WWRRD: What Would Rick Rubin Do?

Everyone has an idol. Not necessarily a mentor who is personally involved in our lives – rather, someone we look to for inspiration, motivation and guidance. If you ask Jacob Tyler CEO Les Kollegian, my guess is that he’ll probably tell you his idol is Howard Stern.

After (re)re-reading Jake Brown’s amazing biography, I can verifiably say that Rick Rubin is my idol. The man currently holds seven Grammy Awards, has over 30 years of music production experience under his belt, and even appeared on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2007. Keep in mind, this is the same man who founded Def Jam records out of a dorm room during his senior year at NYU.

When it comes to lessons that can be learned from the man behind Aerosmith & Run-DMC’s rendition of Walk This Way, hard work and tenacity make up the tip of the iceberg.

Inspire & Collaborate

Long before the writing and recording process even begins, Rick Rubin’s first priority is to get to know the artist he is working with. With Beastie Boys, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Slayer and the Dixie Chicks making up a small portion of Rubin’s total discography, we can probably assume that this isn’t always an easy task.

Regardless of how much experience the artist has, or how many records they have sold, Rubin will help guide any musician back to their roots by exploring albums that have made an impact on their life.

At Jacob Tyler, the goal with our clients is to not only provide them with amazing work, but to educate and give them important tools that are invaluable to any brand.

Practice, Write & Repeat. Always Repeat.

After choosing to work with an artist, Rick Rubin won’t let anyone step anywhere near the studio until he feels the time is right. The overwhelming majority of the album-making process focuses on writing and fine-tuning a collection of 10 songs that receive the RR stamp of approval.

Careful preparation, attention to detail and an admirable dedication to his craft allow Rubin to inspire creativity, not manufacture it.

So, the songs are written and the ideas are on the paper – now what?


Work Hard. Work Comfortably.

Long hours don’t scare Rick Rubin. Have you seen his beard? Even that thing looks like it hasn’t slept in over a decade.

To make things easier for everyone, Rick Rubin will often have artists he is working with move into his Hollywood Hills home, living with him throughout the entire recording process.

Think the artist has it easy? Whether he is working from home or spending another day in the studio, Rick Rubin can often be seen resting in shea’s lounge holding a microphone to communicate with the band members in the next room.

Jacob Tyler Halloween Party
Jacob Tyler Halloween Party

The Jacob Tyler team may not have you move into the office with us. As seen in our staff profiles or recent holiday photos, Jacob Tyler emphasizes creating a work environment which maintains a healthy balance of fun and productivity.

Mix It Up, Keep It Simple

Polar opposites, right? Wrong. While Rick Rubin helps artists create timeless pieces of work, his production style focuses on removing various music elements, and is often referred to as “deduction.”

After Rubin takes out all of the glitz, glamour and overkill, we are left with an honest, genuine album that exemplifies the best abilities of any artist.

Just as any producer can help artists record an album, any agency can provide a clients with mediocre work.

I admire how the team at Jacob Tyler prides itself in finding the best approach for every campaign – and I can see it in the way they will make added revisions and pull in extra people for a brainstorm session just to get it right.

– Jeff Chambers
Front-End Developer