Alumni Update: Ian Madden, Audio Production & Engineering

Ian Madden, a graduate of the Audio Production & Engineering program, has become an established artist, producer, and music educator. In 2015 he brought his skills and entrepreneurial spirit together and founded his now thriving business, Fretted Studio, which offers a variety of recording services, music lessons (guitar, bass, drums, and vocals), and master classes for individuals interested in learning how to record and mix.

When Ian first graduated from Metalworks Institute, he spent a few months as an intern at Metalworks Studios. As he recalls the experience, “I got to work on many great projects including Protest The Hero, Midway State, [and] David Clayton Thomas”. Since then, Ian has continued to develop his skills by independently teaching music lessons and collaborating with other artists as a songwriter and producer. He tells us, “I have had the great pleasure for the past decade to work alongside one of my inspirations and mentors; James Root from Slipknot. I have also had the incredible experience of working alongside [drummer] Terry Bozzio on multiple occasions.” (Terry Bozzio is a Modern Drummer Hall of Fame inductee and number seventeen on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time; he is best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.)

Currently, Ian is working on some independent productions with his fellow Metalworks graduate, friend, and Arkells’ drummer Tim Oxford. They have two projects coming out in the near future; one is with Ian’s band Sea Machine and the other is a collaboration with Metalworks’ alumnus Andrew Beg as part of Andrew’s indie-rock project Havens. Tim will be playing drums for both. As Ian tell us, “Sea Machine is a project that I have started with my vocal instructor Inah Canlapan. We have had the great honour of having some incredible talent work with us on this project. Sea Machine has also had production contributions from two Metalworks instructors; Alfio Annibalini and Elliott Sairian.”

After catching up with Ian about his business, we asked him to reflect on his Metalworks experience.

What has been the most helpful aspect of your Metalworks education?

Hands down the most helpful aspect of my Metalworks education has been the networking…. one thing the internet cannot provide is face to face interactions with people in the industry. You never know who one of your classmates will become or the real-world knowledge a professor might share. Don’t just do the assignments and leave. Take as much initiative [as you can] and offer to help out when you can. Reach out to people and make the most of the networking opportunities available to you.

Do you have any words of wisdom for current students or your fellow graduates?

[It] may be cliché, but work hard and be a good person. Don’t wait for opportunities, make your own. If an opportunity presents itself, take the risk and see where it goes, don’t worry about if you’re not qualified enough. In my experience, if you work hard and are a nice person, people will be more than willing to help you out and give you opportunities to succeed. This is how you learn and grow … [and] continue to move forward in this business.

We then asked Ian if he had anything else to add, and he had this to say:

In my experience, the best way to learn is to teach. It will truly show what you are comprehending and what you might now know, as well as you think you [knew]. Teaching is also a great way to give back to what you love so much by inspiring the next generation to share your passion and enthusiasm. Thank you Metalworks for allowing me to learn and now, in my small way, give back to what we all care so much about.

As an institution dedicated to both art and education, it is always inspiring to see alumni putting those values into practice in their work and in their lives!

Check out Fretted Studio:

Instagram: @frettedstudio

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