Justin Hayward talks about his experience in the recording studio

I have always been prepared when I go into the studio - that's not always a good thing, as occasionally my own determination and inflexibility has been hard for others to accept. But I usually know, or have worked out the drum patterns and basic bass lines for every song I have written before starting a session. 
I treasure every moment in the studio and it's where I want to be.  In the sixties the musicians were rarely invited into the control room, and on my first sessions I knew that I could have improved things if I could have had my view respected. Tony Clarke relaxed that culture by the time we got to 'Lost Chord' and a whole world of possibilities opened up for me. Derek Varnals was, and still is the greatest engineer I have ever worked with, and I learnt so much from him. He gave me the best guitar sounds I have ever known in the studio and he made it work for me and took away the stress every player feels around delivering on a recording session for the whole team.
Nowadays, I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with Alberto Parodi and our process starts with a good demo of a song, and often the 'final' vocal of mine is recorded very early on in the sessions. I try to put my ideas and influence into the recordings straight away, and the musicians I work with appreciate that. It guides them to the spirit of each song - and it certainly saves a lot of time in experimenting with lots of eventually to be disregarded ideas. Having said that, the contribution of other players often brings inspiration and heart. Alberto is always confident - full of original sounds and solutions. He will stay with a track relentlessly,always believing in it's soul and quality. 
We are a great team and I am a lucky man to have met Alberto when I did. He is the most superb engineer and every night we leave the studio with a recording that sounds right and worry free. His equipment is always 'state of the art'. That can only come from a commitment to never settling for anything less than the best that is available.
In the Moodies we were incredible fortunate to enter the digital recording era with Tony Visconti. He embraced it totally, and and while so many other producers and musicians were 'grieving' for analogue, Tony had mastered it. He gave us, and me, a confidence that is unequaled. He simply worked 'with' digital as soon as it was available and introduced many processes that were later to become standard ways of recording - to time code and syncing - as well as being the first person that I knew to use sampling brilliantly and constructively.
Analogue recording was very forgiving and warm - it's was easy on the ears and had a natural colour to it. Lately, many studio pros, including Alberto and I, have used analogue simulators on some parts of the recordings - Cos it sounds nice - But digital gave us hard, clear sounds that had to be mastered before moving forward with good professional recording. It doesn't mean I love the old analogue recordings or techniques any less. It just means things are different now and 'you can never go home'. The greatest recordings of all time were analogue. But we go forward - and every musician loves that.