This decade has been busy for John Agnello. The Brooklyn born and bred producer/engineer has been involved in many cool projects. From mixing Phosphorescent’s outstanding, Muchacho record with the hit song, “Song For Zula” to producing two breakout Kurt Vile records, he’s been doing some fine work. Most recently he’s produced some wonderful records by Waxahatchee, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Land Of Talk and Hop Along.
On the international front, John’s been having great results too. The EP he did, all analogue with super group, Paradise shot to number one in Germany upon its release. The second Mikel Erentxun record he’s mixed in two years is up for a Latin Grammy. And his collaboration with Luke Elliot has made a huge impact in Europe.
2018 will see the release of rock acts, The Sidekicks on Epitaph and Nothing on relapse records.
John manned the board for Son Volt (recorded and mixed Okemah and the Melody of Riot (Transmit Sound/Legacy Recordings)), The Kills (recorded and mixed No Wow (Rough Trade/SonyBMG)), Drive-By Truckers (mixed The Dirty South (New West)), Early Man (mixed Closing In (Matador)) and Clutch (mixed Robot Hive/Exodus (DRT)). In Fall 2005, the Drive-By Truckers called upon John to mix their latest album, A Blessing and A Curse. He then co-produced, recorded and mixed the debut self-titled album from Witch, featuring J Mascis on drums. John’s longstanding working relationship with Mascis currently has him scheduled to work on the new Dinosaur Jr. reunion album. In March, John recorded and mixed the forthcoming Andrew W.K. album, which began just days after he finished mixing Sonic Youth‘s forthcoming Rather Ripped. John heads to St. Louis in April to record the new Son Volt album. He then returns to the NYC area to produce, record and mix the latest from The Hold Steady.
While he has made a name for himself working with hard rock bands (Dinosaur Jr., The Screaming Trees, The Breeders, Jawbox, Buffalo Tom, Alice Cooper, etc.), he has also shown his skill with subtler sounds (Five for Fighting, J Mascis, Mark Lanegan, Patti Smith, Jay Farrar, Dar Williams, Nada Surf).
Starting his recording career as an assistant engineer at the Record Plant in New York City, John was able to work on some legendary early 80’s albums including John Mellencamp‘s Uh Huh, Aerosmith‘s Rock in a Hard Place, Scandal‘s The Warrior, Twisted Sister‘s Stay Hungry, Cyndi Lauper‘s She’s So Unusual and John Waite‘s No Brakes. As he went out on his own, John had a string of successes recording albums with The Hooters, The Outfield, Patty Smyth and Sophie B. Hawkins. He then gravitated toward the aforementioned bands that were influenced by the rock music he grew up with and loved.
John has had songs featured in a number of soundtracks including Social Distortion‘s “Death or Glory” from Lords of Dogtown, The Screaming Trees‘ “Darkness Darkness” from True Lies, the Dinosaur Jr./ Del The Funkee Homosapien collaboration, “The Missing Link,” from Judgement Night, The Honeymoon Suite’s “Those Were The Days” from The Wraith, and Dinosaur Jr.‘s “Turnip Farm” from Reality Bites.
In addition to the commercial success of many of the above albums, John has had notable success with his work with the Norwegian band Madrugada (mixed Industrial Silence, produced, recorded and mixed Nightly Disease). Both albums achieved platinum status in their native Norway, and combined sold in excess of 300K worldwide.
John has the unique ability to step in and do whatever is necessary for a project. He is able to give the direction that is often needed with young bands, while he is equally comfortable with the give and take process that is de rigueur with veteran groups. In every situation, he enables the artist to achieve their vision. John is also extremely versatile. He’ll give songwriting direction, arrangement ideas, play guitar parts or perform harmony vocals— whatever is necessary to make the best sounding record.