Berklee Blogs hears final thoughts from Mike Cavalli as he finishes his internship at Fuchs Audio Technology, a boutique audio equipment company. In today’s blog, Mike follows up on Part I of his post, telling us what it was like working at Fuchs and the lessons he took away from the experience
The first day at Fuchs Audio was nothing like I could imagine. I discovered the company during my freshman year at Berklee through a family friend of my Dad. Additionally, I had an opportunity to talk to Harvey Leeds of Headquarters Media, a Live Nation consulting company and compared both situations to figure out which environment would best suit me. Having done only odd jobs and outdoor work, I was never meant to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day. I don’t mind the idea of it, considering air conditioning is usually involved. However, my idea of pleasant workday involves creativity to accomplish a task and working with artists and luthiers of similar beliefs. The idea of custom building guitar cabinets has been something that I aspire to do. Having minimal experience in this field, what better way to learn something particular to me and receive credits at the same time?
Waking up in the morning and going to work is easier when you get to walk into a room, stocked wall to wall, with custom amps and framed press releases. Most would say its like a little piece of heaven. However, behind the wall of amps is where the real “day to day” work gets done- with mountains of amplifiers and boxes getting ready to be loaded with speakers and shipped. With a lot to do on a daily basis, my first day as an intern consisted of soldering reverb cards for one of their top-selling amps, the Fuchs ODS 50. I had never soldered a thing in my life nor did I understand what it was that I was soldering. Nevertheless, I got my new spot at the bench, ready for chaos, and began loading the boards with resistors and capacitors, and soldered away.
My first day on the job, and I was responsible for meeting the standards not only of the shop owner Andy, but also the people who spend the tons of money on these products. “Just don’t screw up and get it done” was my mentality for the first few weeks. I adapted quickly and began to actually enjoy what I was doing. Whether it be modifying or shipping, the fact that I was involved with a business on a mission to create name in the music industry reminds me of touring with a crew of friends trying to achieve the same goal. With all the similarities in mind, I knew that I was on the right track to my personal success and wanted nothing more but to be hired when my internship expired.
And here I am at the end of the road. Tomorrow I will find out if I will be hired along with my graduation from Berklee in the weeks following. With many different emotions, it is hard to convey them all at once into words but I am, without a doubt ready to move on and land a job in a similar environment- as well as continue to play as much as possible. Along with exploring new things, I now have much to plan ahead in still finding ways to become exposed to situations that will benefit my career. That’s not to say I know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I now have a better understanding of the direction and mentality. Regardless of outcome, I am excited for what lies ahead of me and I now have an amazing foundation to bring me wherever I decide to be. Who knows? I may end up owning a surf shop or restaurant. Nevertheless, working at Fuchs Audio has introduced me to the necessities to successfully maintain a small business.
When Andy started the business, it was created from next to nothing and caught sail through a respected musician’s opinion. It must have been like the same rush as having 100 people show up to see your band play. I now understand that to be successful in anything, a following is required. Without people supporting what you do, it becomes harder to get recognized. I think back to the days of early high school where my band and I would skip classes to go play shows or practice- and it strangely had a positive effect to say the least. Knowing my parents would not be thrilled by these decisions, I found ways to maintain decent grades, created a local following, and eventually built a resume good enough to get into Berklee and Fuchs. Still, after all is said and done, I feel I am after the same dream, happiness, and success that I was in my younger years. Whether it is my music or my contribution to society, as long as I have people supporting it, I know I will be happy. Not to say I am reliant on others opinions of me, but if what I do can make someone happy, then I am happy and in the grand scheme of things, I feel that should be everyone’s goal. To create something that will help inspire others to achieve that same goal.
Now that I am at the point of graduation with a job in mind, I cannot feel more blessed to be apart of such a supporting family and school. Through all my trials and tribulations, I now understand so much more about music and the world around me. Without their backing, I would never be at this point in my life, a place where I can now decide my fate within the music industry. Whether it is back home in New Jersey with Fuchs Audio or somewhere else, I know it is the right time for me to venture out wherever necessary. Of course, it will not be easy and money will be tight but the fact of the matter is that we only live once.
To have a family that understands my passion to play music is an amazing thing that many kids do not have. They knew I wanted nothing more but to just be playing all the time however, they also made sure I went to college and stayed on course. At so many points in my college career, I wanted throw in the towel and return to playing with my band back home. It took me a long time to comprehend the importance of finishing school first and pursuing a band when I am financially stable. Without having done so, I would not have been prepared for this amazing job. I feel that I am prepared to conquer the next step in my music career.
Read Mike’s Other Posts
Mike Cavalli is a prospective graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Business Management. Along with playing drums and guitar, Mike has spent countless days in vans playing and managing up-and-coming bands as well as recording and producing. Mike is currently finalizing his Berklee experience as an intern at Fuchs Audio Technologies, a company that creates phenomenal boutique Guitar amplifiers and pedals, and has hopes to one day run a shop just as successful.
Follow Mike on Twitter – @chadbromike