Debut | YMTH | RFYL | Coel
As The Producers collected kudos for their exciting debut album, "The Producers", the members of the Atlanta-based quartet were already talking about their next LP.
Guitarist and vocalist Van Temple summed up the group's ambition before work on the second album began: "We want it less slick, a more raw studio sound -- you know, more like we really sound!" The band's aim became "You Make the Heat", The Producers' latest CBS/Portrait offering.
The production work is still crisp and precise, but the band has scuffed up it's studio polish -- allowing each musician to flex some stage muscle in his playing. The added bite has served them well: "You Make the Heat" was among the top five most-added radio albums in it's first week of release. The band's vibrant video of "She Sheila", the first single from "You Make the Heat", is aired daily on MTV.
The Producers' relatively brief history has been action-packed. They formed in January, 1980, signed with CBS a few months later, and entered the studio in November. The first album hit the streets in January, 1981. Tom Werman: known for his work with Cheap Trick and Molly Hatchet, produced "The Producers" as well as "You Make the Heat".
Bryan Holmes, The Producers' drummer, zeroed in on the difference between the two albums: "We'd only been together six months or so when we wrote the songs on the first one. They came out very naturally, but they have an innocent sound about them. To me, the second album reflects a mature band. We've achieved a style we simply didn't have before."
Between studio sessions, The Producers have cultivated a fast-growing network of fans across the country with 340 live performances during the past 14 months. Their rigorous touring has sharpened their sense of identity as a band.
"We're a band that's always been willing to work, and we go wherever there's a job," says Wayne Famous, who mans keyboards for The Producers. "When we've been on the road for four months and play some place we haven't been in awhile, we're so tight it's overwhelming! It keeps us growing and it makes us a real band in the minds of the fans."
Vocalist and bass player Kyle Henderson agrees. "We're a much better band than the one that recorded either album. Playing live is the bottom line for us and that's what gives us our sound! When we write songs, it's spontaneously and from the heart -- we go in whatever direction seems natural at the time. If I had to put a label on our music, I'd call it progressive pop."
Kyle was a member of Atlanta's Whiteface when Wayne, Van, and Bryan, working together in a group called Cartoon, asked him to join them and form The Producers. Wayne, born in Memphis, started his career at 16 in Billy Joe Royal's band and also toured with Ellen McIlwaine. Van and Bryan were already on the road to mastering their respective instruments in grade school. Kyle's musical training began with the cello at the age of eight. Only Bryan, from Carrollton, is a native Georgian; Van was born in Knoxville, and Kyle in Indianapolis.
As The Producers, the four operate as equals. Their songs are usually band collaborations with Van and Kyle presenting ideas for the group to flesh out together.
"Being together on the road so much, we've learned each other's writing habits and our style has coalesced," says Bryan. "Now we really are and sound like The Producers."
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