When it comes down to it, your nightclub experience would be pretty worthless without the work of the unsung heroes in sound and lighting, and we were fortunate enough to speak with one of Las Vegas’ best. Read below as we discuss the technical side of the industry with Light Group production manager, Matthew Olson.
JC: How did you get your start in the Nightlife business?
MO: My father ran clubs in the 70s, 80s and the beginning of the 90s.
JC: What kind of experience did you have when you started in this business?
MO: I remember my first job was taking tickets at the front door, and always loving the way the music moved people on the dancefloor. That’s when I became a DJ!
JC: What do you feel is the most important lighting, sound and effect feature every nightclub should have?
MO: Everyone seems to love the Kryo effect, but if you can afford LED video it is here to stay and you will see it in most clubs in the next few years.
JC: What do you feel is the biggest difference in Lighting and production today then 10 years ago?
MO: LED has become such a big factor in most areas of visual production. Sound system components have changed so much. Sound systems today are a lot more powerful than ever before. Also, technology in speaker design has allowed for smaller speaker cabinets that give you the same results of the huge speaker cabinets of the past.
JC: What would you say is the most popular trend today?
MO: Kryo and LED video.
JC: Describe a typical week on the job?
MO: I get my artist technical riders together for the upcoming week and weekend events and make sure we have everything in place. I then will make sure all our clubs are sounding the best they can week in and week out. I am married to a BlackBerry because I am involved in every aspect of production at The Light Group. I work hand in hand with all of our marketing directors, corporate sales and general managers as well. In the end, it’s all about teamwork!
JC: What is the most difficult on the job task you have ever had to complete?
MO: I had to get a complete and very large sound system together for NYE of 98. It was scary! But we pulled it off, I guess next would be getting guitar strings right before a performance. I had to run to a friend’s house to get them within ten minutes of performance. Luckily we made it! I can’t forget about losing power in the club in the middle of the night.
JC: How important do you feel the role of lighting and sound plays in ones overall experience of a Nightclub?
MO: I believe it is 75% of any patrons clubbing experience. People don’t want to hear the music, they want to feel it. People don’t want to see lights they want to have their senses overloaded and be engulfed in light.
JC: What direction do you feel the Nightlife industry is headed, where do you think it will be in 10 years from now?
MO: It is nice to see dance music making a nice return, but unfortunately this is the hardest business to predict. It basically comes down to who is coming up with next big thing. I hope it will always be about the music and service experience.
JC: What advice can you give for someone wanting to get into this field?
MO: Know your craft and be professional. That goes such a long way in this business. Oh yeah, always answer the phone.