Page 69 - Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Winter/Spring 2013/14

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spr ing
“I have a lot of experience with instruments, and I know how to
orchestrate strings, but it’s all about going with my gut instinct,” he says.
“Not to sound cocky, but I’m capable of all of it. That’s what I do for twelve
hours a day when I’m working: just going with what feels right. I’ve got
a million influences, but what I do is an amalgamation of all that filtered
through my own creativity, and that comes from my heart and gut.”
It seems like a strong-willed producer meeting an ego-laden rock
star might be a formula for fireworks. But Ebbin says that’s the great
arena of production.
“You’re being brought in to tell an artist, ‘Gee, that’s not good
enough. It needs to be better.’ You have to have guts to do that,
especially with the bigger bands. But what I’ve found is the bigger they
are, the more open-minded and willing they are to entertain new ideas
and change things. The young bands are more precious about their
music; it can be a full-on battle. That’s why being a record producer is
partially like being a psychologist, too. To get your ideas across you
have to work on their psyche and emotional state.”
In recent years, Ebbin has found success with Bon Jovi guitarist
Richie Sambora, who he toured with last year – Ebbin’s first time on stage
in decades – as well as up-and-coming electronic rocker Zedd, all of
whom he enjoyed working with.
But he also has some stories to tell about prima donnas. It’s a tight-
knit business, and musicians can be hypersensitive. So he leaves out the
names when he says, “Most bands are fun to work with, but others can
be a real pain.”
What hasn’t caused him any grief is relocating to Montecito, a
decision he made after just two years in Los Angeles after moving out West
to be closer to the biz. Ebbin and his wife Michelle are raising three sons
in the village. Jackson, who’s nine years old, and Cassidy, who’s seven,
attend Montecito Union, and Tanner, four, is in preschool at the Montecito
Y. And whenever he’s home, which is a lot more these days now that the
record business is struggling, he spends most of his time with the family.
“We do all sorts of stuff with the kids,” he says. “I’m usually at their
baseball games at McKenzie Park or out with them on the BMX bikes.
And we love to hang out at Miramar Beach.”
When he has time, Ebbin also dabbles in real estate, dealing in
flipping high-end houses and other opportunities.
“I’m obsessed with real estate. It’s a passion,” he admits. “I’m
always looking for projects. It’s like a second career. It’s actually very
creative, just like producing records. You’re managing a crew and a
process, reconfiguring houses, choosing finishes, designing things. It’s
pretty similar.”
And he can’t blame his brother for