|Birth name||Jerry Finn|
|Born||March 31, 1969|
|Died||August 21, 2008(aged 39)|
|Genres||Punk rock, alternative rock, pop punk|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, Audio Engineer|
|Associated acts||Blink-182, AFI, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio, Morrissey, MxPx, Rancid, +44, Tiger Army, Green Day, The Vandals, The Offspring, Bad Religion|
Jerry Finn (March 31, 1969 – August 21, 2008) was an American record producer. He worked with numerous punk rock and pop-punk bands, such as Blink-182, Morrissey, AFI, Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio, MxPx, Rancid, Green Day, Sum 41, and The Offspring.
Finn was instrumental in developing the polished sound of pop-punk in its second wave of popularity during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Alternative Press wrote that Finn often "helped rough punk bands refine their sound, and helped them discover the power of a good vocal hook." Finn was behind the boards for many popular and acclaimed recordings in his lifetime; he mixed Green Day's Dookie (1994) and produced Blink-182's Enema of the State (1999), MxPx's The Ever Passing Moment (2000), Sum 41's All Killer, No Filler (2001) and AFI's Sing the Sorrow (2003).
Life and career
Finn attended Dick Grove School of Music. He became an assistant at The Music Grinder in the early 1990s, and was later hired as a second engineer. Finn then moved to Devonshire, where he met Rob Cavallo. He became a "right-hand man" to Cavallo, who at the time was producing Green Day's major-label debut, Dookie (1994). When the band declared themselves dissatisfied with the original mix, Finn and Cavallo set to work again and came up with a brighter mix. "Anyone who heard Green Day's first two records knew the breakout potential was there, but it took Cavallo and Finn to draw it out," wrote Alternative Press. Finn began a fruitful association with Epitaph Records in 1995, and he co-produced Pennywise's About Time alongside the label's founder, Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Finn's first solo production endeavor, Rancid's …And Out Come the Wolves, came the same year. He also produced the "landmark punk album" Dear You by Jawbreaker in 1995, and also mixed The Suicide Machines' Destruction by Definition (1996), described as "a watershed moment for ska-punk."
Finn forged a particularly strong bond with Blink-182 in the late 1990s, producing their mainstream breakthrough Enema of the State (1999). He subsequently returned to produce Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) and Blink-182 (2003), and also co-produced and mixed When Your Heart Stops Beating (2006) by +44, which featured Blink-182 members Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker. Finn served as an invaluable member of the band: part adviser, part impartial observer, he helped smooth out tensions and hone their sound. When recording sessions became contentious, Finn would often smooth over differences with a joke, offering a fresh perspective and advice. "When my son was born, while everyone else was sending us baby blankets and teddy bears, Jerry and his girlfriend gave him a tiny black leather jacket covered in metal studs and Ramones pins," remembered Hoppus in 2008. "Every day I spent with Jerry over the past 10 years, I feel like he taught me something new about music, or recording, or life." When the band reconvened to work on their reunion album Neighborhoods (2011), the band found it very difficult to work without Finn. "I honestly still feel like he’s in the studio with us, because for me, personally, everything that was about recording and being in a studio, I learned from Jerry," said Hoppus.
Finn co-produced AFI's major-label debut Sing the Sorrow (2003), which has been called a "landmark in the post-hardcore genre." Alternative Press wrote that "None of it would've been possible had Jerry Finn not manned the boards and polished the band's previously metallic sound into spike-covered punk-rock candy cane." In his later years, Finn worked Morrissey on his best-selling You Are the Quarry (2004) and Years of Refusal (2009), Finn's last completed production work before his death.
Alternative Press compiled a list of nine "classic" albums helmed by Finn, writing that "Finn's bread and butter during the past decade was helping rough punk bands refine their sound, and helping them discover the power of a good vocal hook." Finn was known for his dynamic, warm guitar sound, featured prominently on Blink-182 albums and Sum 41's All Killer No Filler (2001). Finn achieved the sound by recording instruments through more than one amplifier at the same time (he owned a large collection of amps he brought to recording sessions). "Many engineers try to keep everything separate and add effects later," said Finn. "Players play to the sound, so you just have to get a sound and go with it. This allows you to mix tones together to get just the right sound." Finn was known for working with keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., whom he brought into Blink-182, Alkaline Trio and Morrisey sessions.
This list does not include greatest hits compilations.
- Scott Heisel (October 20, 2008). "The List on AP: 9 classic albums Jerry Finn left his mark with". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- Matt Gallagher (September 30, 2008). "Remembering Jerry Finn". Mix (magazine)Mix. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- Pierre Perrone (September 15, 2008). "Jerry Finn: Empathetic record producer". The Independent. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- James Montgomery (April 8, 2011). "Blink-182's Mark Hoppus Talks Moving On Without Late Producer Jerry Finn". MTV News. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2013 Vinyl Reissue) (liner notes). Blink-182. US: Geffen / Universal Music Special Markets. 2013. SRC025/SRC026/SRC027/SRC028.
This reference primarily cites the Mark Hoppus foreword.
- Scott Heisel (February 19, 2009). "A conversation with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Chris Harris (August 25, 2008). "Blink-182, AFI Producer Jerry Finn Dead At 39". MTV News. Retrieved July 15, 2011.