Chris Vrenna has been a prominent figure in alternative music since he began hammering drums and programming beats with Nine Inch Nails. After leaving the band he soon became one of the hottest studio wizards in the business. His credits are vast: David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Green Day, The Wallflowers, Hole, Rob Zombie as well as Xzibit featuring Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg. In a recent one-month period alone, he provided U2 with their “Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)” for the summer blockbuster Tomb Raider, and provided remixes for Nelly Furtado, Weezer and Poe. In addition, he produced the recent album for Cold, whose CD is nearing gold status.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us your thoughts on how the new Tweaker album is going to be different from the previous Tweaker album.
Tweaker: The biggest thing is that I plan to feature more live drums on the next record. I love programming, but miss playing my drums. Also there will be a bigger emphasis on songs. There will hopefully be more songs than weird instrumentals.
Chain D.L.K.: Why the name Tweaker?
Tweaker: Well, for the obvious love of playing in the studio “tweaking” with synths and effects.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you going to tour?
Tweaker: I had planned to tour on the last record, but 9/11 ruined that fall for touring. I do plan to tour when the next record comes out. I can’t wait to play!
Chain D.L.K.: Are there any other projects you are working at present?
Tweaker: I ‘m currently scoring a big video game that should come out next fall. It’s a creepy sci-fi game where I’ll be doing more ambient-noise driven music. I also just remixed another POD song for an upcoming movie.
Chain D.L.K.: You have worked with tons of people and you also won a grammy, can you tell us what productions and remixes satisfied you the most?
Tweaker: Well, I hate to pick favorites. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve worked on, and have grown and learned from each experience. But without a doubt, working with U2 was probably the greatest experience I’ve had.
Chain D.L.K.: Describe your typical “normal” day from when you get up to when you go to sleep…
Tweaker: I like to get up early, usually between 7-8am. I just love how fresh creativity can be at that hour. I make a big pot of coffee, and get right on the computer and start writing or working on whatever project I’d be in the middle of, or if I’m working in another studio, leave and head there. My schedule is always different. It depends on what I’m working on, but when I’m in an outside studio, it is typically a 12-14 day. If I’m a t home, I’ll write early in the day, so I can spend the evening hours with my wife. I think it’s important to balance a healthy personal life with work.
Chain D.L.K.: re there any hobbies or things you like doing when you are not making music?
Tweaker: I love seeing movies, and playing video games. I have a Gamecube and have been absorbed with it lately.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have one particularly pleasant memory from the NIN days?
Tweaker: That would have to be the Woodstock show. That was a special show that won’t be easily beaten. Also touring with David Bowie. It was so great to not only get to know him, but to perform with him every night as well.
Chain D.L.K.: Any particular message to our readers?
Tweaker: Thanks for listening to the first record and taking an interest in Tweaker. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the next record!
[interviewed by Ant] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]