Theo Wargo, Getty Images - Ozzy Osbourne fails to recall a rather hazy period of…
- Posted on Jul 16th 2010 3:30PM by Laura Lanktree
Burton is especially cautious, perhaps even anxious, when working in the recording studio, despite it being the realm where he built his name.
"You should see -- I'm in there with my engineers, going around recording instruments and recording parts, and I get so angry at myself," he tells Spinner. "I get so down. I can't ever decide on anything and I just never know if anything is any good at all. If I were to ever do an album myself, I would definitely get a producer."
For Burton, success has led to a curious amount of second-guessing. While most artists feel empowered by seeing their name in neon lights, the track master has had trouble with the increasing pressure to keep cranking out hits.
"When I first started [making music] that people listened to, it became a pressure and an intensity," he says. "I wanted to continue to do something that [people could care about]." That need to please might explain why he's barely taken a break since 2004's 'The Grey Album,' the project that first pushed him squarely into the spotlight (his most recent album, a collaboration with Sparklehorse, has garnered attention partly for a dispute with EMI that resulted in a posthumous release July 12 following Sparklehorse leader Mark Linkhous' suicide in March).
However, Burton says that working with Mercer in Broken Bells is helping him cope with his self-doubt. Through their friendship and musical collaboration, Burton is learning to believe in himself and trust his instincts more.
"Being a huge fan of [James] as a songwriter, and being able to go through the process of making this [album], and holding up my end to an extent gave me a little bit of confidence that I think is going to last a long time," he says.
And perhaps the biggest lesson he's learned from the Shins frontman: Patience is a virtue.
"I've always been in some huge hurry, but this [Broken Bells] album took a long time to do, and I didn't work on many other things while I was doing it," he says. "I really just took my time, and it didn't affect the music so much as my happiness with it."