Multi-Platinum Producer Dito Godwin Brings His Diverse Background Into An Array Of New Projects With Indie Artists
Long before he launched his extraordinarily eclectic career as an award winning multi-platinum producer, Dito Godwin was a busy working guitarist in NYC. His first band opened for The Blues Project (with future Blood, Sweat & Tears founder Al Kooper) and his later outfit The House did a brief tour with Ozzy Osbourne andBlack Sabbath.
Those foundational experiences paved the way for Dito to work with an exciting array of groundbreaking bands and artists over the past few decades.
Starting with No Doubt's self-titled 1992 debut-some of whose Dito-produced tracks appeared on later No Doubt recordings-the list is long and eclectic, ranging from pop, rock and metal to country. Dito has helmed projects for Motley Crue, former KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, Jack Russell and Great White and the late Warrant frontman Jani Lane. In the country music realm, he has worked on projects featuring the legendary Charley Pride and former American Idol contestant Kristy Lee Cook-and at one point represented the interests of songwriter Susan Gibson, writer of the Dixie Chicks' smash hit "Wide Open Spaces."
Never one to rest on his several decades of laurels, Dito is excited about a whole host of new projects that tap into his diverse creative palette. He often works in the studio with his son, prominent L.A. guitarist Bernie Godwin, who co-wrote with his band the Dito-produced title track "My Name Is Bruce" from Bruce Campbell's 2007 comedy horror film.
Dito recently produced recordings for two dynamic rising L.A. based indie artists, rock/soul singer/songwriter Rolan Bolan-son of late glam rock legend Marc Bolanand Grammy winning Motown singer and composer Gloria Jones-and "horror rocker" Characula. Dito and Bolan took a unique approach to recording Bolan's project, creating both full acoustic and electric versions; Dito played guitar, keys and bass on both. Bernie played on both Bolan recordings and also performs live acoustic shows with him. In addition to producing Characula's various singles, Dito produced three videos for her that are currently being edited, including one that was shot in a 1,200 year old castle in Denmark.
Dito is also becoming a prominent producer in Europe for his production work with the heavy metal band Phonomik and pop/rock outfit Substereo, who recently scored a single that reached #11 on the Danish iTunes chart. Bernie co-wrote a song with Phonomik for the soundtrack of the independent film "Murder." Working with renowned film director and director of photography Marty Julian-a onetime keyboard player and bandmate of Dito's in the band GCB-Dito shot a fascinating, emotionally compelling short film based on Phonomik's powerful song "Trench Tales," about the hell of World War I's young soldiers fighting in the trenches, focusing on young Danish boys who were forced into battle by the invadingGermans.
Dito's extra-studio activities are no less fascinating. He is representing Dr. Ward Bond (The Roc Doc), creator and host of the Houston-based heavy metal television show "Guitar Asylum"; Dito will soon be producing his show in Europe. Dito is also producing a project for singer, songwriter and bassist Gregg Sutton, who has played with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Lone Justice and U2 and written songs recorded by Percy Sledge, Joe Cocker and Billy Ray Cyrus. Dito has also performed live in a duo with Sutton.
On the literary side, Dito is a Senior Contributing Editor for Heavy, a Melbourne, Australia-based music magazine, and he is currently planning to write a memoir of his life in music that will double as an educational textbook about the music industry. He has taught over the years at UCLA, University of Sound Arts, L.A. CityCollege and Southern Oregon University-and has done guest speaking at such music conventions as South By Southwest.
"One of the reasons I have had a very unique career is because of the wide variety of music I enjoy, which has opened doors to working with artists of all different backgrounds," says Godwin, who is based in Southern California. "In any session I do, my goal is that everyone I work with become a better musician and every artist or band will emerge stronger. One of the keys to creating a great project is getting the rhythm section down. I put the bassist and drummer under a microscope and push them so that they are truly connected. The rhythm section being in synch is the legs and foundation of all great contemporary music.
"One of the ways I am able to get great performances out of my artists is by creating the perfect atmosphere and saying the right words that will help them get to that place," he adds. "I have been a musician my whole life and I know how I would want to be approached by a producer and what they would have to say to make me play great. Every detail matters, from the lighting in the room to making them feel confident and doing the right amount of pre-production so the session is creative and not like a rehearsal. Everything I do is for the client and not about me and I am always open to input from the artists I work with. The spirit of collaboration is what music is all about."