I love collaborating with people. First of all, if you are working with someone else there is a pressure to finish the work. I often lack that pressure when working on my own. I take the thing to a certain point and then I go on to something else. If you are working with someone else, because you don’t want to disappoint each other or because you told people that you are doing it, or for whatever reason, you want to get the thing finished.
Also, when you are working with somebody else you keep being put into positions that you would never have found yourself in otherwise. It is a much more alive situation. The landscape keeps changing underneath you and you have to rebalance yourself constantly.
I like collaborating with certain people very much, and my role becomes more and more clear as time goes on. I am called a producer, but actually that is a funny name for what I do. What I often end up doing is trying to help them make good music; it’s as simple as that. If that means helping them write the music, that’s what I’ll do. If it means organizing the studio in such a way that I know people are going to feel comfortable in there, I’ll do that. One of my longer-term collaborations is, obviously, with David Bowie, and that’s been a very fruitful collaboration [Low, Heroes, and Lodger, 1977-1979]. I like working with him a lot.
From A Brief History of New Music by Hans Ulrich Obrist