In all of our other features, we highlight bands/artists; now we want to take you into the world of the people who work for a band on tour, their crew. For this first feature, we teamed up with Jarrod Holley. You can can find out more about Jarrod and advice he has for people interested in hitting the road (his “Trick of the Trade”), after the break.
Current – Manager at Suit Music
Previous – Eli Young Band, Eric Hutchinson, Frankie Ballard, Canaan Smith.
What positions have you held (i.e. Tour Manager, Front of House, etc.)?
Current – I traded in my radio and pelican for an artist management job at Suit Music.
Previous – Tour Management, Merchandise Management, Stage Management,
Your first touring gig:
Who did you work for?
My first “real” road gig was with country artist Frankie Ballard. I moved to Nashville in 2011 to run day to day for Frankie which led to me out on the road often to assist with a little bit of everything.
How did you get the gig?
A friend/mentor of mine, Sean Murray helped me get the gig. Sean knew I was semi-fluent in the live entertainment world since I grew up touring as a drummer in pop/rock bands. He introduced me to Frankie Ballard’s management who eventually hired me on.
What was (is your continued) motivation for wanting to start working for tour bands?
Early on I was fascinated with the fast pace environment and all the moving parts involved with a show. Now, as the record industry is attempting to reinvent their business model, touring has quickly become the largest revenue stream for most artists. Being on the front line of that was always really excited. The road can be the wild wild west at times. Having to troubleshoot to ensure the show goes and the fans walk away really stoked was always a great feeling.
While growing up were you involved in your local music scene? If so, how did you get involved?
I was originally involved in the local (Cleveland, Ohio) music scene as a drummer. I eventually learned a lot about concert promotion and started to rent out clubs and put my own shows together.
If you could recommend one piece of advice (“trick of the trade”) to current or aspiring crew members, what would it be?
Treat people well and never stop learning. Also, get involved with your local music scene however you can. If you’re not in one of the major touring markets (Nashville, New York City, Los Angeles) it can be tough to meet people in the touring world. Get creative and find them on LinkedIn or Facebook. Approach them politely with questions. I’ve had numerous people reach out via email/socials who I introduced to other touring professionals and they eventually found an entry level job.