Want my job?...with Echo Boom Generation

We caught up with Echo Boom Generation's, Linda Buratto and Emma Hughes to discuss making a career in the music industry...

Want my job?...with Echo Boom Generation

When did you both realise you wanted to get into music?

Emma Hughes: When I was about 14 and found a bass guitar in my garage. I was totally addicted. Being able to make music with my friends and jam along to some of my favourite bands gave me the biggest buzz!

Linda Burrato: I started gigging with most of the Rock N' Roll legends with a tennis racquet in my living room when I was around 5 years old.

What were the biggest obstacles to begin with?

EH: Stage fright! I loved writing in bands but the performance side was something that took me a fair few years to get over but it literally just clicked. I suddenly realised that it's not the end of the world if you play a wrong note and that you can really let go and express your self on stage!

LB: Learning the skills of the instrument and finding the courage to sing and play for other people or in front of an audience. It is about realising that anyone else in your place would be scared and afraid to do it...so you just got to roll with it and rock it.

What does a typical day look like for you?

EH: Currently it's a mix of teaching and gigging! Up at 6am (not very rock and roll!). Teaching music at a special needs school from 8.30am-1.30pm. Get home at 3/3.30pm. Spend the afternoon either learning songs for my function band 'Festival Foxes' or other session work that I have booked. Transcribing and charting out songs for teaching. Also admin catch up (aka boring computers stuff) so making sure I've sent out all my invoices so I can actually get paid, emails, organising gig schedules, sorting through receipts...etc! Then evenings can vary - either band rehearsals or gigs with my bands Echo Boom Generation & Festival Foxes.

Or if I have the evening off I stay at home watching Netflix and drink epic amounts of tea or go and watch a friends band play!

LB: My day starts at about 9 o'clock and it varies: I do a lot of research into Music Business and General business models. E-mail and meet a lot of people that might never reply to me or never be interested in what I do but they might also decide that they love what I am doing and help me advance in my career.

Echo Boom Generation is my little baby and Emma, Callum (drummer) and I are developing it and shaping it into a machine of awesome noise and loud inspiration. I do session work and play functions with Emma on the side to keep the boat afloat. So everyday varies but it is always filled with awesome people, inspiration and noise.

How do you balance creativity and the need to make a living?

EH: By not sleeping and drinking lots of coffee?! Haha no it is tough as we all have rent and bills to pay but I try and make sure all the other work I do is linked with music and inspires me - that's why I love teaching music. Also just using the spare time you have to keep driving your dreams - it's never a chore as I love what I do!

LB: Ditto to what Emma said. If your priority is really making music, you will find the time and the motivation to do it, it might stress you and bring you down but you will always love it and want to do it.

It is an investment in yourself, we all need to survive and make a living but by being involved in arts is already stating that you're interested in something more than just surviving and the "ordinary" ways of living. Find what you love and keep yourself busy in that area.

What is the best thing about playing in a band?

EH: The live shows! The feeling you get playing on stage is incredible. Each band I play with has a special connection - you really do feel like you're in a gang up on stage. Also the way you connect with the crowd - in a room full of strangers all singing, dancing, smiling and coming together for music!

LB: MAKING A LOT OF NOISE WITH AWESOME PEOPLE, causing trouble sometimes but getting away with it cause "you're a band" & connecting with people through what we do.

Do you enjoy playing live, or in the studio most?

EH: 100% live - the atmosphere adds to your playing and performance and that's something you never get in the studio. I always have a blast with Echo Boom Generation in the studio - we end up having the biggest laugh.

LB: Live is where is at...there's no recording that will ever replicate the atmosphere of being present at a live show. It becomes a personal date between you and the audience. Studio is a different process, it almost helps you understand more what to deliver on the live front.

What are the biggest challenges for women in the industry?

EB: I feel that it's to be taken seriously. The worst thing someone can say to me is 'you're good for a girl!' and after a gig 'well I saw a girl on stage and was intrigued, but woah I wasn't expecting that!' It always make me think 'well what were you expecting? You have come to a gig... ?!' It's hard not to snap especially when you work just as hard as the boys and put in as much passion! I don't understand why gender seems to determine my musical ability?!

LB: It's to be heard. For some reason it seems like you have to put double the effort in to be taken seriously on a human and work level. I also think that things are changing and there are more and more of us doing it and taking over the industry. The best thing we can do to help ourselves as women in the industry is to never doubt what we're doing and to not let anyone walk over us just because they have no boobies.

What advice would you give to any young people wanting to begin a career in music?

EH: Just go for it - work hard and enjoy it! A career is music is achievable, it's a tough industry but there are so many exciting avenues to tap into!

LB: Hit it and hit it hard. Bad times will come when you want to give up but if you keep pushing you will evolve, have a blast and do what you love. BOOM.


Have you got what it takes to be a musician? Check out the job profile on Creative Choices, a website filled with careers advice on getting a job within the arts.

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Emily Steer

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