Ash Howes started his career at Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera's Gallery Studios. He now divides his time between production and mix engineering. His credits as a mix engineer include Alisha's Attic and Texas.
"Originally, I was managed by Nina Block at London Records; she was working as an A&R coordinator, but she would always have one or two engineers who she managed on a part-time basis. It was a good step up for me, because it's very difficult to get good management without hits, and it's difficult to get hits without major management. I was quite lucky that she took me under her wing and started to build my career; that's where management is so useful. After a year with her, as things escalated after Texas and Alisha's Attic, both Nina and I thought I really needed someone full-time so she hooked me up with Stephen Budd."
What advantages does management have for you now?
"When you are successful and working seven days a week all year, you just haven't got time to be out there meeting people. And also, as you get into production, there is an administrational and logistical side to each project that someone has to oversee. It's impossible for one person to be creative in the studio and at the same time handle all these other things. You also need to not just deal with the project in hand, but also set up the next one. Having management takes care of all that."
Do you have a different arrangement with your management if you find work yourself?
"I am very pleased with what Stephen Budd Management do for me, so if anyone brings me work I tend to give it to them anyway. I am more worried about doing a job really well than taking that extra percentage. It's just a weight off my mind for them to look after it."