Interview With Greg Rosman

Interview With Greg Rosman

We talk to Greg Rosman, Senior Sound Engineer, Designer and Consultant for Jands Production Services (JPS), about his experiences in the industry. Having toured the world for many years as a freelance engineer for acts such as Robert Palmer and having worked for JPS since the late 70s, Greg has a lot of stories to tell.

Greg_Rosman

  1. How did you end up working in the audio field?
    I started out working on weekends with local bands in Adelaide. I had a tiny transit van with a small PA system that took about an hour to set up and an hour to pack up so we could go and party. I liked the lifestyle!

  2. At what point did you think you could actually make a career out of what you were doing?
    I was working for an Adelaide band that relocated to Sydney and thatís basically how I got into the business and became a sound engineer. In those days you were the lighting guy, sound guy, you were the backline guy. I freelanced for many years as a sound engineer in Australia and abroad for acts such as UB40 and Robert Palmer.

  3. When did you start working for JPS and why?
    In the late seventies, maybe early eighties, when I started having a family I didnít want to go off for six months at a time touring the world. That way I could stay based in Australia where a long tour only lasts a month.

  4. Whatís the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
    Itís still going out to a gig, sitting behind a console and mixing a good band. I still get to do that on the larger more interesting gigs Ė such as Long Way to the Top Ė but I donít do the general touring anymore babysitting an engineer. My style of engineering comes from many, many years of working in pubs right through to arenas, so to babysit and try to tell someone what their doing wrong is not my thing anymore.

  5. What was the most memorable event that you have worked on?
    I think the most memorable and satisfying event was an open air production of the opera Turandot we did at the Sydney football stadium. That was a real challenge with a full orchestra in front of the stage and such a huge performance space. It took a lot of planning especially as the speaker systems we had in those days werenít fantastic, we really had to be careful with placement. There were lots of blow ups from stars; we had a strict 6pm curfew during rehearsals and one night we shut it off as a tenor was half way through his aria. He went nuclear!

  6. Who in rockíníroll has been the most troublesome to work with?
    I deal with so little of these people these days although I hear good stories from the boys. There is one Australian songstress who has been around for many years who can be troublesome as she gets on her high horse a lot. Other than that, Iíd best leave it alone.

  7. Who was one of the best acts youíve worked with?
    Iíd say definitely Robert Palmer who I worked with for several years. Both Robert and his band were really appreciative of what their crew did for them. Many bands are blasé about what you end up doing for them and how much a part the two sound engineers are at making them sound good and be comfortable at what they do. Robert was more on top of what it took to make him sound good every night and most appreciative. I find that the better the caliber of a musician, the easier they are to work with and they appreciate what you do for them. Some of the young upstarts have no idea!

  8. What keeps you working?
    Money - because we all need it. The mortgage is paid and Iím on the downhill slide to retirement. In all honesty, I find the industry to be too technical and sterile now and thereís far, far more pressure on road crews these days to get it right than there ever has been. You make a mistake and everyone knows about it whereas years ago when you were doing a pub, if a speaker broke and it took twenty minutes to fix, the punters didnít get upset. It was all part of the experience. If the power went out at a concert today, all hell would break loose.

    I donít know a band these days that doesnít perform without a click track. Gone are the days the drummer would count four musicians in. You used to close your eyes and listen to the bass of the rhythm section and everybody would groove along to that. Bands donít play together as a band so much anymore - with their in-ear monitors theyíre all in their own little world. They donít look at each other and get the vibe together.

  9. Who was the last live act to impress you?
    Probably the John Butler Trio; I like bands that have good players who really know how to play their instruments.
    The last time I saw The Who I was really impressed but then they are an old band.

  10. What has been most rewarding working at JPS for so long?
    The people. Many have come and gone and a lot are still here. The camaraderie is great. The staff are all extremely well trained so the level of expertise is of a very high standard. We have a great trainee program which in itself is rewarding to see lads come through the company who are well trained on the equipment.

  11. When you go on tour what one item do you always take with you?
    Iím the sort of guy who doesnít need much around me and Iím very adaptable. As to pieces of equipment I canít live without Ė thereís no such thing. A good engineer doesn't need anything. If an engineer is worth his salt he should be able to get through with the professional equipment offered on the day.
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