Matt Dower : dmg’s new head of production

Matty Dower has a skill and unique ability to bring clever creative ideas to audio imaging. From Rock … to Dance formats, he's a master behind the audio buttons. Using subtle techniques that creep up and smack you around the ears, he has a ninja-like approach to mixing.

Matt was recently acknowledged and rewarded with the Group Production Director title for dmg Radio. A position that for any of us that know him, respect what a well deserved and appropriate promotion this is.

I had the chance to ask Matt about the new role and touched on some of the magic moments in his career that have bought him to lead dmg Radio production into the future.

Daryl: Firstly congratulations Matty on your new role. The respect you have from the audio production fraternity combined with the obvious support you have within the dmg Radio group is deserved. You've worked hard, and inspired many people with your talents, both in the production room and vocally.

Let's start with your new position, what is your mandate from Paul Jackson in regard to the Group Production Director Role?

Matt: When the group role was created 2 years back, Paul was in the process of rolling out his vision for the group and was keen to have a leader in the production ranks managing operations, implementing systems and directing our various markets producers.

Chris Thorpe (formally of Kerrang & Galaxy Radio) was appointed to the role of Group Production Director and began laying out a directive for the groups imaging sound and streamlining processes across the board. As Chris had also accepted the dual role of Nova 100 Assistant Program Director I was fortunate enough to be promoted to the role of Assistant Group Production Director to assist with network operations and drive the newly implemented systems. It was also around that time that Mike Cass was appointed to the role of Assistant Group Program Director and in both guys I had the best possible mentors I could possibly ask for. They’ve both played a crucial part in preparing me as Chris’ successor.

Through Chris’ leadership it wasn’t long till the benefits of Paul’s vision for the Group position were realised, it brought all our producers together across the network, harnessing strengths and projecting a clear focus. We’re blessed with some of finest imagers in the country, and it’s an absolute honor to be at the helm of such an impressive team. I’m constantly inspired by our guys work and the potential for the group’s success into the future is a really exciting prospect.

Daryl: Your history in working with very talented on air people is impressive. Is there a station or time that you look back on with great fondness. Maybe a time where you learnt the most about your craft?

Matt: Back in the mid to late 90s, like most radio folk, I was obsessed with Martin/Molloy. I recall it being ‘tools down’ type situation at Sea FM on the Sunshine Coast when that show would come on. So, to then fast forward 8 years and find myself working with both those guys (albeit separate shows) was a true ‘note worthy’ moment.

At the time I was imaging producer at MMM Melbourne and both Tony & Mick had decided to make a return to the airwaves. Being the only producer on station across the day and a massive fan, I was more than happy to accommodate whatever requests they might have.

Micks show ‘Tough Love’ ran for 3 years with Robyn Butler & Alan Brough (in the first year) and wrapped up in 2006 the same year Tony’s show ‘Get This’ began with Ed Kavalee & the late great Richard Marsland.

I knew that working with Tony was a ‘big deal’ back then, but had absolutely no idea that 7 years on, fans of the show would still be quoting obscure moments on the social networks, posting sketches online and working through the podcasts multiple times. It’s a true testament to the genius of Tony that those 2 years worth of ‘content’ now have a cult like status.

His passion for the craft of sketch building is something to behold. I’m so grateful I was in the right place at the right time to be a part of it and, looking back, that period would shape many things to follow, it’s a great honor to be able to call both Tony & Mick good friends to this day.

Daryl: I'm a big believer that success doesn't just happen. You have to work hard and be focused on the outcome. What key ingredient would you say has personally played the biggest part in your success to date?

Matt: Radio’s a funny game, when you start out you have a fair idea where you’d like to be in 10 years and chances are if you’re passionate about what you do you’ll not only land where you want to be, but the journey and relationships along the way will more than likely see you excel beyond those earliest expectations. Working alongside my idols and being offered the group role are events I could have never foreseen early in my career. But I truly believe, if you have a strong work ethic and the flexibility to move where the opportunities present, you have the best possible chance of making it in this industry.

Daryl: Mentoring and nurturing younger radio production talent is an important role for us all, what would you say to the upcoming next generation of radio production people out there?

Matt: Definitely one of the most exciting things about my role is identifying and mentoring the next generation of gun producers. Radio production is a niche discipline and it’s always exciting to come across someone that has the same hunger and enthusiasm I had to be in this business.

The best advice I can give to those trying to break into radio production is, make contacts, send through demos ‘regularly’ and ensure you action the advice given in the next piece of audio you send through.

As I said before, if you’re a hard worker you’ll more than likely find that once you’re in, the opportunities will flow and if you’re prepared to travel about the place, spend your spare time honing your audio skills and finding ‘your sound’, then chances are sooner or later the rewards will come.

Here's some of Matt's imaging work for Nova :-
or hear it here

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