Rick Rubin on Cultivating World-Class Artists (Jay Z, Johnny Cash, etc.), Losing 100+ Pounds, and Breaking Down The Complex (#76)

Our conversation took place in a barrel sauna like this.

“It’s [about] getting closer to the source and not being distracted by any nonsense…” — Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin has been called “the most important [music] producer of the last 20 years” by MTV.

Rick is also revered as something of a Zen master, and he is as deep as he is soft-spoken. He rarely grants interviews, and one condition of doing this one was the setting: his hyper-heated barrel sauna at home.

In this episode, we delve into how Rick helps artists (e.g. Jay Z, Shakira, Johnny Cash, etc.) produce their best work. Not only that, we also discuss Rick’s step-by-step experience losing 135+ pounds. He describes underwater weightlifting stories, training with Laird Hamilton, testing different diets, and much more.

Rick’s resume includes everyone from Johnny Cash to Jay Z. His metal artists include groups like Black Sabbath, Slayer, System of a Down, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, and Linkin Park. He’s worked with pop artists like Shakira, Adele, Sheryl Crow, Lana Del Rey, and Lady Gaga. He’s also been credited with helping to popularize hip hop with artists like LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Eminem, Jay Z, and Kanye West.  And that’s just a small sample.

This conversation teaches a cohesive lesson in breaking down complex skills with deep and subtle problem solving.

The sauna caused the microphones to burn our hands and us to nearly pass out. DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME, folks! I think it adds a hilarious element to the whole thing, but it’s not without risks.

[Last but not least, if you haven’t seen my new TV show, which is #1 on iTunes as I write this, please check out The Tim Ferriss Experiment! There are 13 episodes, including ones with surfer Laird Hamilton and “top 10 drummer of all-time” Stewart Copeland.]


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#76: Rick Rubin, The Seclusive Zen Master

Interested in learning more about world-class musicians? — Check out my interview with Amanda Palmer who left her record label and raised more than $2 million via crowd funding. (stream episode below or right-click here to download):

Ep 67: Amanda Palmer on How to Fight, Meditate, and Make Good Art

Also, don’t miss Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob, one of the biggest electronic groups on the planet. In my conversation with Justin, we play their never-before-heard draft versions of their songs and then explore what it takes for Justin to move that draft through 300+ versions to a final version which will knock your socks off (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep 62: The EDM Cinderella - How The Glitch Mob Exploded

This episode is sponsored by OnnitI have used Onnit products for years. If you look in my kitchen or in my garage you will find Alpha BRAIN, chewable melatonin (for resetting my clock while traveling), kettlebells, maces, battle ropes, and steel clubs. It sounds like a torture chamber, and it basically is. A torture chamber for self-improvement! Ah, the lovely pain. To see a list of my favorite pills, potions, and heavy tools, click here.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.  Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run…

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Rick Rubin cites “heart work” as critical for creatives. What is the balance of heart work and head work in your creation process? 50/50? 70/30? How did you realize what works best for you? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • The story of how Rick Rubin lost 135-145 pounds [7:50]
  • Sleep Tools: A process for rebuilding your circadian rhythm for the first time [10:50]
  • What does Rick Rubin “do”? [22:45]
  • Transitioning into a career of record producing [23:35]
  • On letting music be discovered vs. manufactured [24:30]
  • What gets in the way of artists producing their best work [26:05]
  • Recommendations for contemporary music [30:55]
  • How Rick Rubin learned that music was something he could do as a career [34:00]
  • Hip-hop to heavy metal and how to approach music with appreciation [38:05]
  • Working with artists in different genres: LL Cool J to Slayer [40:15]
  • Meditation and managing disruption [42:40]
  • Who comes to mind when Rubin thinks of the word “successful” [46:50]
  • Lessons learned from time spent with Don Wildman [49:45]
  • Most gifted books and favorite documentaries [51:35]
  • Managing the experience of overwhelm [54:30]
  • About Rick Rubin’s cameo for 99 Problems and Jay Z’s creative process [56:50]
  • On being introduced to the sauna/ice-bath combination [1:00:10]
  • Underwater weight training and lessons from Laird Hamilton [1:02:15]
  • Other exercises: Hyperbaric oxygen and the Wim Hof method  [1:08:35]
  • How Rubin uses small tasks to help others [1:10:05]
  • Advice for his 20-year old and 30-year old self [1:13:10]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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86 Replies to “Rick Rubin on Cultivating World-Class Artists (Jay Z, Johnny Cash, etc.), Losing 100+ Pounds, and Breaking Down The Complex (#76)”

  1. Tim, any chance you could write about home saunas or share information about yours? I am planning on building a sauna at home, but I’m not sure which type of infrared panels and wood are best to use. My wife and I use our gym’s sauna for detoxing, but it has a floor heater, which gets very hot and makes it hard for longer sessions.

    1. It doesn’t really matter. What is important is the temperature levels you are comfortable with, the costs of building the sauna and running it and control of the humidity levels.

    2. I’ve built a dozen or so saunas. I wrote a book about how to build an AUTHENTIC sauna, and am generally known amongst my peers as a guy who knows a lot about sauna. I dig sauna. I’m happy to help anyone out when it comes to building their own AUTHENTIC sauna (as opposed to an infrared light bulb closet).

  2. Tim,

    You mentioned that your show was #1 on iTunes, unfortunately it appears you have been bumped by a cartoon called Nina Needs to Go! Which seems to be a show about a little girl that needs to go to the bathroom a lot. I don’t know what to make of that…

    Did you continue to train in any of the areas that you explored in the show?

    1. Hahaha… I’ll take a look. I’d hope my TV show is still #1 in the “Non-Fiction” category, but I’ll have to take Nina on ASAP 🙂

      Regarding the skills — Yes, I’m hoping to take a number of them seriously and have been surfing since the show. I’m not great, but — damn — I love it and am getting better.

      Rock on,


      1. Yes, more surfing. Tougher challenge! Something we’d be like wow that was impressive. The Rally Car transformation and the Tagalog challenges were very impressive.

  3. So much wisdom in this interview. Will be on repeat for a while… Thanks for sharing!

    This quote stood out:

    “Successful is someone who enjoys their life. Great at what they do. Is curious and continually pushing forward and wanting to be better than they were yesterday without beating themselves up about it.”

    — Rick Rubin

  4. Rick is a legend and has been a staple to some of the most notable music of my generation. What a great interview and insight into legend.

    Thanks for getting this one out Tim!



  5. Tim, Rick Rubin is an impressive guest, another A-list celebrity to add to the shows credentials.

    It’s good to have these people on the show every once in a while, discovering that they too are humans with feelings, problems, and working hard to improve themselves just like us.

    But because celebrities lives fascinate us so much it’s easy to get caught up in trivialities, discussing what are really just ordinary events experienced by extraordinary people.

    What I would really like to see more of is more of an emphasis on what makes masters performing on the level that they do, making their extraordinary achievements approachable and replicable – those who are building something out of nothing because they’ve developed superior strategies.

    Those are the stories we can learn from, and those are the episodes I felt I got the most out of, took a ton of notes, and got a real ROI from.

    That’s why I started listening to this show, and I think more listeners would like to be not just entertained but also broaden their horizon at the same time.

    While it’s not as glamorous, it serves a real purpose – teaches people that excellence is a result of superior strategy, and not just the realm of a chose few uber-successful demigods.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Felix. Which episodes so far do you think were most helpful in the way you described?



      1. Can I second Felix’s feelings.

        You are amazing at what you do and my favorite podcast. This interview was not my favorite. I am fascinated by what Rick Rubin has done in his life. His weight loss (6 shakes a day?!?!?), his sauna and underwater workouts aren’t why we are fascinated by Rick. That’s your schtick, that’s your thing. Interesting guests being interviewed by a uniquely inquisitive mind about how they achieved their life’s success.

        Glenn Beck was amazing, Arnold was fun and engaging, Pavel was enlightening, Atila is genius, Samy was intruiguing….but the common denominator in all of those interviews is YOU.

        Keep up the great work. Bring Rick back and do the interview in a studio with access to Spotify and let your insatiable curiosity take over.

  6. Look forward to listening to it, like your other Podcasts.

    Hey Tim! Why can’t I access your TV show here in the UK? Tried all your links and got that ‘this media doesn’t play in your region’ jive.

    What’s happening?


    1. Alas, the network wouldn’t give me international rights, so I only have US distribution :/ I’ll keep fighting for them!

      Many apologies, and doing everything I can,


      1. Thanks for the reply, I assumed it would be something along those lines.

        That’s a shame, back to Coronation Street then huh?!

      2. VPN won´t work, the credit card account needs to be in the usa also – tried it.

      3. Hi, I was also thinking of all sort of tricks to see the show here in Switzerland but amazingly I noticed only now that “Tim Ferriss Experiment” has been running on public TV channel already from 30.4.2015… ! …Does this mean that I have to get back to watching TV :)…

        Anyway, thanks for all life changing content Tim!

    2. I had the same problem….


      make a US iTunes account with fake US address

      buy a US iTunes voucher online

      buy the series, download, then just switch back to your normal Uk account

      – all works fine

  7. Hey Tim off topic but I’m trying to apply the principles from The Art of Learning and your show (particularly the BJJ episode) to deconstructing the takedown in wrestling. I was hoping you could point me in the direction of some more material that could aid me in this process. Thanks Tim!

  8. Tim,

    I’m more than impressed and inspired with the latest episodes. Absolutely upping your game, best podcast available right now IMO.

    Great work man, really transforming my mindeset.

  9. Tim, I “read” your book (audible) “The 4 Hour Work Week.”

    I am working on building a business and have designed what I feel to be a truly disruptive product. But I have run into a road block and thought I would seek your advice.

    My product is intellectual property (hugely scaleable), but it needs a platform. The road block is funding and I am reaching out to people individually before taking a crowdsourcing approach (I don’t know if this is right or wrong; but it is what I have chosen to do).

    Is there any structured avenue in place for you to hear pitches? I know you have functioned as both advisor and investor over the years.

    FWIW, I just finished looking at 99designs, CrowdFlower, and Rally (all great).



  10. This interview was interesting. I like the humble nature and chill stoicism of Rick. He seems like a guy who’s very comfortable doing things his own way, which is inspiring. I’m also a big fan of Laird so it was cool to hear the stories about him and the underwater weight training (wtf). I think Laird would make a great guest, the guy is an athletic beast!

    How long were the ice tub soaks? Also, Tim do you ever float in sensory deprivation tanks? I just booked a session in one tomorrow, to help with a sore shoulder.

    ps. This is my first post here. I’ve been binge-casting the Tim Ferris show for a couple weeks. Recently read 4HB and am trying Occam’s Protocol. So far so good. Thanks for the great content, I’m hooked!

  11. Great interview…listening to it for the second time now for more wisdom…success=happiness….love his story about the older guy that he mentions as someone who comes to mind when he thinks of success…only an awake being would dismiss the “success” question and not answer with a conventional answer….i loved that he answered with a guy few have ever heard of….please add Dr. Phil Maffetone to the people mentioned…he’s an important figure and aside from living with Rick for two years, has worked with many amazing athletes….for me, most notably, Marc Allen…one of the original Ironman studs…

  12. I was pretty excited to see you were interviewing one of the greats in music Rick Rubin and was expecting to hear all these amazing stories that Rick has locked away. But overall Tim, I think you could have got so much more out of Rick if the questions were more specific. Honestly, I don’t care about about hearing 20min about how he lost all this weight because he’s situation was very unique, a lot of us can’t take much from that.

    I know the conditions weren’t the greatest being in a sauna but I was expecting a Zane Lowe type interview https://youtu.be/lUksi4RrrWo Definetly recommend watching that, Zane’s one of the best interviewers I’ve ever seen.

    The latter half of the interview was better, wasn’t a bad interview. Just could have been better 🙂 Still amazing that you managed to get him!

  13. Happy that Rick lost the weight but again with the high protein and ridiculous shakes. Great for losing but not sustainable, fun or healthy long term. High animal protein is very dangerous and unhealthy. Just eat real, whole plant foods like fruit, veggies, starches and legumes. Carbs are your friend!

  14. Hey Tim,

    How hard was it to get the US rights to your show. I know many of us would love to hear the story behind that accomplishment.

  15. “Successful is someone who enjoys their life; it’s great a what they do; it’s curious; continuously pushing forward; wanting to be better than they were yesterday, without beating themselves up about it.”

  16. Hey Tim

    Thanks for the podcast. Though this is probably too late, but I was hoping you asked Rick about the Business of music, specifically how do Musicians do research?

    Is music different than starting a business? Like how do you know what people want to listen to? I know in Business, SPIN Selling helps a lot when it comes solving problems, but how does this translate in Music industry? Are they solving problems through storytelling / music or no?

  17. Tim,

    A podcast I heard you in you said you’d like people to say at your funeral “I want my students to be better than me.” This got me thinking of you as a teacher and the role of being a good teacher.

    Sometimes I try to show people the things I have learned here or stuff in other cool books/blogs but they are unreceptive sometimes when they could really do with the help. Obviously my communication skills need work but I was thinking a good idea for the podcast could be about teaching in itself as I think not only is this a massively important way of reinforcing your own skills (thinking ju jitsu or management) but giving is way more fruitful than selfish interests. It could cover a lot as well such as persuasion/buy in, planning, action taking/effectiveness and DISS etc etc.

    Cheers man

  18. Powerful interview. As a creative inventor, with a passion for music, it is critical for me to create products that are highly differentiated yet, solve problems at their core. In order for me to pull this off successfully, I have to unplug (friends and family included!) in order to birth something truly original. Ironically, I’m the creator of SmartPlate, (@getsmartplate) the world’s first intelligent plate that instantly tracks and analyzes all the calories and macros we eat so we never have to spend countless hours manually journaling our progress, as Rick alluded to in the interview. This invention was inspired from the heart, my father’s heart, literally. A few years ago, I had to watch my dad suffer through triple bypass surgery. This was a very scary moment for me and my family, but I was able to turn that fear into pure inspiration after learning that his condition was completely preventable. All this is to say that, for me, it is 80% heart work and 20% head work but the 20% head work requires tremendous skill and perseverance to bring the creation to life – the real world.

  19. Tim

    I thought Rick was giving you some deep wisdom in the last minutes of your interview. It sounded like you brushed it over perhaps. I hope you got it because I think he is right….you can relax and enjoy, you have arrived and have a following…. Good interview and sharing on both your parts. The sauna was a fun addition.

  20. What I remember from listening to the podcast yesterday was that it gave me a good impression of who Rick Rubin is. I had been curious about this character and didn’t know a lot about him. He has a unique way of articulating his speech, just hearing him talk a little bit can tell you a lot about who he is.

    One of the key infos: he’s a meditator since age 14…that right there says so much. I really enjoyed this interview as well as most of the others and am thankful to have this in my life!

  21. The latest 3 episodes have been fantastic, some of the best from the podcast and all for different reasons.

    The long, relaxed show with Samy was a super fun, and despite the meandering story-based style I actually learned quite a lot from it.

    Noah’s episode was actually far better than I had imagined it would be, some really actionable and impactful info that I’ve still to take note of and act on.

    And Rick’s gems of wisdom, even just his description of Mark Hamilton, were just fantastic.

    These latest episodes along with the TV show have really inspired me to realise that the amount of discomfort I can push myself to experience and overcome, the more ‘success” I’ll have in life. That by breaking a fear down incrementally, as with DSSS, and incrementally pushing myself out of my comfort zone ‘bird-by-bird’; anything from self-doubt, to creating, to learning, to my negative thinking patterns and beliefs can be overcome/achieved.

    Tim, I would love to hear what you think are the best methods for reprogramming thinking patterns & behaviour. Especially the advanced and more uncommon techniques.

    Asking better questions (which to me is a massive part of Stoicism) seems part of it. Having presence and awareness of your thoughts. Connecting more with nature, meditation, etc.

    It’s harder to know how to take actionable, measurable steps. What skills do I prioritise, and how exactly do I learn these skills and practice – apart from in my daily life which seems like a less deliberate approach.

    QOD: When I figure out my creative process I’ll get back to you. I’m still at the numbers to leave numbers stage before I can more fully embrace the heart.

  22. Great choice of guest! I really recommend the book “The Big Payback” which is a fascinating history of the business of hip hop, and so naturally features Rick Rubin a lot.

  23. loved the Rick Rubin interview….spirit wisdom is awesome to always hear from anyone…the ice baths are great, in the 70’s we did cold showers or jumped into the pool in morning before our 4 am morning meditations (cold water neutralizes negativity..it is said it cannot withstand the vibration of cold water ) and the whole mind/brain vs. the heart genre they are polarities go hand in hand the love/wisdom male/female etc…the heart is the new brain for this new timeframe so they say it has 4 chambers as does the brain etc.etc.. thanks for interview loved it..i also know Neil S. and i think I am in his new book with a few photos from my archives .


    isis aquarian

  24. I wish you would have drilled down deeper into his weight loss diet, he mentioned 7 protein shakes and high protein/low calorie, but how many calories a day, go-to meals, etc. would have been awesome.

    1. Also would have loved to hear about how he maintained his weight loss. Sounds like the protein shakes helped get his body moving in the right direction. And once he was off the shakes full-time, he tracked his calories religiously to see where is problem areas where. Nice work Tim.

  25. Tim

    In all of your shows, there are mentors that are leading you and cutting through the noise to get you to the 20%. Any advice on finding the mentor? Without one its like feeling your way in the dark while spending lots of time, money and energy. Thanks! And keep up to great work on your series.


  26. Sad to see that Rick Rubin’s musical credit didn’t include the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Run DMC/Aerosmith

  27. Tim,

    As a recording engineer, I was stoked to see this interview with Rick. He often comes across philosophical, and this interview really delivered on that end. Breaking down things into very simple and profound terms.

    The thing I was most moved by when it comes to the podcasts is not only the achievements of these incredible individuals, but also the challenges they each need to overcome as well. In Rick’s case, dealing with a weight issue for 10+ years. You relating with your own self-doubt. These things are just as empowering, because I most certainly deal with self-doubt and uncertainty. It takes some of the mystique out of these people and makes them human again when all you read is the achievements.

    Another episode I was thrown by was the Glenn Beck episode. Someone I most certainly developed biases about without knowing a single thing about him. That episode was deep and moving. Thanks!

  28. Woah,

    i have a feeling your podcast gets bettery with every single episde. This one´s been especially amazin to me.

    Thank you very much, Tim!

  29. I agree… Heat is critical in the work. I’d say 70/30 in favour of heart over head. When I design I mostly rely on my gut in the innitial stages, just pure ideas. What comes to my mind goes to paper. Head comes into play when I am refining the design

  30. Rick Rubin, Joakim Noah, Chris Chelios, and Laird Hamilton are on a beach doing slackline…

    Sounds like the setup for a great joke!

  31. Hi Tim, congratulations on your blog, podcasts and the super TV experiment!!, you are really getting better and better with every step you take.

    Any more info on Cryotherapy ? Or Keto diet? Will be great to know more of your experiences with both

    By the way, I was able to watch the Tim Ferriss Experiments in France, so for anyone that may be interested that are encountering issues.. They need to buy iTunes gift vouchers from the USA website. Then open an iTunes account in the USA choosing ” none” for credit card. Then download a free song, tv show….and now they are good to use the account….they can buy your episodes with the voucher and enjoy the ride….good luck to all

  32. The weight of the world often lightens when you lose some yourself.

    By the way, I have some serious thoughts – I still have no money, but I work now for a month and I’m wondering – Hawaii or Maui (one salary should make it for the ticket)

    so where should I go?

    I leave it to the members of this Blog…

    By the way, I’m still on a quest to get Tim’s attention, the most amazing start-up.. so you can follow me on twitter to see my strategies 🙂

  33. After listening I had to go to the gym to get in some sauna time! Rick sounds like a really gentle man; calm and thoughtful.

    Let’s go on a date! I’ll fly to SF. Have your people check me out. 😉

    Entrepreneur, traveler, and Burner.

  34. Tim, this was awe inspiring to hear how Rick pushed himself in health, life and creativity…..

    I also really want to thank you for the extreme you go through to make these podcasts happen, I knew being in that sauna required some heavy duty mental toughness….

    I respect that a lot. Thank you.

  35. Tim, great guest. I am a huge fan of Rick Rubin, and his music has been playing around me since the mid -80s. One (opinion) correction: most serious surfers do not consider Laird to be the GOAT for big wave surfing. To be clear, Laird gets numerous props for his courage, fitness, and most of all, boundary-breaking spirit, but his performances have been long surpassed. At this point, the Big Wave title belongs hands down to Shane Dorian, who often paddles into waves which Laird used to tow… and even Shane worships at the altar of his good friend, and true surfing god, Kelly Slater.

  36. I have gotten similar results to the Wim Hof method doing Neuromuscular Release Work. You should check it out.

  37. Another great show in a multi-year torrent of inspiring content. You are effecting people in so many ways that you may/will never know. Dude, you rock!

    I’ve heard you ask for requests for interview subjects in the past, I would love to get a few hours with Laird. Also think Tony Horton would be interesting. What about Marc Echo? I think Banksy would also be a great interview.

    Honestly, if you never put out another sentence I would still have a life time of study ahead of me from you current body of work.

    Thank you for all of the hard work

  38. Rick indeed has contributed lots of things in the worldwide music industry by producing many great hits and artists. But losing 135+ pounds?! That’s not easy man. I want to know more how he did it. I hope he tells me his secret. Looking forward to hear more about him too. Good job Rick.

  39. Hey Tim,

    love your Podcast and loved the talk you had with Rick Rubin. I recognized Rick Rubin from the Sound City documentary by Dave Grohl.

    Speaking of Dave Grohl, it would be awesome to listen to you have a conversation with him 😀

    Have a good one Tim 🙂


    Charlie Bartley

  40. Another classic Tim, Rick produced some of my favourite albums like Reign in Blood and Blood Sugar Sex Magic. This interview was the first time Ive had a chance to get an insight into the man, Thank you

  41. In the podcast Tim mentions studying two 60 year old polish weightlifters. Can you provide a name, book, or some reference?

  42. There is a certain “heart-work head space” you have to get in to, if you are familiar with the concept of ‘flow-state’ or ‘being in the zone’ that’s what I suspect Rick is talking about when he says heart-work as applied to music.

    From my music production experience (doing it about 5 years now) I’d say the rule of 80/20 applies here – the “heart-work” is the 20% time investment where you get 80% of the most important stuff done, then that last 20% of the project is achieved with the “head-work” which takes 80% of the time.

    “Heart-work head space” It’s that component of the creative process that occurs predominantly in the “flow state” – this is for me at least one of the shortest parts of the process, and also the most fun – all my best songs come in bursts where its almost as if the music or words are coming through me from some other place – this is also where the “breakthrough’s” occur.

    1. Ha! Just heard the Jay-Z part of the podcast – that’s exactly what I’m talking about – freestyling lyrics is definitely the “heart-work head-space” realm.

      Rappers are some of the most in-tune people I’ve seen with this whole heart-work thing – watch the documentary “the Art of Rap” if you don’t believe me, totally mind blowing skills.

  43. Rick Rubin has been a fav of mine and someone who has intrigued me for years. I respect someone who has the musical interests of myself (from slayer to jay-z) but 100x more respect for the person who is responsible for their music.

    I also really enjoyed his idea of who a successful person is.

  44. Hi Tim,

    Enjoyed this. Question: Was the injury-free couple you referred to Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek of Happy Body fame? That’s my strength training practice.


  45. Fantastic episode! But Tim, you beat yourself up, seriously? Aren’t you fantastically wealthy and otherwise successful beyond your wildest dreams? What will it take to declare victory?

  46. Tim,

    Great episode!

    I’ve been trying different meditation techniques and forms, but I haven’t really found the most satisfying form yet. In the episode (and many others) you mention that you meditate of course. I hoped to find a link to explore, but it seems it is not included. Would be great if you’re able to provide me (and those others who are wondering) some info 😀


  47. Tim: I rarely comment but I listen regularly to your podcasts. This episode is by far my favourite of all the ones you’ve done so far. Listened to it three times, savouring it like a good glass of red. Lots of insight here about resiliency and problem solving from a guy who clearly thinks deeply about life. Added bonus: sounds like you let Rick set the schedule for each of the ice breaks. Not an easy thing to do.

  48. Hi Tim,

    Can you give us more details regarding the hot sauna/ ice bath therapy? What temperature, how long to stay in each, how many cycles, is ice bath superior to cold shower, do you have to do ‘shock’ cold or can you go down gradually etc? Any books or resources?

    Thanks! And great interview!

  49. Badass. 100%. Tim, here is some music you should check out. “13 and god” their first album, self titled. killer beats, apocalyptic, fresh. Also the record “Sea When Absent” by the band “A Sunny Day in Glasgow”. Both of these will expand your musical horizons, both are super creative and unique, both are records that may become the soundtrack of your life for a bit. Thanks for doing what you do.

  50. incredible interview, loved listening to you guys!.

    also enjoyed the Chris Saca podcast, so here is the logical next guest:

    W.A. Mathieu. hardly anyone will know him, so fucking what? he is an expert on what both Rubin and Saca say is crucial: listening.

    Mathieu wrote “The Listening Book”, “The Musical Life” and “Enharmonic Experience”, is a composer (worked with Terry Riley and other avant-garde stars) and was already considered by the great Jazz legend John Coltrane “one of the best in music theory”. Imagine where he has come since Coltrane’s passing in the 60s…

    So Tim, if you want to up your game and tackle your music-avoidance, as well as increase your listening capabilities and have a great time doing so, get this man on your podcast! Preserve his incredible knowledge, if not for yourself, do it for the children!! 😉

    love and peace

  51. Hi Tim, love your podcast. Being a musician and music enthusiast myself (and huge fan of Rick Rubin), I actually didn’t listen to this particular podcast till now. Having read almost everything about Rick I genuinely thought what could Tim Ferriss teach me about Rick Rubin that I don’t already know! But I have to say your interview with him was more on the money about Rick’s way of thinking, and his approach to creativity than anything I have come across. It really was amazing. I learnt about music, songwriting, creativity and just his approach to life which I have never been able to find in other interviews. Thanks for the post.


  52. GIVE: Hi Tim, I did training with Wim Hof and connect you with him to do a podcast. Please send me an e-mail and I can send you contact-info, thanks for the work you do!

    Best, Robbert

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  54. this episode still resonates and rings within me weeks after listening to it! please meet Rick again, go to the pool, do some of that crazy underwater-gasping-for-oxygen game together (video-trailer material) and then hang out together for a part two!!

  55. I’ve found what works best is alternating between “heart work” days and “head work” days. Bulking them together usually brings out better results. On the heart days I sit down and intend to be creative and on the head days I critique the heart days work.

    Of course I also keep a creative journal on me at all times to take creative notes whenever they appear. Thanks for the lessons Tim. I have quite a lot to thank you for.

  56. Hi Tim, I’m really enjoying going back and checking out what I missed (new listener). Really enjoyed this podcast and one of the highlights of this interview was cut short. My continual theme for 2016 is “be kinder to myself”. Both you and Rubin touched on it and its really something that I felt was directed at me. Given your reaction to the Rick Ruben’s responses to the question of “advice to your 30 year old self” I look forward to hearing more about how you address this issues in your life and with your interviewees. I may even come across more information as I continue to check out your back catalog of podcasts.

    Congratulation on putting together an informative and easily digestible content that adds so much value to your growing community.

    Keep up the good work.

  57. Tim this was such a creative and spiritual interview it seems like Rick disarmed you and you opened up like ive never heard in all your pods. please lmk how you think i could do work like Rick here in miami because i resonate deeply with him and already seem to do what he does naturally. thanks for your creative work.

  58. This is outstanding stuff. Great to hear these insights from people who I already respected, and I love them even more now.

    Looking forward to diving into more of these podcasts!

  59. Hi Rick: The brain and the Music was a wonderful video. I would like to have the transcript of this. I did start working on this area around 1967 and started Synthesizing Instrumental music and presented a paper. Unfortunately I could not continue this to due to various reasons and but produce AI Rule based Speech Synthesis. I have no commercial interest but more curiosity.


    Prof. N, Ram