Audeze tunes in with Grammy nominated songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler

April 20, 2024

Billy Mohler a Grammy Nominated Songwriter, Producer, and Multi-instrumentalist who has performed on songs that have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. He has worked with Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Sia, Katy Perry, Nile Rogers, RIngo Starr, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and many others. Mohler, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, also attended the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at USC. Mohler's music has been featured in ad campaigns for Finlandia Vodka, Swarovski, VW, Tom Ford and many others.

Billy wearing Audeze MM-500 headphones playing the bass
"Since making the switch to Audeze I've found my mixes to be more balanced and accurate, especially when checking between different sound systems..." - Billy Mohler
Here's our chat with Billy:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

Performing at the 61st Grammy Awards alongside Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Linda Perry, Katy Perry, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and Little Big Town was a very special moment. Awolnations's single 'Sail' going Diamond was something I'd never imagined happening. Also, making solo albums (Focus and Anatomy) has been incredibly rewarding!

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

I've found a good balance of playing sessions with producer Linda Perry, while continuing to write and record my jazz albums.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I was always around music as my godfather is Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers. We would go to their shows, and occasionally I would attend a recording session. Growing up with MTV, I was into so many different genres of music. My first musical passion was reggae, then metal, then funk and finally jazz.

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

My first musical hero was my first bass teacher. His name was Mike and I studied with him at a local music store in Orange County, CA. After a year into my lessons, my parents went through a tough financial time, and could no longer afford my lessons. When Mike was informed of the situation, he offered to teach me for whatever my parents could afford, and if they couldn't pay at all he would teach me for free. I learned so much from Mike. Also, my teachers at Berklee (Whit Browne, and Bruce Gertz) took me under their wings and mentored me while at Berklee. I was an electric bass major when I started, but Whit saw something in my playing that he thought I should check out the upright bass, and that little push changed my life! Within two months I had changed my major from electric to upright and never looked back.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

For me, overcoming obstacles relates to learning new music. I used to rush through the learning process, but now I've learned to slow down the process and go for accuracy. I've found that slowing down music and getting it under the hands, actually speeds up the learning!

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

There's so much gear I love and rely on! Coil Audio CA-70 mic pre-amps, Highland Dynamics BG2 compressors, old Neumann mics, old Fender basses and amplifiers. Ampeg B15 all day, every day! haha!

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

Be the best musician you can be! Study, practice everyday. Be aware of your surroundings and be able to read each situation as a unique opportunity to learn.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Headphones are a big part of my mixing/tracking process and having headphones that accurately represent each instrument is a must!

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work? Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?

My MM-500 headphones have given me the ability to hear deeper into a mix. Since making the switch to Audeze I've found my mixes to be more balanced and accurate, especially when checking between different sound systems, ie car, studio, phone. The clarity and depth of sound are second to none! I recently worked on preparing for the release of my third album entitled Ultraviolet! The album features Nate Wood (who hipped me to Audeze) on drums, Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and clarinet and Shane Endsley on trumpet. The album came out October 2023 on Dayna Stephens NY based record label Contagious Music.

Audeze MM-500 headphones sitting on amp