Friday, October 5, 2012

A Brush With Greatness

Every now and again sound guys will get to swapping tales about big acts they've worked for. Sometimes it's a pissing contest but more often it's just another interesting discussion about audio and the quirks of performances. I stumbled across a video of Mutemath playing "Typical" the other day and it reminded me of seeing them years ago.

In 2004 I had gone to a christian music festival in Vermont with a local record label to provide the PA for a stage they were sponsoring. In one of the few (very few) breaks that I got from mixing I took a walk with one of the label partners over to the second stage where we were hoping to catch Pillar but a rain delay had put the stage behind. Instead we got there just as Mutemath was taking the stage. The guy I was with remarked that he would love to sign them and we should definitely stick around to check out their set.

I only caught the first tune but it was "Typical" and it blew the roof off the place. There were about 800 kids at the stage when they started and probably close to 2500 by the end of the song. I just stood there with my jaw on the asphalt and the glory of the band washing over me through 60 kilowatts of EAW goodness. 

When it was over I turned to him and before I could say, "What the hell would you do with these guys if you signed them!?" he was already shrugging and rolling his eyes. They signed with Warner later that year and were touring with Mae and Circa Survive.

Not so much a story of working with or for someone, just getting to see them before they were famous.


  1. I'm reasonably sure that I mixed Lissie in my very first gig at this horrible dive bar, before she got big... Or at least, it was some band that had a bass player who also played drums with his feet. Not too many of those around. A couple years later I was the patch tech on a festival stage where Lissie played, I noticed their bass player was playing the same sort of playing-drums-with-feet setup, and wondered if they had been the same group... I forgot to ask them. =/

    1. Oh, I do know that I definitely worked with superstar local band The 4onthefloor while they were on their way up. Same horrific dive bar gig. They played on the other stage at the same festival where I worked with Lissie, heh.

      I also auditioned for a band that ended up making a minor splash, called Love In October... They offered me the gig but I decided it wasn't my kind of music.


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