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One Night Band Crush: Darron Burke

August 11, 2009

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Darron Burke, audio guru, has been making and recording music professionally for over 20 years. Darron is a writer, studio designer, equipment tweaker, former Crowley and Tripp microphone builder, co-founder of the record label Vac-Ume-Pakt, current audio archivist at Harvard University Audio Preservation, and drummer in the band Blanketeer. Darron records, mixes and masters albums at Makeshift Studio. He knows somebody you know.

BBC: What Boston rockers, past or present, would you most like to have a One Night Band with?
DB: The Zulus. They were a great early to mid 80’s band that were phenomenal live… everyone in the group was just such a great player. It was like seeing Queen or something… but at the Rat in Kenmore Square! I had the good fortune to do an album with the bass player Rich Cortese, he’s amazing, amazing tone and dexterity. I could never match Malcom Travis’ drumming but I’d love to sit in with these guys just once. The guitarist Rich Gilbert played with Frank Black for years after The Zulus broke up. They’re mostly session players now.

BBC: What Boston rockers, past or present, would you most fear having a One Night Band with?
DB: The Zulus! Fear is a great motivator.

BBC: BBC: What is your normal song or part writing process? Will writing three songs in a single day drastically differ from your usual approach to creating music?
DB: What I do is arrange music for the bands I work with in the studio. Sometimes I go to see the band at their practice space before we do an album. I get ideas for song structure and think about how the song fits together. Maybe I’ll suggest a different kick-drum pattern to match the bassline or think about adding a middle section.

After we record basic tracks I take the song and shorten or elongate sections…. see what makes the song move forward and build intensity. I pitch little guitar or keyboard parts or try different vocal ideas to see what fits. I love doing backup vocals myself.

When I collaborate with other writers I like having a concept or goal. Then we can build off of each other’s ideas. Kind of like working as a writer for Seinfeld, ha ha, sitting around bouncing ideas off each other. I think the One Night Band could be an interesting way to come up with something cool. We’ll see.

BBC: What Boston band do you have the biggest crush on right now?
DB: The Secret Sea. After UV Protection broke up I didn’t expect that Deborah [drums, sounds] and Karen [vocals, keyboard] would keep working. But man, their new stuff is great. Total disco indy pop. With Dave Levin on bass they’re really kickin’ up the boom factor. Really great.

  1. Darron Burke is the man to know. His mastery is in seeming as though nothing is going to come out of the chaos of his thoughts, speaking, movements, or tinkering–but order always comes, beautiful order.You could call the man God. But that name is already taken … so … we'll just call him Darron.Marian

  2. Nice piece. So is Darron. He is indeed the man, we've had the honor of designing quite a few records he's engineered and mixed. He's got an awesome set of ears, and hell of a sense of humor. Hire him now!- ABC

  3. I am proud to call Darron my Brother.I am in awe of his creative and technical genius.He is a master musician in every sense of the word.Sister Leslie

  4. Darron is an unsung Boston hero!

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