How a PhD microbiologist transitioned to a music producer

Carlos Bricio’s journey from the science lab to the recording studio

Carlos Bricio is currently a student at Abbey Road Institute London, having enrolled on the Advanced Diploma in September 2016. Now into the second half of the course, we met up for a short interview to find out about his experience so far on the programme.

Hi Carlos, I’m curious to find out more about you and your motivation behind studying Music production and Sound engineering as you came from a very different background. Could you share a bit about this with us?

I started learning how to play the drums when I was 10 years old. My first teacher was Carlos Gómez from the band Mailers. He was my neighbour and I used to sit down next to him, during the rehearsals with his band. One day he asked me if I wanted to learn how to play and he started teaching me. I’ve also studied at Hardrum drum school in Madrid, taken guitar lessons with the guitarist Javier Cabañas and finally singing lessons with Patricia Ferro.

Background in music

I’ve played in bands of different genres like rock, pop, metal or reggae, as a drummer and as a singer. After doing my first recording in a studio at the age of 17, I felt intrigued by the whole process of recording and production and I started reading and learning about the process. I studied at IDEMM studios and took several courses about music production and sound engineering. I’ve played live in different cities in Spain and the UK and recorded albums with bands like Thunder on the Left, Leftover Lights, SudhaChandran, Dark Erial and Valium. All the albums that I’ve recorded have been self-edited and released. For some of them, I’ve been involved in the whole process, from designing the artwork to managing the process of distribution. For me, music is very important and I wanted to take it as seriously as possible.

Changing directions

I’ve also always been interested in science. I know this sounds funny because music and science may not be similar, but I like to understand how things work. I studied biology at the Autónoma University in Madrid and then did my PhD in Microbiology at the same university.  But my heart was still with my bands and I kept playing with them.

After I finished my studies 3 years ago, I moved to London with my girlfriend because she got a job here and I thought it was time for something new.  I was working as a researcher at Imperial College London right before I started at Abbey Road Institute. It came to a point in my career when I thought I still liked what I did, but I missed making music. I wasn’t able to continue playing in a band etc, because I was just too busy with my new job. My heart was always in music and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I went to an open day which took place in the famous Abbey Road Studios (Studio Two). I am a big Beatles fan and when I was standing there it was like you could breathe the music in. Absolutely amazing. After that day, something clicked in my head and I felt that it was the right time to follow my dream, take a new path and give my music career a chance. It’s a special place to study not only because of the story of the location but also because of the curriculum of the Institute, in which the perfect balance for a career in music production is the technical part and the musical part.

The experience so far

Since I started studying here, my life has changed dramatically! A year ago I was working in a laboratory in a university doing research and now I’m here learning about music, sound, business, band recording, playing music and writing… It’s amazing! I’ve learned a lot about recording and music production in these two terms. I have planned recordings with different bands in the studio for the following months to put things in practice. It’s very exciting.

Interested to know more about Carlos?

Since he graduated Carlos has had a number of roles, most recently joining us as our Head Technician here in London. You can find a new interview with Carlos about his work with us here.