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Graham Rolak, LD for Incubus

by Debi Moen • in
  • April 2019
  • On the Road
• Created: April 8, 2019

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Graham Rolak

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: “I enjoy working with the artist to incorporate what they like into my show designs. If they are happy onstage and feel energized, it just gives to the show. I love the challenge of working in the logistical minefields of show production. Limits on budget, truck or stage space inspire me to create a larger vision in those parameters. ‘Coloring in the lines’ tests creativity. For multiple nights in one city, I focus on how to make each show different. It may involve new focuses, trim heights or programming different bumps, accents and colors for songs they think they know.”

Incubus photo by Julian Schratter

BACKSTORY

 

HOME BASE: “Oakland, CA but relocating this year to Los Angeles. I am excited to work in a new market with new creatives.”

 

INDUSTRY YEARS: “In the music industry for 10 years — I’m a guitarist/vocalist in my band, Lexington Wolf — but in the lighting industry for the past seven.”

 

CAREER SPARK: “I’ve been a fan of live shows since a young age. As a musician, I felt that lighting sometimes bulldozed the music’s complexities. I always wanted to call attention to bass runs or guitar riffs others might have missed.”

 

FIRST INDUSTRY GIG: “On the ambience crew setting up dressing rooms for venues and festivals. I soon found my way to the console and fell right into place.”

 

HEROES/MENTORS: “My biggest mentor is Alastair Watson. He put me on tour with AFI early in my career and threw me to the wolves – the best way to learn. Bobby Grey is a big hero. His programming expertise floors me; he makes it feel like no question is stupid.”

 

DESIGNERS YOU WATCH? “It’s super-inspiring to watch Sarah Landau work; her designs are extremely thought-out. Cory FitzGerald and the Silent House team never cease to amaze me.”

 

ARTISTS YOU’VE WORKED WITH? “Primus, Deftones, System Of A Down.”

 

WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR GIG? “Being a part of something that creates joy. Fans work hard to afford tickets for a night off to enjoy themselves. Being part of something that will be with them forever is inspiring.”

 

YOUR DREAM CONCERT TO LIGHT: “Nine Inch Nails. It would be a blast to work art, music and technology together to create a multilevel experimental show to accent their music.”

Incubus photo by Julian Schratter

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