The end of an era ushers in a new one

After 10 years, I gave my notice at the Telegram & Gazette yesterday.

I’ve been working more and more audio engineering jobs (both live FOH and mix engineering) and an excellent opportunity presented itself down in Nashville and I just couldn’t pass it up.

Those who know me, know that music is an integral part of my life. My passion. Working a live show, or mixing a band’s song brings me a joy that’s difficult for me to try and help you equate. Just know this, this is an opportunity for me to do something I love and brings me eternal happiness.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without a kick in the ass by my good friend Maze and a heart-to-heart sit down I had with someone who’s not just my best friend, but whom I consider family, Joe. It was about this time a year ago Maze told me, “If this is something you want, go get it. I know how happy this makes you.”

Happy is a bit of an understatement. There is no better feeling than listening to a concert at the board knowing you had a hand in how awesome it’s sounding — or knowing that you didn’t have a hand in how awful it’s sounding because of a band’s demands. Or something as simple as getting the kick drum sound just right as my mix is coming together.

Same thing came from Joe. If this was going to make me happy, life’s too short to stand still. So, off I go.

***

Back in the summer of 1998, I was approached by a counselor (Mr. Almestica) at my high school who asked me if I would be willing to help run sound for his band who was playing an outdoor show at a local park. Not just a band, a full Merengue band — drums, percussion, horns, backup singers, guitars, bass. Why not, I thought. This was two-fold, it gets me out of the house, and it gives me a chance to see how things go on a smaller scale.

I was hooked.

From that moment on, I was the only one in the high school to touch the audio equipment; a Mackie 16-channel mixer, combined with 2 amps, and 2 mid-level Peavey speakers.

***

The change was some time coming, as I noticed my working with bands — be it live or mixing their studio material — was something that made me ecstatic and didn’t raise my blood pressure.

Journalism can be pretty stressful, but so can mixing front of house for a nationally touring band, then turning around and mixing at a well-known venue where you’ve never worked before.

Such was the situation a couple of months ago for me.

An intense week of work had ended and my blood pressure was through the roof — not good, especially since my family has a long, long history of hypertension.

As I made my way down to McNeil’s Tavern to mix for Apollo’s Resurrection and Psychostick, nerves crept in, but I was calm. As Monday night rolled around and I was headed to the The Middle East in Cambridge, I was calm with excited nerves to run front of house for AR downstairs in the big room. That whole weekend, I had no blood pressure issues. An eye-opening experience. One which I couldn’t ignore for my body’s sake.

Thanks…
I’d like to thank Keith from KG Audio for taking a flyer on me and letting me mix monitors that cold ass day in December downstairs at The Palladium. That just further fueled my desire to pursue this career.

To the guys in Apollo’s Resurrection (Aaron, Billy, Doig, Mizfit and Scoopy) for taking a flyer on me that September day and letting me run sound from that day forward so you could focus on just playing. Not only do I run FOH for them, I consider each of them  friends. 

Mike from Our Own Destruction for recommending I do sound for his show and ultimately liking it so much inviting me back to do sound for a major show for them (a show with Mushroomhead on Sept. 20 at The Webster).

Rusty at The Webster for trusting me as a last-second replacement for your local show and letting me jump in and do Our Own Destruction’s sound.

To all the house engineers who’ve been warm and accepting, and those who haven’t been so warm and receiving but still allowed me to jump in and mix Apollo’s Resurrection and Our Own Destruction.

To my family, who have never tried to talk me out of anything, and who are willing to open their doors in a time of their own craziness to help me out.

And a big thanks to everyone else in my life who’s been there with me and have had my back. To all the doubters, a quote from Jonathan Davis: “No, really. Fuck you.”

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