Doug Kistner of Studio D’Lux: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview

Doug Kistner Interview

Feature Photo: courtesy of Doug Kistner.

An Interview with Doug Kistner of Studio D’Lux

These days, good old-fashioned classic rock music is becoming harder and harder to come by. With pop music and other new-age music soaking up much of the limelight, it’s not easy for the elder statesmen of rock to get by.

Things have gotten so bad that many of rock music’s finest have all but stopped making music, essentially relegating themselves to greatest hits tours and generally redundancy. But the boys in Studio D’Lux aim to change that. Indeed, with their latest EP, Studio D’Lux, producer and songwriting Doug Kistner has assembled a crack team featuring the likes of Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Bill Champlin, Elliott Randall (Steely Dan), Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), and more.

So, give Studio D’Lux a try the next time you need to scratch that itch. In the meantime, Doug Kistner of Studio D’Lux beamed in for a quick chat with ClassicRockHistory.com to run through the origins of the Studio D’Lux EP, his approach to production, and what’s next.

Doug Kistner Interview

Feature Photo: courtesy of Doug Kistner.

Give me the origins of this latest Studio D’lux record. How did this one come together?

Well, after releasing a song called “There’s The Door,” in which I was so lucky to have Liberty DeVitto and Bill Champlin on it, I knew I had to keep this going. Liberty had told me to keep writing and recording; the stuff is great. So, I had the idea to have this studio project where I could feature guys from these great classic bands as I write and record new songs.

A lot of people are saying that rock is dead. What are the challenges of creating a classic rock record in the modern era?

Extremely challenging. There’s just little return from basically free music. I think it’s challenging regardless of what genre though. The music biz was always crazy, but people used to buy the record, CDs, whatever.

With so many incredible players in this band, give me the rundown of how the division of labor breaks down.

Ok, Liberty is on drums in all songs. Bill Champlin sings on “Light Still Shines” and “Ain’t Good Enough.” Joel Hoekstra handles the guitar solos on “Light Still Shines.” Jon Herington on “Old School,” Elliott Randall on “Ain’t Good Enough.” Glen Burtnik harmony vocals. Malcolm Gold, bass. I sang, played keys and played some guitar. We have a horn section on “Old School:” Doug Woolverton, Kevin Osborne, and Tom Timko.

How do you get the most out of each musician as the producer? What are the biggest differences in working with each?

I didn’t have to do anything. Everybody that played added so much to the track. These guys are the best. They all delivered and came up w great parts. The amazing thing is everyone’s style fits musically. I had the track already up and running, but you’re hearing what they laid down.

What is your approach as a producer?

I don’t really consider myself a producer per se. The biggest part of producing this thing was getting this lineup and putting it all together. But basically, I don’t like to overproduce. It should sound and feel right, right away, or it’s probably not the right part or sound. Marc Battaglia deserves some production credit too.

Do you pay homage to the past or keep the sounding more current?

My writing style is influenced by the great music of the ’70s and ’80s, so you’re hearing that. But they are new songs, and we’re recording them now. I would say some of my approaches are getting a good sound, keeping the track exciting, and not forcing anything.

What’s next in all lanes?

Well, “Light Still Shines” should be airing on the Sirius Tom Petty channel soon. “Old School” is starting to get streams now too. Hopefully, playing some live shows and opening for some national acts is next. Stay tuned!

Doug Kistner of Studio D’Lux: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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