I think being eclectic is bad when you're just starting out.
My other advice is to start writing songs and singing right away.
The vocals are what immediately draw people in and sell the song.
I see myself as the buffer between the band and the record company.
I had previously been in the band the Modern Lovers with Jonathan Richman.
For a young band about to make a record, make sure you get the vocals right.
Normally when I work with bands I'm trying to refine and improve what's already there.
Some artists want a producer to be a kind of svengali - someone who actually creates a sound for them.
I've become increasingly confidant in following intuitions ahead of thoughts as I produce more records.
That said, everything's important, and every musician who plays on the record is an integral part of it.