Job Envy: Brad Locker
31, President, backstage bliss
What started out as a hobby in photography turned former salesman Brad Locker into the guy with an all-access pass to some of the biggest rock shows around. In an effort to create brand connections for bands and their fans, Locker builds amazing backstage environments for bands to hang out, experience top products and meet their fans. All the while, he’s living it from behind the camera and adding to his already long list of celebrity friends.
HOW HE GOT INTO THE BIZ I started out doing photography of all kinds on the side of my 9-to-5 sales jobs—for dancers, comedians, models, weddings, etc.—but my main forte was shooting bands and live shows. Some work for Nellyfest turned into the opportunity to shoot the Rockstar Energy Drink UpRoaR festival here in St Louis. I became friends with all the bands and crew, and immediately realized what I was supposed to be doing. I leveraged my contacts and landed several gigs on the West Coast (Vegas’ 48 Hours Festival and the Monsters of Rock Cruise, to name a couple), and eventually came up with the idea to bring the brands to the bands and the bands to the fans. and—bam!—Backstage Bliss was born.
EDUCATION/TRAINING Since I was 18, I’ve done just about every type of sales job you can think of (cars, real estate, mortgages, insurance), and even though the big paychecks and sales incentives were nice, I always felt there was something missing. I knew I wanted and needed to do my own thing and be my own boss.
BEST WORK DAY EVER Honestly, it’s hard to name just one, but being asked by Incubus to shoot them live in St. Louis was pretty cool. Shooting Seether and Five Finger Death punch live onstage on the Vegas strip was a pretty amazing feeling, with all of the energy from tens of thousands of fans.
WHY HIS JOB ROCKS I get to hang with rock stars on their level, meet the real them and capture some very awesome candid moments that most people don’t get to see.
TYPICAL DAY Some days are spent contacting new potential sponsors; other days are spent working with existing sponsors and marketing strategies. after concerts or during tour days, I’m editing and uploading pictures to share the amazing experiences I’ve had.
PROUDEST MOMENT It’s so crazy that I barely believe it happened, but Morgan Rose, the drummer for Sevendust, passed up hanging out with Eddie Van Halen to have lunch with me.
BEST JOB PERK Lots of free stuff and the chance to hang with rock stars in an all-access capacity.
ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN Most musicians are extremely intellectual and highly driven individuals, and the whole persona of “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” only applies to some! a lot of bands I’ve traveled with have strict rules and heavy consequences like fines and free trips home if rules are broken. No matter what, there’s a strict code of conduct that everyone in the inner circle must abide by: What happens on tour stays on tour.
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE To sign on with some major tours and be on the road the majority of the time—and hopefully get my own tour bus!
Photo credit: Attilio D’Agostino