What they had to say about MsGyver
With the enormous amount of guitars, pedals and keyboards, there is obviously a huge potential for things to go wrong. Solely thanks to Laura, this rarely happens. And if something does go down, she can usually troubleshoot and fix the problem, before anyone is even aware something was wrong! Also, one of the biggest positives regarding Laura is her attitude and work ethic. She knows that everyday, she is going to be working hard all day, yet instead of bitching and complaining, she buckles down and gets the job done, and done well. As long as you keep her supplied with Lindor chocolates, she is gentle as a lamb.
Almost on a daily basis. The best part of having Laura on board, is that I do not even have to go near the stage. I can do my job without ever having to worry about her doing hers. Plus, seeing her take our support acts under her watch as well. Because she takes such good care of our gear, she actually has the time to help them fix things and make suggestions to help their show go smoothly as well.
– Sam Mitcham (tour manager – Porcupine Tree) *
Laura is very hard working. Still willing to learn all the time, which is a very positive thing. There are a lot of guitar techs who think they know everything, but every band is different and this one is complex because we have a lot of different tunings. She has to have a spare one, even if we are changing guitars every song. She has to have a spare one for two guitar players in every tuning. There’s a lot to remember. She does this fantastically well. She keeps in track of everything. It’s complex. Yeah, we are very happy with her, we’re lucky to have her. She is very hard working and we like her, which is also important, because you have to live together with someone for six months a year in a bus.
She’s a really nice person and fitted in with our personality and sense of humour and all those things. We saw her with Anathema and she was the only tech on that tour. So she did guitars, drums, keyboards, bass… You’re under a lot of pressure. She was doing it and she was still very calm. Not getting stressed and that’s also very important. The musicians can get stressed, they’re allowed to get stressed. But the tech has to be completely calm. I never seen Laura get angry or stressed. This is a very, very, very important quality of hers.
We’ve had several guitar techs who started out as bass players actually. Our last guitar tech (he’s now our drum- and keyboard tech) is a bass player and he’s now doing drums and keyboards. I think the most important thing is the ability to apply yourself to the job and to be a perfectionist. You got to make sure everything is exactly how the musicians want it to be. It’s nice if you’re able to play the instrument you are working with, but I think it’s very, very low on the list of important things. Very low.
The most important thing is that you can give the musicians you are working for the confidence that if they walk on stage, everything is exactly like they want it to be. All the pedals are in the right place, the guitars are perfectly tuned; so that the musician don’t even have to think about that. That’s making musicians feel confident. How do you do that? I don’t know. She just does that by being very hard working and being a perfectionist. Predicting things that might go wrong before they go wrong. I think really good techs almost got like a second sight. They almost know what can go wrong with the musicians even before they do. And that comes with experience, as well as being with somebody for a long time. Laura has been with us now for two years and she’s just beginning to station. So that’s the most important thing.
– Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) *
You are a good woman and a sweetheart, thank you for taking care of me and I say this for everyone, thank you for being a good dude to the entire industry. I wish there were many more like you!
– Calvin Roffey (bass/guitar technician – Bullet for My Valentine, Amon Amarth)
Laura is one of the hardest working techs I’ve ever had! She single-handedly managed all the backline for the entire Marty Friedman band on our last tour of Europe. Patience and understanding is what helps make a tech good as many people can learn the technical logistics of the job, but you have to be able to work with what the artist wants which is sometimes tricky. Laura is very good at that!
On the last tour I had my main Fender bass damaged by an airline from a fly-in date and we didn’t realize it until the soundcheck which of course was late. After some quick thinking she had my bass rigged up to at least work for the rest of the tour as there was no way to get a replacement tuning peg that I needed. That was huge or else I would have been screwed!
– Chris Catero (Marty Friedman) *
Laura is one of the most punctual guitar techs I know. Being organised and precise make her so good.
When Laura is working on stage, I don’t notice anything, which means she’s doing the right thing. Like that she proves her value on stage , every time.
– Raymond Tabak (FOH engineer – Anathema, Beef!, The Gathering) *
You’re good people Laura, which seems to be a rarity in this business! Rest assured, if I EVER hear of anything that requires bringing someone in, you are ALWAYS on my list…”
I’d think you’d be CONSTANTLY booked, Laura… you have a pretty golden reputation and are definitely totally easy to work with, I don’t get it. HA… a lot of people give the impression xxxx is a TERROR ( well, I could see it ) and he seems to be ALWAYS working… no sense in this business… but I’m sure your “just desserts” are on their way… the karmic waiter must’ve fallen on his way out of the kitchen.
– Wille A. Gee (guitar technician – Lamb Of God, Megadeth)
Dutch guitar tech with an internationally renowned work ethic. Possibly the nicest person in the business.
– John Rogers (video/light-assistant – Samael)
In addition to having the basic stuff down, she isn’t satisfied until she’s figured out all the quirky little diva details that keep you happy. This takes her about two shows. She’s also extremely efficient and willing to help out wherever she sees the need; I don’t think “that’s not my job” exists in her vocabulary. But most important for me, she treats pink guitars with the respect they deserve.
She proved his worth by having everything set up so well to begin with that I never needed him to do much for me on stage. But I knew she would be there in a flash if something ever did go wrong, which was very reassuring.
– Lori Linstruth (Stream Of Passion) *
Laura is a very dedicated guitartech. She takes her job of “comfort zone and safety net” of the guitar player on stage very seriously. She takes care all instruments are always in perfect condition; think strings, setup and clean! Furthermore, during the show, she’s constantly focused on paying attention; something that’s not to be underestimated. All in all Laura is someone cut for the job of working behind the scenes. The musician on stage only has to focus on putting on a good show, without having to worry about the (technical) rest.
If I remember correctly, it was right after our show at Hurricane festival 2004. I had already taken a shower, and was enjoying a cold beer, when I realised I actually would be needing my acoustic guitar back home. I made my way to the truck, hopefully in time to pick it up; we keep all guitars in a big trunk, and that case is usually the first to be loaded on the truck. And yes, I was too late. The very last cases were about to be loaded and Laura asked what I was doing here; I told her the story. She offered to get the guitar, even though I told her a few times to leave it, since it would be too much trouble. She started rearranging some cases, taking some out, restacking others, squeezing herself past cases, and about 30 minutes later, she emerged, holding my acoustic guitar. And about 15 minutes later all was back to the way it had been packed just before. The punch line of this story; Laura is very determined AND she’s a star in tetris!!
– Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation) *
She’s a very good guitar tech. And a good friend. She’s good because she takes her job seriously and works hard. She invests in new tools and equipment all the time and she has a desire to be better at her job.
– Jamie Cavanagh (Anathema) *
You are much too good at what you do to be without work.
– Richard Peach (tour manager, production manager – Arch Enemy, Blind Guardian)
* texts from (unused) material in English (and translated from Dutch) for an interview published 08/2007 in Gitarist magazine.