August 1992 - Liverpool
Audio Engineer / Tour Manager
Your first job after full-time education?
My first full time job after education was actually working in a cafe on lark lane in Liverpool. But I was also touring the UK with my band at the time.
What inspired you to get into the world of audio?
I've always loved music and been a musician, and always loved making things sound wonderful, so I was drawn to being an Audio Engineer, Tour management came later.
Is there anyone you would describeas a mentor?
Mike Doyle. He introduced me to the world of touring with bands as a crew member and has taught me so many valuable things.
What’s your favourite touring memory?
Doing Wembley with Wheatus for the first time, they are such a hard working band/crew, it was fantastic to be apart of them getting to play in places like that.
What's your WORST touring memory?
Jesus, it's hard to pick but getting stuck for 3 days in Cheyenne pass because of a snowstorm of insane proportions got old really fast.
And the funniest?
Again, super hard to pick. Most of the people in this industry are so funny that every night on a bus with any of them is a comedy show. Usually all experiencing the bad stuff together is what brings the comedy truly into play. For a daily laugh, turning up at venues with horrendous PA systems and looking at Brendans (Lead singer of Wheatus) reaction never fails to amuse me.
What people may not know:
What is the trait you deplore inyourself?
Being a perfectionist, probably thesame as a lot of audio guys, you have to know when to stop.
Do you think there is currently enough practical encouragement of young production talent?
No, it's a gigantic industry, but sometimes it's hard to even describe what I do to people, when I say I'm on tour they assume I'm playing, so that says to me that a lot of people don't even know that such an industry even exists.
What have been the major highlights of your career to date?
Touring with Wheatus over the years is always my favourite place in the world to be, we're like family. Mike Doughty selling out First Avenue in Minneapolis two nights on the run was great. South America with The Brian Jones town Massacre was also fantastic. In general though, I love my job, and treat each gig with the same enthusiasm.
What occupies your free time?
I'm a passionate musician still, have a studio in my house, full of modular synthesisers, guitars, basses, you name it. So, I spend a lot of my time making music when I'm not mixing it.
What’s the most inspiring thing anybody has ever said to you?
Nothing bad could ever come of something so beautiful - Mike Doyle.
Who would be your four ideal dinner party guests?
I'd need more than four, and they'd all be my friends.
What have you been up to during the Pandemic?
Spending time with my daughter, making music, repairing stuff to try and get by, having no work and also the freelance industry not being helped nearly enough by the government is making it really difficult to be an engineer right now.
Your favourite record of all-time(could be an album or single track)?
I haven't got one. Black Focus by Yussef Kamaal pops up for something in the past few years.
What was the first gig you attended?
Tommy Emmanuel in St Georges Hall.
What would be your advice to a teenage you?
It'll be alright, don'tworry.
What's the best piece of kit you've discovered over the past 12 months (and why)?
I recently got my hands on an Ableton Push, which for electronic music production is really interesting, it's the first time really that I think a company have successfully turned a controller into an instrument by itself.
What are your hopes for the future?
I really hope that I can get back to work soon, and just continue spending time with my daughter and get back to some semblance of normality.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That many people find it easier tomake excuses why something can't be done rather than figuring out how it can be done.
And, if you weren’t doing this, you’d be?
Not sure, maybe a professional musician? Maybe an Astrophysicist? Two things I've always studied and been interested in.
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