Ever wonder what happens beyond the stage? Well we do. These roadies, managers, guitar techs, lighting directors, A&R, and even positions you may not have known about make the music you love come alive! We spoke to lighting design expert Squib to get him to shine a spotlight on what he does behind the scenes of our favourite bands!
AMBY: How did you first get into your industry?
Squib: I always studied drama at school and that naturally led into an interest in the backstage element such as lighting, sound, set design, etc. I went to the Central School of Speech and Drama in North London to study a degree in Theatre Lighting Design. In my 3rd year I realised that I actually wanted to work more in the concert touring side of the industry and so hunted for a placement that would allow me to do that. I was lucky and managed to go on tour with The Streets as his lighting operator for my work placement. From there one thing led to another.
AMBY: Explain to people what you do.
Squib: I’m a Lighting Designer which basically means I am responsible for the visual part of a bands live show. I predominantly work with light as my main medium but also have incorporated video and have done a bit of set design as well.
It is my job to take a band’s music and translate that visually. Once a show has been designed and a concept agreed, it is up to me to work with a lighting company to source the equipment, program and then finally operate the show on the road.
AMBY: Which bands are you currently working with and which have previously worked with?
Squib: I’m currently spending most of my time designing and touring with Two Door Cinema Club, however I am also responsible for the design of the Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs live show, which tours with another lighting operator on my behalf. Earlier on the year I spent a lot of time with Bombay Bicycle Club designing their Different Kind of Fix campaign. I’ve also previously designed for Delphic, The Streets, Calvin Harris, Fenech-Soler and Jamie Woon.
AMBY: What is the craziest thing to happen to you while touring?
Squib: That isn’t repeatable on here I’m afraid! What goes on tour….
AMBY: What do you do for fun while on tour?
Squib: Luckily the Two Door Cinema Club camp is quite a close one and you would be surprised how much time we waste just talking. Other than that we spend a lot of time drinking coffee, possibly the cinema, go-karting is always popular on a day off once in a blue moon. I’m also trying to read more books!
AMBY: What is the best and worst thing about your gig?
Squib: The best thing is it never really feels like a job, I get to travel the world with my good friends and get paid to do so. The bad points for me are the long haul flights which I despise, and being away from home for long periods of time, trying to maintain contact with friends/family at home can be straining at times.
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Squib: Nimrod by Green Day as it opened up a whole doorway for me into alternative music and going to gigs. Arctic Monkeys- Whatever People Say I Am , That’s What I’m Not; I remember it being a record that when we were at school EVERYONE loved no matter what kind of music you were into, and I think Alex Turner’s observations of normal British life are brilliant. The Streets- Everything Is Borrowed; this was the record that I did the tour for that got me into the industry so it brings back a lot of memories for me, I have a lot to thank Mike Skinner for as he didn’t fire me.
AMBY: Where is the best spot to eat on tour?
Squib: Eating out is something we do every day on tour so we get quite into it. Stubbs BBQ in Austin is great, Burger Priest in Toronto is a TDCC favourite, Wagamamas in the UK is a good tour restaurant if you wanna keep it healthy. A lot of us are quite into sushi so we are constantly hunting for that also.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about you that nobody knows yet?
Squib: I’m mildly dyslexic and left-handed. All the creative hallmarks!
Thanks so much Squib, for giving me your answers!