We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan David and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I find that the way we think about risk to be a deeply strange thing. We all seem to have a rather large bias toward viewing our current situation as generally risk free (assuming a stable situation). The comfort of what we know keeps us where we are. This can have obvious benefits but on the downside it seems to, quite often, keep us from seeing its consequences. Comfort is amazing but it’s also an amazing trap. Striving, wanting, trying, yearning – these are all uncomfortable but they are the essential for success. So, when I think about risk I think about the very deep risk of getting too comfortable. If I’m not doing things that make me a little uncomfortable, that push me outside of my comfort zone to move forward, then I’m terrified I’m about to fall into the quick sand of comfort. Because of this, I think that one of the biggest risks we face is letting comfort keep us trapped in its luxurious embrace.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The number one thing I try to do with all the musicians I work with is to help them find their unique voice. Then I take that and amplify it, polish it, or do whatever needs to be done to help everyone else see what makes them worth hearing. I like to think that the goal of my job is to be able to read their mind so that I can as accurately as possible present their musical vision to the world. When I approach production from that perspective I find that it means I’m making decisions that refine and embellish the heart of my artists and not anything else that would cloud that pursuit. At least, that’s my goal. I’m not actually a mind reader after all but I strive for it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, because we are Goddamn adults we would start with dessert first. Sinners & Saints Desserts in Venice is amazing. Get their tres leches cake and the tiramisu – fucking heaven. We’d probably head downtown to the Redwood Bar to catch a show. Sometimes you just need to hear 3 people destroying some power chords. In honor of the rock n roll pirate vibe there we’d order some Dark and Stormy’s from the barkeep. Daytime, we’d hit up some of the hiking trails in Griffith Park – get to the top there and you have a nice view of LA. For dinner we’d hit up Shish Mediterranean Cuisine over on Ventura. They are a little hole in the wall but their chicken shish is amazing and their baklava is exquisite. And, because everyone eats too much on vacation we’d also end up at Lal Mirch on Ventura. If you are feeling brave get something hot. If not, it’s damn good Indian food. And for sure we’d head over to Alhambra to eat some delicious Chinese food at Chengdu Taste. Try some of the boiled fish, toothpick lamb, something that scares you (frog, rabbit?), and the plum juice. For dessert a local Boba spot like Tan Cha is excellent. LA-AX in North Hollywood would be next. After all, everyone needs to know how accurate their friends are at ax throwing. Finally, we’d do some indoor rock climbing at Stronghold gym and then top off the entire visit with a nice bottle of scotch or bourbon on the patio. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve got to shout out my 1st drum teacher, George P. Carroll. He was a true master in the art of drumming. Musicians Institute gets a “Hell Yeah”. They taught me how to learn and I still benefit from their education every day. Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art” get’s a double high five. All the top level mixing and production guys giving away free insight on YouTube get a hug. Dave Pensado, Warren Huart, Matthew Weiss, Andrew Huang, Bobby Owsinski, Ryan Earnhardt, Michael White and Ken Lewis immediately come to mind.