Since leaving the Navy, Adam Seely has spent the last ten years working with local, regional and national bands with everything from management, live production support and booking and promotional needs. He has also worked in multiple areas of music festivals and events large and small. Experienced and proficient in talent and promoter relations and networking industry wide, Seely currently works as a lighting, video and laser technician and operator technician for local venues, and tour internationally for a production company.
How did you get started? (Education, etc..)
I first started by just helping out at local shows, and developing relationships with local musicians, and eventually teaching myself concert lighting and working local gigs and festivals for pretty much free. I enrolled at Rose State for audio engineering, before transferring to the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) after a long break in my education to get an Associates in Music Business. While attending, I worked at their music venue, and interned at both The Flaming Lips and Toucan Productions.
Did you always want a career in the music industry?
I always attended concerts and festivals as much as money and time allowed. The production was something I always was fascinated by. It just took a couple of careers to
figure that out! Now that I am almost ten years in in total, it’s crazy to think of doing anything else.
What is your role in the music industry?
I am a concert production technician and operator. Production being lighting, video walls, lasers and other special effects. Another word for it would be a “roadie.” I do everything from concert touring, corporate events, sporting events, etc. I have done lights for cheerleading competitions, rodeos, statue unveilings, political events, you name it.
Most Recent Successes / Placements / Accomplishments / Projects? Career highlight?
Most recently the artist I toured with, Koe Wetzel, played a sold out BOK Center, for which I ran lights and lasers. Also while touring with The Flaming Lips, ran video for two nights at The Sydney Opera House. Definitely the high point of my career! Really that whole year with The Flaming Lips was amazing. I feel very blessed to have been able to travel all around the US, Australia and even UK and Europe some! That was the peak of my career back then for sure. With this new tour it is tracking to go even bigger!
What is your favorite Oklahoma music venue, music store, or recording studio?
Tower Theatre for sure. I do work there, but the staff and the vision they have going forward with the Tower Theatre/Pony Boy/Beer City hat trick is amazing! I also have worked in pretty much every venue in Oklahoma and they each have their own identity and special memory for me. The Criterion, for example, will always be a second home due to all the Bubble Shows I did with The Flaming Lips. It seemed like I was there for four months straight! Music store would have to be Guestroom Records. I loved Size when it was open for sure though, and miss it.
Networking and connecting with others who share your dream or vision is a vital aspect to the music industry. Can you share which Oklahoma organizations (if any) have contributed to your success and are there Oklahoma organization you would recommend other connect with? To help further their craft or promotion?
I mean, I wasn’t really in any organizations. I helped out at different events and just worked and made relationships with local musicians and promoters. I would work my day/night job, and when able I would with different bands. In the end ACM@UCO really helped me connect with industry professionals who saw my potential and gave me a chance. If you are interested on concert production as visuals or sound, the key is to learn and know your craft, and to show up and work hard. Ask questions if you don’t know how to do something, be flexible and understanding. Volunteering at differ small festivals and events is a good way to get your foot in the door and learn how events work start to finish. Toucan Productions usually does a summer internship, which is how I started out with them.
How can we follow you?
I am really active on my Instagram. It is @adamseeadamdo.
Advice for someone interested in working in the music industry.
Just get out there at first! Go to shows, go to shows, go to shows! Tell the bands how awesome the show was, learn all you can and practice in the lower levels until the time comes when things start to click, and you start to make a name for yourself as someone who SHOWS UP! That’s most important. Show up and work hard! You can start working with stage hand companies loading events in and out. Once you start meeting industry people, if you show that you know as much as they do, hopefully, you can get your foot in the door being a production technician for a local production house, whether it be for sound, lighting, video, staging, etc.. There is a lot of opportunity right now in the industry for people who can hit the ground running. Knowing your stuff and being able to work hard and long if possible will help you stand out.
What are some of the benefits of having a music career in Oklahoma?
Low cost of living is for sure helpful! Also being in a smaller pond.. for now.. helps to stand out. Honestly right now is the best time to come into concert production. We lost a lot of people industry wide after the shut down, and if you know your stuff and can work hard, come on down!
Favorite quote (if applicable)
“It’s all about the out!” -unknown roadie-