Input/Output - A Pro Audio Systems blog...
In the first of a series of blogs, focusing on PAS team members, we speak to Dave Simpson.
Pro Audio Systems in one sentence is -
A solutions provider. I’ve always seen us as not a sales company, but a company that can make someone’s vision or passion come to life - be that through sound, video, lighting, or any of the other crazy things we’ve produced over the last 30 years! We’re very lucky to have people here that are passionate about what we do, but also who are innovative and want to see a job doing to the highest standard they can.
Dave Simpson in three words is -
Objective. Conscientious. Amiable.
What brought you into the entertainment technology industry?
Pure luck - I’ll let you decide whether that was good or bad luck! I did originally want to join the police after I left school and even did work experience there which was an eye-opening experience and cemented the idea. After my work experience, the officer who organised it suggested I get two years of ‘life-experience’ and to join when I was 18, rather than 16.
My IT teacher knew Miles from The Music Company who were looking for someone in an apprentice type role. He put me forward for it, I went for an interview (which was more like my mum interviewing Miles to be fair) and got the job. TMC had a great bunch of people that luckily put up with my ‘enthusiasm’ as a young man, and I stayed with them for seven years. In 2002 I moved to Pro Audio Systems.
The most demanding aspect of your job is -
Dealing with the administration and finance of the running of a company. There are so many necessary evils that distract you from all the good bits.
The most rewarding part of your job is -
Seeing the results of something we’ve put a lot of effort into. Be it as simple as a church, happy with their new radio mic, or a full-on production we’ve put on. Whilst not ‘rewarding’ in the true sense of the word, I also really enjoy seeing other facilities either inside or outside our industry. A certain F1 team factory visit really was an eye-opener to how innovative we can be.
What is the most significant change in the audio industry during your lifetime?
After visiting PLASA north this week, I came to the realisation that this very young industry is growing up quickly. From what was a bunch of failed musicians or technology obsessives running a company out of passion only, we’re becoming more focussed on other important ‘business’ things such as growth. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I’m not sure yet.
What and where was the first gig you went to, and how much did it cost to get in?
I honestly can’t remember, though it could have been Robbie Williams at Old Trafford Cricket ground in 2001. I remember it being a great gig and knowing loads of ABC songs (who were supporting). The rest is a blur as I could drink in those days!
You can choose three bands/artists, past or present, to play a show at a venue of your choice. Where are we going, and who’s playing?
As for a venue – I’m tempted to say either my golf club or snooker club! Right on my doorstep, so the drunken journey home would be easy!
Coast to coast in the USA on a motorcycle, or a Mediterranean cruise?
Easy. Cruise every day. I’ve hated flying since a hairy moment coming into Leeds Bradford one October evening. Brief touchdown, go around, air pocket on the way back around. There were people crying, praying, holding hands over the aisles – the lot! The second approach was thankfully a success and I barely felt it land. Tried a cruise a few years ago and have never looked back, its great! Incidentally, Gareth Southgate was on that flight …
You must take part on a reality TV show. Strictly, The Voice, Masterchef or Bargain Hunt. Which one and why?
Masterchef – I can’t sing, dance, nor identify a priceless antique over a bit of tut, but I reckon I’m a pretty decent cook.
You are the new Michael Parkinson. Who are your first three guests ?
That's a great question. Never meet your heroes etc, but having said that…
Dave Grohl (can you see a bit of an obsession here?) Just seems to be the nicest man in rock.
Peter Kay – He’s hilarious, Phoenix Nights is a work of genius! Plus, Parky had Billy Connolly loads. I should probably choose one of history’s great philosophers or someone that made a huge difference to the world, but I’d probably go for Bob Mortimer.
What do you want for your birthday?
Health and happiness for my family and friends. But in the absence of a deity to provide that for me, I desperately need golf and snooker lessons.
It’s another day at PAS. What’s so great about that?
We do have a good laugh…