, bigger isn't always better, and all the gear in the world won't help if it's not integrated, reliable and above-all, easy to use. At four in the morning when you're somewhere between Texarkana and Timbuktu and inspiration strikes, a poorly integrated workstation, no matter how good the components, can be the difference between another Grammy and cold, angry frustrated silence.
Enter Bill Paschick, President of Rain Recording and, as it happens, Problem Solver. Paschick and Schaffer were introduced by a mutual friend at a party and upon finding out that Bill was "a computer guy," the latter's eyes lit up like my hypochondriac Aunt Diana when my cousin brought a med student to Thanksgiving dinner.
"He immediately started telling me about the problems he'd been having with the computer system he'd just had installed on his tour bus," continues Paschick, who piqued Schaffer's interest with details on Rain's award-winning LiveBook. "When he came out to the East Coast on tour we set him up with a LiveBook and installed our system for him."
And how was the tour bus? Was it suitably rock and roll? Paschick thought so:
"It was unreal how his wheels were set up, which makes sense, I mean, these guys live on that bus for a year or longer so it has to be comfortable and they have to be able to make music as well."
Comfort doesn't even begin to describe it. This is no dorm room on wheels. Each member of the band has his own personal tour bus. You hear them described in terms of galleys and staterooms -- terms normally reserved for luxury ocean liners and while 'bunks' may not sound glamorous, these come with flat screen TVs.
Think of it as a brownstone on the Upper East Side on wheels. Some prefer to deck their busses out with stages and poles for the 'entertainment,' and some just want a quiet place to call home for their time on the road, albeit one with leather sofas and marble showers.
Fortunately rock superstardom doesn't seem to have gone to Munky's head. "He (Schaffer) was a real guy; down to earth and fun. He actually did some work right there in front of us. He wrote some music and used the LiveBook. For me it was an awesome glimpse into his creative process and how what we do supports that."
Paschick sums up his experience and the Rain philosophy, saying, "A creative tool is very different than a production tool. James had this bulky expensive production equipment that was more trouble than it was worth on his bus. What he needed was something simple, efficient and dependable that supported his creative process. Since getting the LiveBook he hasn't had any problems"
He grins and adds, "In addition to meeting a rock star I got backstage passes at the concert and a ride on the bus? How cool is that?"