Zakk Wylde Argues Classic Recordings From Jimi Hendrix + Others ‘Would Not Be as Good’ if ProTools Was Around
The arrival of ProTools has simplified recording a bit for musicians, making their lives a little easier in the process, but during a recent interview, Zakk Wylde argued that some of rock's classic recordings would not have been the same had ProTools been around back in the early days of music.
"We talk about the recording of like [Jimi] Hendrix's records or The Beatles and people are like, 'Man, imagine if they had ProTools.' And I go, 'Those records would not be as good,'" argues Wylde to Rick Beato.
He then elaborates on why he feels this way, noting, "Back then we gave them two crayons. It was red and white and they'd have to blend them together to create pink. It's like, 'How did you come up with pink when I only gave you two crayons?' 'Well I mixed them together.' But back then, when you have limited resources, you have to get creative. It forces you to become creative."
"So what I'm saying is that they brought a lot of sounds out on those records and they would not have existed if it hadn't been for 'What happens if we play it backwards or do this or do that?' They were just making it up as they go along out of [necessity] because you don't have the resources," he continues.
Wylde's point came up during a bigger discussion about the evolution of music, with the guitarist breaking down how he saw one generation of musicians inspire the next and a continual thread of inspiration bringing out the best by challenging newcomers to meet the bar that had been set before them.
"You've got Chuck Berry and Duane Eddy, the original guitar heroes, and it comes from them," says Wylde. "They inspired Jimi Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Page, Iommi, Brian May, all that class of guys, and they in turn inspired King Edward [Van Halen], Randy Rhoads, George Lynch. It's almost like it went from England with the Big 3 to 10 years later it's Los Angeles with Eddie, Randy and George are the Big 3. .... And then Eddie and Randy inspired Yngwie [Malmsteen] and it's just an evolution of a bench press getting bigger and bigger and bigger. You're inspiring other people to bring out the best in yourselves."
Wylde and his Pantera celebration bandmates then go on to discuss how bands often perfected their sound before recording because recording to tape provided a bigger hassle to change something than what you have now. Check out more of the chat below.