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"Together, [The Matrix are] just a great team, a fantastic combination. Lauren’s a great lyricist who comes up with strong melodies, Scott’s a really great producer and Graham’s a fantastically good writer."
——Sandy Roberton, Worlds End
WORLDS END RELOADS
WITH THE MATRIX
Sandy Roberton on How He Put Together the Red-Hot Production/Songwriting Team
Once a producer himself in the UK, Worlds End founder Sandy Roberton’s management firm includes more than 60 top-name producers, including Grammy winner Don Was, Tim Palmer, Don Gehman, Hugh Padgham, Bob Clearmountain, Richard Gottehrer and Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley, with offices in N.Y., Canada and L.A. His latest discovery, The Matrix, which he helped put together, are arguably the hottest writer-producer team in the business, spawning hits for Avril Lavigne (including the Grammy-nominated "Complicated") and Liz Phair, while contributing to Britney Spears’ most recent album. Roberton agreed to talk when we told him we were Billboard’s Chris Morris.

Producers’ fees have been coming down pretty fast.
Spec is the new word in hiring producers. The labels spec every track out to prospective producer/writers, so they have virtually a complete album. Then they cherry-pick the best tracks and pay just for those they actually put on the record. That’s how The Matrix got involved with Avril Lavigne. We agreed to do two spec tracks. To his credit, L.A. Reid said, "That’s the blueprint." And offered them the full album.

How did you put The Matrix together?
Lenny Beer actually asked if I’d meet with Lauren Christy and listen to some of her demos. I immediately thought she was near the cut-off point as a female performer age-wise, but I signed her to a publishing deal. She then introduced me to her husband, Graham Edwards, and Scott Spock, a programmer. I suddenly got the feeling this was a production team. They were all musicians, programmers and writers. So I said, let’s give this a go, and they came up with the name The Matrix. I knocked on doors for a year and a half. Ron Fair was the guy who gave them their first break when he used one of their songs, "This Year," for a Christina Aguilera Christmas album. That was like a seal of approval. From that point on, it just got better and better.

The Matrix are a throwback to the Motown factory approach—producer/songwriters who become practically members of the bands.
Together, they’re just a great team, a fantastic combination. Lauren’s a great lyricist who comes up with strong melodies, Scott’s a really great producer and Graham’s a fantastically good writer.

And now they’re doing their own record.
Columbia Records has signed them. They’ve found a girl and a guy to sing. The Matrix will write and produce and the album will come out spring of next year. If the record performs well, they will go out and do some shows.

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