Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Tedi

Meet the Team @ the Red Room

Meet Josh Story, a member of the Red Room marketing and promotions team.

Javier Parra: What’s your position at the Red Room?

Josh Story: I work as a Promotions and Marketing Assistant at the Red Room @ Cafe 939. I am an intermediary between artist’s management and the Red Room for marketing purposes. I promote artist’s shows on Boston and Berklee based websites as well as work with Red Room street team members to get the word out about artists performing at the Red Room.

JP: What’s does live music mean to you?

JS: Live music is inspiring. Living in the dorms for my first two years of Berklee showed me some of the best musicians I had ever heard all practicing in the basement of a dormitory. It is always inspiring to hear people play music who care about what they do and fully put themselves into it. I have had my mind blown on a consistent basis hearing live music since coming to school here at Berklee. Every time I hear a great live performance it drives me to keep on learning and progressing as a musician. It is great to hear music and ideas I’ve never heard before so I always have a reminder that there is more to learn. Live music inspires me to keep learning.

JP: What’s your major at Berklee? Why did you choose it?

JS: I am dual majoring in Music Production and Engineering and Electronic Production and Design. I chose these two majors because I cannot get enough of the information I am learning about making music that matters to me and they both offer unique opportunities and experiences.

JP: How do you see the music industry from your perspective as a student?

JS: It seems that it is incredibly difficult to become a successful, lasting, and influential part of the music industry. There are seemingly endless opportunities for artist exposure with social media, the internet, and great marketing and promotions workers like myself to aid in marketing and promotion, but with so many ways to get music heard, listeners seem to get overwhelmed with so many choices, and it becomes difficult to get people to take notice. For years now I have been listening to panels of industry experts say that nobody knows what will happen with the music industry in the years to come. In business classes, I have heard many of the same thoughts. It comforts me that people love music and that good music prevails. As a student who has never been on his own or forced into surviving with music as career, I like to think I am on the right track. I have learned in the past two years at Berklee more than my entire public school education taught me. I never imagined I would be where I am today. I know continuing the hard work that has got me to where I am will continue to take me places in life and in the music industry.

JP: What have you been listening to recently?

JS: Recently I have been listening to Voodoo by D’Angelo, Kanye West’s new album, and Flying Lotus.

JP: Favorite artists…?

JS: Van Gogh; Pablo Picasso; not Rembrandt – he is cool, just not my favorite Kanye West; Old Crow Medicine Show; Regina Spektor; Flying Lotus; The Avett Brothers; The Bad Plus; The Beatles

Meet the Team @ the Red Room

Nicholas Susi, Street Team Runner

A key member of the Red Room @ Cafe 939 team is, Nicholas Susi who is in charge of passing the word out about our events. He is part of the Street Team and a dedicated MB/M major at Berklee

Javier Parra: Tell us a bit about yourself Nicholas…
Nicholas Susi: I am a Music Business/Management Major. It’s my 3rd semester here, although I spent a year at the University of Connecticut before Berklee. I’m studying trombone with Phil Wilson, and I am the Street Team Runner for the Red Room. As far as career goals, right now I’m trying to find a healthy balance between honing in on being business-minded, and exercising my creativity through playing the trombone and composing as well. I would definitely say Berklee is perfect for helping me develop these skills along the way, and I’m certainly enjoying my experience thus far.

JP: What aspect do you like most about the Red Room?
NS: Coming into Berklee, I thought I wanted to work for a record label.  Knowing what I know now and seeing the directions that the industry is taking, I’m steering away from this initial mindset and trying to get more exposure to other avenues of the industry. The Red Room has presented me with an incredible opportunity to see and experience the inner workings of marketing, promotion, booking, etc, and it has certainly showed me that the live music aspect of the business is something I might want to stick with in the future.

JP: Any particular challenges you have had at the Red Room?
NS: I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve experienced any challenges in terms of struggles or boundaries I have had to overcome.  However, working for the Red Room has really challenged me to think outside the box when it comes to promoting a show, and how to try and draw attention to it over other shows at other venues.

JP: What was the last concert you attended?
NS: As far as the Red Room, I think it was Emily Elbert and Julia Easterlin, both of which I find to be incredibly inspiring Berklee singer/songwriters that I have so much respect for. And in general, I saw Sleigh Bells and LCD Soundsystem at the Orpheum. The music had everybody dancing, but the sound was way too loud.

JP: What advice would you give to those trying to step into the music industry these days?
NS: I don’t know if I’m really qualified to be giving advice to people trying to break into the music industry – haha – but I guess I would have to say at least for me, what has really helped me has been focusing on exactly what I want to achieve, but not necessarily focusing so hard on an idea to the point of becoming short-sighted or narrow-minded.  Considering how quickly the industry changes, I think you have to be very willing to adapt and not get overtly frustrated if you have to tweak your ideas to adhere to a market.

JP: What’s your last music purchase?
NS: Last music purchase? Probably something boring like guitar strings – hahaha!

Interview by Javier Parra
Editorial and Media Assistant

Click here for other ‘Meet the Team’ interviews.

Meet the Team @ the Red Room

Behind every concert at the Red Room there’s a superb team that makes every event look effortless. Our production team works passionately and in perfect sync to enhance the live-show experience. Theo Tasker, Crew Supervisor/Assistant Production Manager, is a crucial member of our team.

Javier Parra – Theo, tell us a little about youtself…
Theo Tasker – I started here in 2007, right out of high school. I was a bass performance major, but I ended up dropping that for MP&E, of which this is my last semester.

JP – What’s your role at the Red Room?
TT – I believe my official title is Crew Supervisor/Assistant Production Manager. I’m responsible for the production of shows at the Red Room, from advancing paperwork and set-ups with artists, to getting the room set-up and sound checking, to running the shows. I’m also responsible for training new crew members on our amazing equipment!

JP – Do you recall a particular challenge you faced during a show?
TT – For the most part, the shows are just a series of small problems. What really decides how challenging a night might be is how many things go wrong. Luckily, I can’t say there’s been any one challenge that’s stood above the rest.

JP – What has been your favorite show?
TT – That’s hard, there are so many good acts that come through. I’d say it’s a tie. The band Three I saw at the Red Room a few months before I started working there. I’ve worked two shows for the Barefoot Truth, and I can’t wait for them to come back!

JP – What’s next after you graduate?
TT – I’m moving to Nashville to become a session bass player.

JP – Any recent additions to your music library?
TT – I’ve been listening to a Berklee artist most recently, actually. Her name is Brittany Kennell, go check her out on Myspace. If I’m lucky she’s moving to Nashville too!

Interview by Javier Parra
Editorial and Media Assistant
The Red Room @ Cafe 939

Concerts at Berklee

Inside the Berklee Performance Center - Photo by Tedi Mara

Inside the Berklee Performance Center - Photo by Tedi Mara

The Berklee College of Music campus in Boston hosts concerts and events in several venues including the Berklee Performance Center and the Red Room @ Cafe 939 under the direction of the Concert Operations department.

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