Craig Stahl

  Roadie of the Month - Jake Mann

When you attend a concert to see your favorite band perform, you are there to unwind, have a good time and enjoy the music. The venue is usually teeming with excitement as the crowd waits to hear the artists play all their hits. Suddenly the lights go down, the band hits the stage and the crowd goes crazy! The fans have paid their hard earned money to buy a ticket for this moment.............. How disappointed have they been when they hear the sonic racket radiating out of the huge sound system and have to hold their ears as the audio mix is not only unintelligible, but is deafening as well. The P.A. feeds back and squeals and you can't understand a single word the singer is trying to sing. Everybody has paid their $75 to get in and is VERY disappointed. Usually this problem can be traced back to the mixer at the soundboard. He is usually a "friend from the club days", or maybe a "Brother in Law" of the singer. When enough fans complain and The Band receives enough bad reviews in the newspaper, management picks up the phone and calls in The Professionals! Jake Mann IS one of those professionals. Jake is an Audio Mixer and Sound Systems Engineer for Clair Global Audio. Jake currently mixes monitors for Rock and Roll legends ZZ Top but is equally proficient as the Front of House Mixer for many other acts.
                 Dude! How Do You Get That Kick Drum Sound?!

Jake is one of the best in the business at his craft. As a fellow crew member he is a hard worker who takes pride in his work and helps the team with a good attitude. As a vendor he treats the client with respect and will do everything in his power to get the sound system properly hanging, properly wired, properly tuned and balanced and sounding great.......and makes it look easy!

                                 Jake Tuning Up

Jake grew up in Southern Pennsylvania and was always interested in the "tech" side of the music business. He was a mobile DJ in High School playing the hits of the day and became interested in speakers and amplifiers.

             Monitor Beach with The Smashing Pumpkins

After graduating from technical school, Jake went to work for audio giant, Showco in Dallas, TX. Jake was now flying and teching the Showco Prism System PA, the first speaker system that he had seen used at the first concert he had ever attended in high school. Jake later moved to Nashville and continued with Showco until they were sold to Clair Brothers Audio, creating the worlds biggest sound company, Clair Global.

                              Waiting To Load In Guns & Roses
  L-R Jake, Toby Francis, John "Johnny Rotten" Sheldon

Jake has toured with many A-List Artists such as KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Urban, Metallica, George Strait, Luther Vandross, Eminem, Tim McGraw and many others. Having toured and worked with Jake he is the rare combination of somebody with excellent technical skills and superb customer service and client relations. A real Pro and a pleasure to work with!

       Axl Rose.......If Jake can keep this Jacka#$ happy he can keep anybody happy!

 Name / Place of Residence / Family

Jake Mann – Nashvegas TN- Married with three boys, Jacob 8,
Carter 5, Mason 2.


                                         Roadie In Training


Audio Knucklehead, Systems Engineer for Clair Global, MON/FOH engineer for whoever is paying



                                                             Guns & Roses

Current Gig / How Long?

Currently the MON engineer for ZZ TOP for about 6 years now


Who else have you worked for?

List is pretty long.  As a company man, I’ve seen quite a few in various positions.  For  the short list:

KISS, Luther Vandross, Vanessa WIlliams, Wallflowers, Ozzy/Ozzfest, Creed, Clay Aiken, Jars Of Clay, Limp Bizkit, Eminem, Xzibit, Godsmack, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Papa Roach, Everclear, Metallica, ZZ Top, Live, Beach Boys, Velvet Revolver, George Strait, Stone Temple Pilots, Destiny Child, Ministry, Jeff Beck, Kieth Urban, The Who, Audioslave, Kid Rock, MegaDeath, GNR, Cranberries, Smashing Pumpkins, Linkin Park, few others who you've never heard of....


 Instruments played:

I can tune and play a radio like no other


Do you write songs?

Only in my mind. 



Place of Birth:

Milwaukee, WI


Where did you grow up?

Grew up in southern PA, an hour or so from Clair headquarters.  Went to work for Showco in TX, moved to TN later in my career, and now work for the company just up the road from my childhood home.



 Who were your musical influences growing up?

Quite honestly, I was just a tech head that liked speakers and amps.  I was in the band in High School so standards were probably what I heard most of.  I did mobile DJing for high schools etc so I had to be current with what people liked at the time.  My favorite music is the one paying me. 


What was the first live musical performance you experienced?

Michael W Smith on a church outing


What do you remember most about that performance?

Really big speakers that I had never seen before (turned out to be Showco Prism interestingly enough.)


                                              Fuzzy & Gray 
                                                       Showco Prism System


Best live performance you have attended? What made it special?

Wallflowers, late 90’s, Patriot Center DC.  Most amazing live sound I have ever heard to this day

What music is in your CD player or I-Pod right now?

All kinds, I just hit shuffle.  Mostly rock and country, probably won’t find any “hip” or “cool” music like the kids like today.  The Polar Express soundtrack is my CD player in the truck for rides to school in the morning. 


Tell us how you got into show business

Went to a technical school (yes, that one) which was a great foot in the door experience.  After that, it’s what you make of yourself that gets your where you want to go



What advice can you give to someone who is trying to break into show business?

Really, really, really love it.  It will probably be the only thing you get from it.  Hopefully you can make enough money to sustain life while you’re at it.


                                              Stray Cats

What factors and strengths have made you so successful at your craft/job?

People skills are what make or break you.  Technical skills may get you an opportunity, and you will obviously need them, but how you handle your personal skills is what will advance or decline you.



What has been your favorite job in show business?

Sleeping…… oh, I mean, umm…… I like it when you come up against a challenge, and make it look easy.  Clients eat that up.


                     , I mean making it look easy


What is your favorite music venue?

The one with lots of loading docks and good stagehands.

What is your favorite city to visit?

Perth, Australia


                               Sometimes You Need Help at Load In!


What are your future plans?


Keep at it till they get rid of me, or the wife makes me stay home


Take us through a typical day on the job.

Just like anybody else.  Load in, Big noise, Load out. 


                         Some days Hanging the PA has it's challenges!


When you are not working, you can find me……

Flying R/C planes. I like building them and usually take a cheap foam plane on the road with me to fly on days off and down time


If you weren’t in this business, what would you see yourself doing?

Mechanical or Civil engineer


Where have you traveled to lately?


Recently made it to Singapore and Dubai.


Do you collect anything?  Music memorabilia, instruments, sports cards, beer cans, etc.

Laminates.  I’m not much of pack rat, I more known for throwing away too much stuff at our house.  But I’ve kept every laminate I’ve had, amazing how fast they add up.


Who has been your favorite act to tour with that you didn’t work for (opened for, headlining etc)

Brooks & Dunn were great to “open” for, even though they insisted we close the show.  Good guys, good crew, good fun.  Wish I could have done that one for awhile.  Everyone should open for Aerosmith, just to see what “extreme” is.  Not on the crew or productions part, they are all good, you can figure out the rest…….


Bonus Question: Do you own any real estate?

I do own a home down in Columbia TN.  Unfortunately I bought before Roadie Real Estate was established. 


       This Would be Jake's Home (If Had He Shopped w/Roadie Real Estate)


Give us some words of wisdom on any subject, or tell us something about yourself or a funny showbiz story.

 Words of wisdom.  Do something you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life.


 Ed: Thanks for being a good sport Jake!
Jake is Pro with a capital P! He somebody you always want on your team.

 Email Jake

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