Recording Connection student Isaac Wolfe is Paying his Dues at Record Plant
There’s something many of the people who say they want to break into the industry just don’t understand, something they don’t want to talk nor think about and that something is this pinnacle truth: You’ve got to pay your dues. You’ve got to work in the trenches, do the grunt work, that you don’t exactly love doing in order to prove to the people in positions of power that you have the wherewithal to handle the responsibility that comes along with the upper-tier work.
This is something that Isaac Wolfe is learning firsthand. Isaac enrolled in the Recording Connection and was paired with Matt “Linny” Linesch, based out of United Recording in Los Angeles, CA. Linesch has worked with Van Halen, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Dave Mason, Wagons and numerous other bands and artists. It was during this apprenticeship that Isaac learned the importance of being thorough, diligent, and applying himself to the work at hand, even when he knew he was going out of his comfort zone. Increased efforts led to positive feedback, constructive criticism and the confidence he would need to move forward.
Like most things in life, Isaac’s journey into the recording industry is a bit circuitous:
I studied film in high school…I got a pretty thorough education in film production and then, when I was applying to colleges…I spent one year at school in Orange County and really did not enjoy it. I don’t know, maybe growing up in San Francisco, and then coming to the O.C., it was just like a culture shock, or maybe I was just kind of losing my fire for film. I don’t know what it was, but it became increasingly clear to me that film production was not the heart that’s within.”
Instead, Isaac’s true professional ambition is in the world of hip-hop:
I always connected a lot with it…I listened to these stories of kids, you know, talking about gang violence and growing up and struggling, and I felt far more emotionally connected to those stories than to, you know, like, indie rock songs or EDM. For some reason, I don’t know what it is, it’s always moved me a lot…I played in a bunch of different bands. I played piano and drums growing up, and then me and my friends would always get together and kind of rap with each other because all of us listened to rap music and it was a fun thing for us to be able to do, and kind of a non-committal relationship to music. And then as soon as I left San Francisco, I kind of shifted my mentality…[If] it’s something that I enjoy doing and that makes me feel good about myself, a good creative outlet, then why not start taking steps to kind of create a more professional relationship with it”
While still training with Matt Linesch, Isaac started applying for positions at as many Los Angeles recording studios as he could find. He was at a critical juncture and saw there was a chance to change courses in his life and make inroads into the industry. The restaurant where he worked at as a waiter would be closing for a couple months for a remodel. During that time, Isaac took it as his opportunity to make the transition from waiter to employment in the music industry. And just when it looked like he was going to have to get right back into food service, he got a call from Record Plant asking him to come over right away.
Now, Isaac is splitting his time between apprenticing with Matt and working at the Record Plant as a runner.
It’s a hard position…but they have a pretty clear promotion system…They only hire their assistants and engineers from the runner staff. They don’t… outsource or hire from the outside. Everybody who is an engineer there started off as a runner…I’m very grateful that they’ve taken me in. It’s a tough job, but I really feel like it will pay off, and I’m enjoying it.”
A small amount of persistence goes a long way. By applying for the Recording Connection and staying focused on a career in music, Isaac has seen that effort and gumption really can get you a long way. Nearing the home-run in his apprenticeship, he’s paying his dues day-by-day with the people at Record Plant. And just so he’ll stay sharp and creatively inspired, he’s also got a home studio in the works where he plans on working with fellow artists while maintaining and growing his craft. Speaking of impending studio build, Isaac says:
I’m ready to go. I am all ready to Feng shui my space out and have something to go home to…to record in and to listen to what I’m doing. So, I’m very excited about that.”
Keep going Isaac! Thanks for being proof positive that persistence pays. Go get ‘em!