Upon meeting Jason Dietz, it is clear to see a love for music can go beyond the band and into the studio. Dietz, a producer who owns Twin Oaks Productions in Murfreesboro, has worked with many bands out of his home studio.
“I’ve probably worked with 48 different bands,” he said. Prior to producing bands, Dietz produced hip-hop music primarily as a basic start to a fairly successful career.
Since late 1999 he has been influential in the development of many top local bands, producing The Katies, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza and others.
His work with local bands seems to suit him just fine.
“It’s a cutthroat industry. It doesn’t seem like the industry is really noticing Murfreesboro right now.”
Twin Oak Productions has stepped up to help those struggling bands though.
Dietz knows what it is like being a struggling artist, having been in bands in the past looking to record and make it big and didn’t quite have the funds to produce albums. This is probably why his business technique is easy to work with.
“I’m very big on the independent way, a handshake and a smile,” he said.
Though it could prove to be a risky business move on his part, Dietz feels the humble approach is best for him and his clients.
While Dietz realizes there are thousands of other producers out there, he hopes if a band he works with makes it big, they’ll remember him and share the success, he said.
“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” he said.
As far as working with a producer who will take care of his clients, Dietz’s back is one that bands should love to scratch.
“A band is an intimate relationship, you get different personalities and views and you work with them. As a producer, I like to see myself as an extra band member, the fifth or sixth member of the band, that helps with arranging songs and the overall sound of the record,” he said.
Having him in the band is a benefit anyway as he has been a musician since he was 4 years old and studied music as his major at a community college in Washington, D.C.
He also dabbled in the recording industry at MTSU.
His musical knowledge ranges from bass guitar and saxophone to acoustic guitar and even vocals.
“Being a musician helps my role as a producer and engineer,” he said. “I think I’ve probably crossed just about every musical bridge that there is. So it’s a little easier for me to understand what a band is going for.”
Though he hopes for a promising, bigger future for Twin Oaks Production, Dietz says that, of anywhere that he would like to be as a producer, he wouldn’t leave Murfreesboro. He sees a bright future in the community-oriented nature of the local music scene.
“Out of your closest five friends, you know someone that is in a band or knows someone in a band. I like Mufreesboro,” he said.
It’s this comfort in home, and humble demeanor that he thrives on and hopes to hold on to.
Two very different experiences in the industry shaped Dietz’s mindset, he said.
“I’m a big fan of Mike Watt, a bass player who played with fIREHOSE, Minutemen, and some other stuff like Porno For Pyros,” Dietz said.
He describes Watt as a laid-back guy who travels the country in a white van, sells T-shirts from the stage and has die-hard fans. But the aspect about Watt that Dietz loves the most is his heart is in what he does and he appreciates his fans.
“I met him and we talked for a while,” Dietz said. “About a year later he came back and remembered me.”
That meant a lot to Dietz, having experienced the opposite response from a former band member.
“There’s a band called The Bravery, who’s a huge MTV band now, they toured with Depeche Mode, they’re all over the Internet, and their videos are all over MTV. They were on some late night show; anyway I played in a band with the singer, back in ’94 or ’95, right before I moved here. I saw him one night, and the dude acted like he didn’t even know who I was, and I was like ?Yo we used to play in a band together dude,’ and just rock stardom got to that guy and he totally forgot about the little people.”
Dietz didn’t let it get to him; rather he took it and made it motivate himself for his own future.
“I would really hope that if something like that ever happened, if for whatever the name Jason Dietz made it big in the recording industry and I ever treated somebody like that, somebody would knock the hell out of me,” he said.
Maybe the small town effect has taken its toll over Jason Dietz, or perhaps its his love for music, but whatever reason it may be, humble attitude towards what he does and where he is going makes Dietz an impressive person to meet and surely work with.
For more information, e-mail twinoaksproductions
@hotmail.com or visit myspace.com/twinoaksproductions.