Glen Marshall, talks about making his way from the bottom to the top in music.

By Pip

Local music producer, Glen Marshall currently works out of the dynamic Cotton Factory on Sherman Avenue North in Hamilton’s east end.  He co-owns the Mule Spinner studio along with Bob Lanois, brother of renowned producer Daniel Lanois. 

As an apprentice at Daniel’s Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton, Glen started out at the bottom and worked his way up. From different jobs eventually making it all the way to assistant engineer.  There he had an opportunity to observe masters like Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois at work.  Glen’s band ‘Altogether Morris’ recorded there during down time which was offered by Bob Lanois and Bob Doidge at Grant Avenue.

“We were making our own record. The way I got into being a producer is that at the time I was making our record, bands asked me to help them make their records because mine was sounding pretty good. I managed to work with a lot of local people. 

I eventually went on to have my own studio called Catherine North, which was originally in my house.  In that studio I worked with some of the early guys from ‘Broken Social Scene’ and ‘Apostle of Hustle’. I worked with Feist on her first record, mixing that album [Monarch].

From that I ended up working on By Divine Right and Hayden – that 90s alternative stuff.  I went on to do some stuff with Dave Rave – went down to New York and worked on a bunch of records with him.

I Also worked on jazz and world music – I was there about ten years.  I worked with Fred Wesley from James Brown horns and guys who worked with Miles Davis too.

As far as the Mule Spinner goes, my dream hasn’t really changed very much.  Just make a space where a musician can perform in a beautiful space with the best gear.  With the best kind of environment, with good air, good light, good energy, and good people around them.  A place with a little bit of gravitas… but a place that inspires, looks good and feels natural.  Where people’s needs are served.

I’m working on a couple of records right now – a band called Alexr, a guy name Pearly Jenkins, some really talented guys including Jimmy Bowskill who plays with the Sheepdogs and Blue Rodeo.

Bob Lanois and I are business partners, and we share the same vision.  He’s made some classic records himself, and some of those Willie P. Bennett records [Hobo’s Taunt;  Blackie and the Rodeo King].  He did a lot of beautiful video work for the Tragically Hip.  He’s a Renaissance guy.  He was my mentor and now we’re partners.  Music producer means different things to different people.  I like to use the word music presenter – to help people present their music. As an artist you can’t be yourself and observe yourself at the same time.  You look towards people who are sensitive to what you are trying to do, somebody you can trust.  You need collaborators, that’s all it really is.  

Ultimately I just want to be helpful and attentive and respectful to the musicians and artists that we work with.”