Recording - October 2015 - 63

OCTOBER 2015
TAXI Road Rally 2014

Making Hit Records With Rock Mafia, Part 2
Michael Laskow, Moderator
Tim James and Antonina Armato, (aka Rock Mafia)
are two of the most in-demand songwriters and
producers on the planet! Their songs and productions are on more than 100 Million records sold.
They've created Chart-Topping Hits for Vanessa
Hudgens, Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, Selena
Gomez and the Scene, Enrique Iglesias, Daughtry,
Hoku, Patrice Rushen, Adam Lambert, Green Day,
Mariah Carey, David Archuleta, Ellie Goulding, Flo
Rida, Justin Bieber, Sick Puppies, Aly & AJ, The
Cheetah Girls, Brenda K. Star, Demi Lovato, The
Jonas Brothers, Aloe Blacc, Miranda Cosgrove, Barbra Streisand, and many, many more.
Michael Laskow: By the way, I want to mention
that I reached out to your assistant, Jason, and
asked, "Is there an audio montage or a song list
that Tim and Antonina would like me to play
before I bring them up on the stage?" And he
responded, "Do you want a video sizzle reel?" I said,
"Yeah, that would be great," thinking that he
already had one. And then, three days before this
weekend started, I emailed him and said, "I kinda
need it now." And he said, "OK, I'm editing as fast as
I can." I had no idea that he and your son were
building a sizzle reel from scratch! Good job guys!
Antonina Armato: Yeah, it's incredible. Like I
said, we all just pitch in.
Tim James: The sizzle reels have to be done about
every 60 days, and then basically we hadn't done one
since "Tokyo Hotel," and we debated whether we'd
put the "The Heart Wants What It Wants" on it. We
decided not to because it just came out Thursday.
A: Yeah, we're a team. There's no job too big or too
small. I mean, I'll take the trash out, whatever. Well,
maybe I don't do that, but we have this kind of
group, and we... I love making video content too. I
don't know if any of you also do that. Are most of
the people in here writers, songwriters, producers?
[A show of hands.]
T: It's a good group. How many of you guys use
video content as well to convey your ideas? Cool!

Antonina Armato (center) makes a point during the Rock Mafia interview, while her partner Tim James (right) looks on and smiles
in agreement.

Do you have any technical skills, Antonina? If Tim
went out on a golf outing and you had an inspiration, are you technologically challenged or capable
of laying something down in ProTools or Logic?
A: The first one. To be honest with you, we have
three amazing engineers; we have four studios now.
No, I'm not very technical. I sing things into my
phone; I play a little piano; I play guitar. I do stuff
like that, but no, I'm not an engineer.
Do you have a rhythm between you? How often is it
back-and-forth between the two of you? Like
Antonina might write a top line, and then you go in
and tweak the beats and produce the track. And
then you bring it back to her and maybe she produces the vocal with somebody. It may just be a
scratch vocal, or maybe you sing it yourself. Do you
guys bounce back-and-forth between the two of
you? Or do you tend to bounce it around all your
folks at the compound?
T: I like to hold back the production as long as possible, because if it's not on the page, it won't be on
the stage-stage being the recording. So, we are
writing a lot and looking at making lyrics better,
and looking at making melodies better. But we also
have people we love to write with people like

Desmond Child, who is an amazing writer. He'll
come in and hang out with us and...
A: Sometimes people write to just kind of police
us. Because, you know, when you're working
together, and you're in love and stuff, you wear lots
of hats. And I'm sure this would happen if there
wasn't a romantic thing involved, because you're
sort of competitive. It's like McCartney and Lennon
were I'm sure competitive with each other. They
wanted to write the songs; they thought their ideas
were better. You're always "fighting" on some level,
but if you take your ego out and you just let the best
idea win, you're gonna get a lot more successful.
You know, if you don't hold on and get too
precious. I mean, I bring stuff to Tim; he brings
stuff to me...
T: But then there is the line where you have to get
precious actually. Because you can kind of get
kicked around enough to where it's like you don't
know where you're at. You have to have a vision.
You have to be incredibly open to anything and
everything to make something better. But at the
same time, you have to know when you hit it. And
Continued on page 64
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2015

Contents
Recording - October 2015 - Intro
Recording - October 2015 - Cover1
Recording - October 2015 - Cover2
Recording - October 2015 - 1
Recording - October 2015 - 2
Recording - October 2015 - 3
Recording - October 2015 - 4
Recording - October 2015 - 5
Recording - October 2015 - Contents
Recording - October 2015 - 7
Recording - October 2015 - 8
Recording - October 2015 - 9
Recording - October 2015 - 10
Recording - October 2015 - 11
Recording - October 2015 - 12
Recording - October 2015 - 13
Recording - October 2015 - 14
Recording - October 2015 - 15
Recording - October 2015 - 16
Recording - October 2015 - 17
Recording - October 2015 - 18
Recording - October 2015 - 19
Recording - October 2015 - 20
Recording - October 2015 - 21
Recording - October 2015 - 22
Recording - October 2015 - 23
Recording - October 2015 - 24
Recording - October 2015 - 25
Recording - October 2015 - 26
Recording - October 2015 - 27
Recording - October 2015 - 28
Recording - October 2015 - 29
Recording - October 2015 - 30
Recording - October 2015 - 31
Recording - October 2015 - 32
Recording - October 2015 - 33
Recording - October 2015 - 34
Recording - October 2015 - 35
Recording - October 2015 - 36
Recording - October 2015 - 37
Recording - October 2015 - 38
Recording - October 2015 - 39
Recording - October 2015 - 40
Recording - October 2015 - 41
Recording - October 2015 - 42
Recording - October 2015 - 43
Recording - October 2015 - 44
Recording - October 2015 - 45
Recording - October 2015 - 46
Recording - October 2015 - 47
Recording - October 2015 - 48
Recording - October 2015 - 49
Recording - October 2015 - 50
Recording - October 2015 - 51
Recording - October 2015 - 52
Recording - October 2015 - 53
Recording - October 2015 - 54
Recording - October 2015 - 55
Recording - October 2015 - 56
Recording - October 2015 - 57
Recording - October 2015 - 58
Recording - October 2015 - 59
Recording - October 2015 - 60
Recording - October 2015 - 61
Recording - October 2015 - 62
Recording - October 2015 - 63
Recording - October 2015 - 64
Recording - October 2015 - 65
Recording - October 2015 - 66
Recording - October 2015 - 67
Recording - October 2015 - 68
Recording - October 2015 - 69
Recording - October 2015 - 70
Recording - October 2015 - 71
Recording - October 2015 - 72
Recording - October 2015 - 73
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Recording - October 2015 - 75
Recording - October 2015 - 76
Recording - October 2015 - 77
Recording - October 2015 - 78
Recording - October 2015 - 79
Recording - October 2015 - 80
Recording - October 2015 - Cover3
Recording - October 2015 - Cover4
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