Wollongong rocker Tom “Tombeau” Jones knows it’s a long way to the top – but when he gets there, he’ll have the skills to manage the business side of showbiz success, thanks to his training at TAFE NSW.
Tom, 25, had been playing regular gigs on the local music scene and had strong musicianship skills to drive his career forward but with an eye on national or even international success, he enrolled in a Diploma of Music (Sound Production) at TAFE NSW Wollongong to learn valuable skills that will help him succeed.
“TAFE NSW gave me the tools I’ll need when I get ‘big’, which is what I’m planning for, because to succeed in the industry you need to be a businessperson as much as a musician – and I’ve learned some great strategies with that in mind,” he said.
“Learning about things like invoicing, booking gigs or dealing with record companies is a big help because as an artist without the right skills, you’re at risk of being ripped off.”
Tom also used his studies at TAFE NSW to hone his recording skills and with his alternative punk band, Tombeau and the Idiots, he has recorded tracks that have been played on radio stations in Europe and America.
“We have a lot of fans overseas who’ve found our recordings online,” he said.
“I’ve been played on the radio in England, Poland and Nashville as well as Texas – for some reason, they love me in Texas!”
Tom’s teacher John Kilbey said Tom was among a growing number of students wanting to learn more about music than playing and singing.
“Our music courses deliver high level training that teaches students to mix, record and distribute their music but it also provides them with the skills they need to succeed in a commercial sense,” he said.
“Offering careers such as music producing and engineering, the Diploma of Sound Production includes training in fields such as copyright law, freelance management and music business skills so that artists like Tom are well prepared to shine creatively and administratively.”
With plans for a national tour and hopes of taking the act overseas, Tom and his band have a core of dedicated fans in the Illawarra, and they are also taking their act to new markets in Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra.
“When we get to the top, I’m confident of managing our act as a business – and I have TAFE NSW and my teachers to thank for it,” Tom said.