The moment he walked into an arena at 13, ACM Tour Production & Management Alumni, knew he wanted to work in the live music and events environment. Between school and a job in business events, Will was always on the look-out for a career change – Step in Cato Music and ACM.
Two years on from his graduation, ACM caught up with Will to see what he’s been up to.
Who have you been working with?
My recent clients include: Cat’s Eyes, Hollie Cook, Jessie J, Ludovico Einaudi, Mika, Noah and The Whale, The Noisettes, Rachel Zeffira, Sophie Delila, Tinie Tempah, Various Cruelties, Willy Moon and many more.
What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
After hours of trawling through the web, I came across Glen Rowe, owner of Cato Music Ltd. One email and a phone call later and we were sitting in his office in Putney discussing my career. Due to the fact that I couldn’t even tune a guitar, he managed to convince me that the only way I was going to get any work out of him was by doing the course at ACM. I had heard through an old school friend how good ACM’s connections were with the industry so I spent the next year saving up and enrolled in September 2010.
What was the best part about studying at ACM?
I was hesitant at first, but after the first week of lectures (and this is coming from a guy that hated everything about school, learning and exams and couldn’t wait to get out), there wasn’t one day where I didn’t look forward to going to lectures. ACM’s facilities, tutors and general atmosphere make studying there so much more bearable than any educational establishment I had ever been to.
The other great thing about ACM is it’s reputation within the music industry. Anybody who’s anybody knows what they do and how good they are at doing it. The support from the BDC encouraged me to continue my pursuit of a career, even during the decline in live shows in the financial recession.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to since leaving ACM?
Since leaving ACM I have been building up a reputation within the industry using previous knowledge and mixing it with the things I learnt at ACM.
In 2012 I did everything from Arena shows in Glasgow, to a 20 minute gig at a corporate event in Warsaw, Poland. I’ve been chauffeur driven through Paris, stayed in 6 star hotels, got drunk on tour buses; slept in splitter vans in car parks, winnebagos outside film studios and a dodgy Travelodge at motorway services on the M1. I even went 38 hours without sleep transferring from one tour to another. Every show, every tour is different. That’s what for me, makes it so fun.
What’s been your proudest moment/career highlights so far?
Career highlights include being a guitar tech at Wembley Arena for the Marshall 50 Years of Loud show in September, being a drum tech for Noah and The Whale at their 2012 festival shows and most importantly becoming friends with people that you spend so much time with on the road.
Other than that I guess it’s the adrenaline from the noise you get from a 20,000 strong crowd as the band you are working with walk onto the stage, especially when you are tucked into a little gap behind the amps at a festival, it’s like nothing you have ever heard before. Even more so in Europe! They go nuts for music on the mainland!!
So what’s on the horizon for 2013?
2013 is looking busy thus far. I’m currently on the road with X-Factor Winners Little Mix as their Drum/Keys Tech, sharing a sleeper bus with ACM Lecturer Deptford John. I also have a number of other things lined up with some other artists for later in the year, which include a UK and IRE tour and a number of festivals including Glastonbury.
Do you have any advice or tips for our current ACM students?
The wealth of knowledge you are fortunate enough to have in front of you during those lectures is too much to ignore. So never say no to anything no matter how small or irrelevant it may be, and don’t be scared to ask questions. (Unless its an Astronomy question to Matt Russell, then you have every right to be scared!)
There are some long hours and hard work involved. If you don’t chip in, you won’t be asked back. Anybody who says its going to be easy was lying.
And be a geek. If you are serious about working in the music industry, do your research and keep up to date with current affairs within the industry. If you want to be a sound engineer, read up on the latest Ashdown bass combos or AKAI Midi controller. You may not think it’s relevant right now, but one day you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it.
My top tips for the road:
- Always carry a lighter, even if you don’t smoke – you never know who might need one!
- Charm and flirt as much as possible with the girls in catering.
- Learn to sleep anywhere!
ACM would like to thank Will Driscoll for taking time out from his busy schedule to update us on his recent progress and we wish him well for his forthcoming projects.