Thanks for the interesting questions.
Although I was never credited as a producer or engineer I’ve actually done both in some capacity over the years.
When we recorded No Jive in Germany for example, the studio engineer was so hopeless (Pete tried to kill him) we resorted to doing it ourselves with me being the desk operator.
The engineering part was to make sure levels, sounds and performances were captured within acceptable parameters so as Mike Ging (our eventual choice of producer during mixing) could deliver a finished product.
Production wise, I’d learned from the likes of John Punter and John Ryan to capture the mood of whoever was performing and try to get the best out of them.
As for songwriting, I was never lucky enough to fall into a set formula.
Sometimes the lyrics would come first, usually from a poem I’d composed in my notebook on some park bench (Jeez, that sounds pretentious!).
Dream On and Games from 2XS were created this way but others came from a guitar riff or melody in my head which I’d then struggle to find words for.
(Baby Come Back is a prime example)
Aye, Manny and Dan are sorely missed as Pete & I suddenly realised during lunch recently.
“You’re all that’s left!” I blurted out.
“Aw thanks!” he replied.
“Are you gonna finish that burger?”
Thanks again and stay safe. Life’s too short.