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David Kahne is an American record producer, musician, composer, and former record company executive.
Kahne started his musical career as a working musician and soon became Director of A&R for America’s first punk and new wave record label, San Francisco’s 415 Records; a position he operated out of a closet-sized office upstairs at The Automatt recording studio. He did artist development and in-house production and engineering there for 415 and continued to produce records for artists on the 415 label when he left Automatt to accept a position in Los Angeles as vice president of A&R for Columbia Records. He later held the same position at Warner Bros. Records.
He produced MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett, the 1995 Grammy Award winner for Album of the Year. Other artists Kahne has produced records for include Paul McCartney, Fishbone, Sublime, The Strokes, Sugar Ray, The Bangles, Translator (band), Romeo Void, Stevie Nicks, Teddy Thompson, New Order, Lana Del Rey, The Outfield, Renee Fleming, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, 78violet, and Alexz Johnson, and composer John Moran on his 1995 opera ‘Mathew in the School of Life’ which featured poet Allen Ginsberg. He also worked with Linkin Park on some of their earlier studio work after signing with Warner.
Kahne wrote and produced the soundtrack to Bloom, a 2003 film written and directed by Sean Walsh based on James Joyce’s Ulysses. and he composed and performed the score for the 2011 film Magic Trip, about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. He also scored the Alex Gibney film, The Armstrong Lie, about cyclist Lance Armstrong’s comeback and subsequent downfall. As of 2015 David Kahne is working on setting a chapter of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake to music, for the Waywords and Meansigns project.
Kahne also designed Fishbone’s widely-recognized logo, which he created with MacPaint on an early model Apple Macintosh 128K. He currently works in music supervision at Noble Music, a division of Noble Media Management with an A & R team that also includes Matt Pinfield, Rich Russo, and Tony Shimkin.
Interview with David Kahne, from Josh Gill blog, March 1st, 2011:
How did you get into music producing?
I was a musician, made albums, but decided I’d rather work behind the scenes, since I have no charisma.
What does your job involve?
Composing, arranging, engineering, and mixing. And creative crisis control.
You’ve worked with a lot of different artists, but who has been your favourite to work with?
I don’t really have a favourite. I’ve gotten an education from everyone I’ve ever worked with, famous or not.
How did you end up working for Paul McCartney?
He called me up after hearing some music I’d worked on. I think he liked that I was producing Tony Bennett and Fishbone at the same time.
What have been your favourite songs that you’ve worked on with Paul
Nod Your Head is a favourite. And End of the End. From a Lover to a Friend. Rinse the Raindrops….
You produced his Back in the US/World live albums…so how did producing a live album differ from producing a studio one?
It’s somewhat the same, trying to get it to sound strong and consistent. There were multiple dates on the tours, and they were all recorded, so it was like choosing takes. It was fun to work on Wings songs as well as Beatle songs. There were different sound problems to solve though, like leakage (which is important but can take over the sound in a bad way too).
Last updated on April 30, 2018