Jack is a freelance live sound engineer who’s currently working with up and coming progressive rockers Black Peaks. He also works with the likes of the Quemists and Mallory Knox and when he’s not touring, he’s mixing FOH at Concorde 2. He took his first steps into the industry when he completed a course in Live Sound at BIMM Brighton eight years ago, so we thought it was about time for a long-overdue catch up!
WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS BIMM MADE TO YOUR CAREER?
“Bimm provided me with a lot of the key skills I needed when starting out. The course I was on was in its infant stages at the time and we didn’t have the same facilities to get as hands on technically as the students can now. But whilst studying at Bimm, I was heavily encouraged to get out into the city and find work, be it paid or just for learning experience.
One of my tutors would take students out to big gigs around the country so we could shadow the crew at shows he’d be working on, which was a great eye opener. While on the course I learned that it wasn’t just technical skill that I needed to become a successful sound engineer, but how to look after myself as a freelancer, how to network and create business for myself.”
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO DO THE JOB THAT YOU DO
“Mostly I think it’s the action. I love working in the live realm as no two days are the same. Every show poses its own problems and it’s down to the team you’re working with (or just you!) to find solutions. When you can make a show work even when the odds may be stacked against you it’s one hell of an adrenaline rush. This is also the reason I love to tour. Every venue, festival or space you play in is different, and on that day you have only one chance to get it right. You have to adapt to every show to make it the best you can, for me that hasn’t got old yet.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW AND FUTURE STUDENTS?
“Be friendly, work hard and never stop learning. We are all working in an industry that evolves quite drastically by the day/month/year, be it the genres and styles that are currently fashionable or what the latest technology is capable of doing… It never stops developing and so neither should you! Also, be professional, even if you don’t totally feel like one yet! The music industry is known for being wild and chaotic but the standards are a little different to how they were a long time ago. Turn up to jobs early, be ready to work hard and make yourself as useful as possible, you never know who you’re working with or what they can do for you.”