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Rick Rubin’s stripped down approach to making music

Rick Rubin says he barely plays any instruments and has no technical ability. He just knows what he likes and dislikes and is decisive about it.

“[I’m paid for] the confidence that I have in my taste, and my ability to express what I feel, has proven helpful for artists,” Rubin told Anderson Cooper this week on 60 Minutes.

Cooper and his crew went to Rubin’s California studio, Shangri-La, to sit in on a recording session with the legendary producer. They found Rubin keeps things minimalistic. He listens while lying down, barefoot, with his eyes shut. And there are no gold records or awards on the walls.

“I used to send them all to my parents,” Rubin said. “And I don’t know where they are now. It’s a distraction. If you start thinking about doing something to achieve that, then you’re not focused on making this beautiful thing. It undermines the purity of the project.”

That mindset goes hand in hand with his producing philosophy. Rubin has referred to himself as a reducer, instead of a producer… read more >

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