The Locals had the pleasure of working with Steve Gillis, who produced, recorded and mixed Big Picture from his studio, Transient Sound. We met Steve 3/4 of the way into recording this album the first time….yes, I said the first time. We originally started recording Big Picture in 2005 with Martin Stebbing, who engineered our last album Baby Buddhas & Little Einsteins. Martin is a great engineer and a pal, but he also happens to be the touring sound man for Poi Dog Pondering, and about 3/4 of the way thru our album had to pick up and go on tour with Poi. We started the search for an engineer we liked who could jump in and finish the album for us, and were given Steve’s name from our long-time friend and Chicago musician, Lauretta Tagli of The Pow Wows.
We met Steve in August 2006 and started the process again, unintentionally. We told Steve we wanted to pick up where we left off and get the album done. After our first meeting, he convinced us to start a new song with him, that we hadnt yet recorded, so he could show us what he could do and give us his take on the music. We went in and started with the title song, Big Picture. 2 weeks later we had a rough mix in hand and were sold; Steve was the guy we needed to make this album with. I remember E.J. (former Locals drummer) calling us from the grocery store parking lot after listening to the first rough mix in his car and saying simply “we have to record this whole thing again, dont we”.
Steve is not only a brilliant engineer, but an amazing drummer and musician as well. Whether playing in front of twenty thousand screaming fans on the Family Values Tour, or a hundred people who have come out to a club in Chicago on a Wednesday night for some post-bop jazz, Steve Gillis brings an undeniable intensity to the stage. He was asked to join hard rockers Filter after frontman Richard Patrick saw him play behind a 10-piece acid jazz band, and the immediate result was the Chicago-based bandâ€™s sophomore effort, Title of Record. The album proceeded to go platinum on the strength of Gillisâ€™ grooves and the radio success of the bone-crushing Welcome to the Fold and top ten hit Take a Picture.
The depth and style-hopping of his playing isnâ€™t surprising once you consider Steveâ€™s history. Born and raised just north of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, most of Gillisâ€™ drumming career has been spent in the Windy City. Itâ€™s been said that you canâ€™t come through Chicago without playing the blues, and after two years at Bostonâ€™s Berklee College of Music and a European tour with Virgin recording artist Inner City, Steve did just that, with notable artists such as Sugar Blue and Dion Payton. From there, he branched out into everything from jazz to funk to rock to electronica and beyond, often working as many as 300 nights in a year with artists such as Henry Johnson, Ken Chaney, MVP, Sumo, Bomb Pop and Eternalux. Elements of any one of these genres find their way into the others, whether itâ€™s industrial rock intensity in a jazz context, or gospel-influenced fills in a rock tune. Steve has also found his way onto television, with appearances on Late Night with Conan Oâ€™Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, MTVâ€™s The Rock Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman in the United States, as well as Top Of The Pops in the United Kingdom.
Thanks for everything Steve, we couldnt have made this album without you!
To learn more about Steve, visit his MySpace:
or visit Transient Sound at http://www.myspace.com/transientsound