Professional Sound - February 2018 - Page 18

PROFILE Andrew "Slipper" Brown By Andrew King B ig Sugar. Big Wreck. Bigger tours. Bigger venues. Andrew “Slipper” Brown has seen his resume and profile as a touring and audio pro grow pretty big, pretty quickly in recent years, from selling merch to mixing FOH on an AC/DC-sized rig. Though he was born in Mississauga, ON, Brown and his family moved to the tiny town of Forest, ON when he was five years old. “I still vividly recall asking my mom, ‘Where are all the people?’ when she told us we’d arrived,” he laughs. “It was very much culture shock!” He and his family found a few ways to pass the time, including his brother taking apart and fixing computers and his mom regularly jamming with family in the living room. “My dad was always fixing things and working on projects around the house,” he adds. “He had a mint pair of Marantz cassette decks and a very nice Marantz receiver, and I would get tapes going and just fiddle with all the knobs and whatnot. I loved watching the red and blue VU meters bounce around.” In middle school, he started playing drums in various bands – bands that wanted to play shows, so he and his cousin started book- ing their own. “He’d handle most of the business and I’d handle the tech stuff,” Brown recalls. “That kept us pretty busy in our free time throughout high school.” After graduation, he attended OIART in London, ON, to learn to properly record bands and cut records; however, after realizing record- ing studios “weren’t doing so hot,” he focused more of his attention on live sound. “OIART was an amazing experience for me,” he enthuses. “I’d never truly focused so hard on education until I got there.” Out of school, he started taking on freelance projects while work- ing at the mall to keep afloat. Next, he took a job pushing boxes at London audio retailer The PA Shop, which led to a steadier gig with local production and integration firm Frischkorn AV. When he jumped back into the freelance pool, he found himself busy with corporate gigs in the winter months and festivals in the summer. “I kept meeting people and taking on bigger projects,” he says. Then came a career turning point: in 2010, a friend who happened to be Big Sugar’s tour manager asked him to replace the band’s outgo- ing merch person. “That was my ticket to touring,” Brown says. “I hit the road with Big Sugar as their merch person, did lights on a tour, and then got the call for FOH.” Since, he’s worked with a host of major artists “at both ends of the snake.” Currently, he’s out mixing FOH and tour managing for Big Wreck on the band’s highly anticipated In Loving Memory Of… 20 th Anniversary Tour. “We have an incredible crew out with us, and the band is just so tight,” he says. “I’ve been a fan of the band since the record came out in ’97, so to be out on this tour is such an incredible experience.” Tour managing a major artist while also overseeing a live mix night after night is often challenging, Brown admits. “There are so many things to juggle around all the time, and it’s non-stop on the road. You want to be mixing the best shows every night, and you also want the band and crew to be comfortable. Learning that balance and a lot of the back end of the business was a challenge for me, but a rewarding one. When we’re out on the road and everything is working the way you planned, it’s a great feeling.” That’s been the case for several of his career highpoints thus far. One was touring with burgeoning pop star Tyler Shaw as he opened the Canadian dates of Selena Gomez’s Revival Tour. Another was mixing FOH for Big Sugar ahead of AC/DC’s Moncton, NB date of the Rock or Bust Tour. “That was hands down the largest PA I’ve ever had my hands on,” he says excitedly. “No soundcheck. Very much a throw- and-go. We all pulled together to make it an incredible show and an unforgettable memory.” Last year had its share of memories, too: Big Wreck’s Grace Street Tour, runs with Madeline Merlo and Dear Rouge, and a big one-off with Mother Mother at the PNE in Vancouver. “The overall vibe at that show was electric,” he recalls with a smile. “A real pleasure to mix and a fantastic bunch of people.” Brown is a resident of Etobicoke, ON, where he lives with his girlfriend, Kerry. “Outside of work, we like to travel whenever we can,” he shares. “I really like to go back to places I’ve toured because I see so many things I want to actually experience. It’s hard because I tour more than I travel, so the wish list is pretty lon ˸'BH[Z\]ۘ\[ܝ[][][Yx&\HYHܝ[8$8'\H[و]H][[^\Y[\]]\ZYH[ۈ[[\\[˸'B[KY HZ\Z[H\و[]\[H^\KB[\ˈ8'\H\HX[H^\[H[[\X[YY\[و[K8'HH^\ˈ8'][ۈ[][][H[[Y[X\܈YX\YK]8&\H]HXX[Y[[ˈx&]HY[ۈ[HوY\[H\ L \\YX\[H\وHܛ]\] 'B[][\HY]܋Z[PYYوٙ\[ۘ[[ NёTSӐSS