Brad Bailey

"...really immediate and visceral..." Bill Mallonee

“Hey folks! My friend Brad just put out a CD of some very nice guitar music. This is some great chill out stuff...had a bad day, boss sucks, dog died, etc...listening to this you'll feel like none of it happened. It's like musical whisky, it goes down smooth and makes you feel better. You should pick one up.” -Natalie La Mantia

What drew you to a career in music?
I wanted to be a musician since I was a little kid. Probably crystalized when seeing some Motley Crue videos in the 80s. 
What was your first job in the industry?
In high school, I contributed to the score of a couple of plays. In college, I did a couple of one off paid gigs as a guitarist, but I didn't really know how to transition into what I thought of as a professional career. I got married and started having kids, and the dream of being a musician started to fade. Through a series of circumstances, I had the opportunity to join the US Army as a guitar player, which I consider my first job in the music industry.
As your career evolved, what kinds of skills or training have been helpful to you?
Music-wise, a solid basis in music theory was very helpful, as well as an ear for how things are put together. Listening, and finding a way to fit my part in, as opposed to insisting on being the center of everything, has been very helpful in performing with others. What I found myself lacking, and am now learning, is the business side of the music industry. I had no idea how to get gigs, promote myself, network, market my skills; worse yet, I had no idea how to even ask people who I saw being successful. I definitely encourage anyone who will listen to focus on the business side of things, and to learn as much as they can about business in general.
Who were some early mentors?
My high school theater director, Dane Madsen, was really encouraging. He also introduced me to the music of Billy McLaughlin, who greatly influenced me. One of my classical guitar instructors, Raymond Williams, was the first to record me, and motivated me in some dark days when I was close to giving up on music.
What does your job look like day-to-day?
A lot like the movie Office Space. Heh. It really depends on the day's activities. If I'm recording, I head to my producer's studio around ten, and we probably get to work around 1030 or so. I hit diminishing returns after about four hours, so we don't go much past that. Evenings, I'm often teaching guitar lessons to generally younger students at Ensemble Arts Academy. On gig days, I check my equipment to make sure I have all the cables I need. (I've had too many instances of being short a cable or two.) My rig is a bit involved, so I make sure to arrive at least an hour ahead of time. During the day, I spend some time engaging on social media, networking, finding new people to reach out to with my music. Since I'm working on a new CD, I also am in meetings with graphic designers and others who are helping me. Oh yeah, I have to fit in time to practice, too. I've actually been a lot better about that recently. 
What tools do you employ in your rig to create your sounds?
For my acoustic pieces, I use my Taylor 214ce. For electric tunes, I tend to randomly cycle through my various electrics: a Yamaha Ty Tabor RGX-TT, a Gibson Les Paul Studio, a Sterling by Music Man JP50 John Petrucci model, and a Fender Strat. My amplifier is a Mesa Boogie Mark V. I use two pedal boards, one in front of the amp, and one in the effects loop. The front board chain is: Morley ABY box fed by a SolidGoldFX Buffer on the electric side, VOX Big Bad Wah, Electro Harmonix MicroPOG, MXR EVH Phase 90, tc electronic MojoMojo overdrive, Black Arts Toneworks Pharaoh Fuzz, DigiTech Whammy 4, Morley Little Alligator volume. The Mark V footswitch is on this board, as well as the tc electronic PolyTune, which is fed from the tuner out on the amp. Board two, the effects loop, is a tc electronic Dreamscape, MXR Carbon Copy delay, tc electronic Flashback delay, tc electronic Flashback x4 delay/looper, and a tc electronic Ditto looper. I use the Radial JDX amp direct box to provide an XLR out to the mixing board, which provides a consistent sound, and lessens possible issues with microphones.
What ideas are most important when it comes to arranging a fun, exciting loop performance?
I like to mix time signatures, which has necessitated two loopers. One layer may be in 5, the next in 7, the next in four. I enjoy how they interact with each other. Live looping is different from the studio; live, the visual aspect gives you more leeway with loose parts. It's exciting just to see it being created in front of you. In the studio, no one can see you, and a great live piece can come off as boring; all that matters is the sound.
What about your job gives you the greatest satisfaction?
Nothing beats when someone tells you that your song means something to them, that it affected them.
What is your sense of future in terms of making music?
I'm compelled to make music. On some level, I have to do it. So I will.
Looking back at your own career, what do you wish you knew at the outset?
For the love of god, a marketing class is way more important than going to music school.
What would you say to those people curious about pursuing a career like yours?
An understanding of the business aspects of a music career is critical to being able to survive.

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