We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Mason and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nick, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There can be no advancement or achievement without risk. Taking risks is the only way to success. I packed up belongings, kissed my friends and family goodbye and moved 3,000 miles across the country. There are very few places in this country that one can maintain a career in the entertainment industry. My eyes were set on Los Angeles. Prior to moving I already had a well-established career in the music industry, but if I wanted it to grow I needed to move. Making that move would almost set me back to zero. That’s a huge risk, to give it all up and begin again with the hope that you can not only rise to the level of success you’ve already fought so hard to achieve, but to be able to surpass it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This journey has been anything but easy. It’s been emotional, stressful, heartbreaking, but has also had some of the most gratifying moments in my life. A long time ago I chose to be an independent, for hire, musician. I love playing with different musicians, and different styles of music, but this is not an easy path to take. As a hired gun you are forever expendable. Someone is always in the wings trying to get your job, and you are subject to extreme scrutiny over the craft you’ve worked so hard to prefect. However, this path has also allowed me to travel around the world, preform in front of tens of thousands of people, and share something so close to my heart with others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love playing tour guide for friends! Anyone who’s never been here before needs the full “tourist” treatment. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre, if there’s time I would of course like to show them Disney Land and Universal. I like showing off movie filming locations, and can take visitors to a lot of the horror icon spots. The Myers House from Halloween, and the house from A Nightmare On Elm St. Of course the Sunset Strip and going to the Whisky A Go-Go and Viper Room. Sadly many of the historic clubs on the strip have been torn down for hotels and apartments. We could do dinners at El Compadre, and The Rainbow. Late night cocktails MUST take place at my favorite speak easy, The Red Door. I would take them to visit the beaches, Santa Monica, Venice, maybe even a trip down to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary. Checking out some of our fantastic museums, such as LACMA and the Getty should be on the list too. Honestly, LA has so much to offer it could be hard to cram it all into a week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, I had fantastic mentorship along my journey. I have a wonderful, supportive family who never doubted me, and encouraged me from day one. I’ve had teachers both before and after my move that helped prepare me for the path I’ve chosen. John Fatta was my Drum Instructor for over 10 years before the move. He gave me the courage to not only move, but also to start teaching music to others. Randy Cooke was another teacher who kept telling me I needed to move to LA. Less than 24 hour after I got here he called me and had me sit-in with a band he was playing with that night and meet some of the LA cats. He took me under his wing as a student and helped get me up to par with the competition that exists in a place like this. I am forever grateful to these people.
Photo Credit Jonas Yip & Chad Lee