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M5 Battle of the Bands: May Contain Awesome | Interview with Kyle Dawson

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We are in full preparation mode for our customer appreciation event on Thursday, May 3 at Terminal 5 in New York City.  The bands are putting the final touches on their performances and getting ready to rock.  Today’s blog is a continuation of our series of interviews with band members and Jiu-jitsu participants.  I had a chance to sit down with Kyle Dawson of our Rochester Account Management team.  Kyle participated as a vocalist during the last Battle of the Bands event.  This year, he’s taken up the drums.

You sang in your band last time, what made you decide to go for the drums this year?

Well, I didn’t really want to sing again.  I love playing the game Rock Band and I usually play the drums, so I figured it would be interesting to learn how to do it for real.

Did you have any music background before your experience with M5 Rock?

No.  I was always more into sports.  I never did anything musical or artistic like this before.

Why did you join the Battle of the Bands program?

I thought it would be fun and interesting.  Like I said, I’ve never done anything like this before so it was a good chance to give it a try.  It was also a lot cheaper than going out and buying a drum kit and paying for lessons on my own.

What did you expect to learn from it?

Aside from learning the drums, I knew that learning to play together could be difficult.  I expected to learn how to listen to the other instruments.  I also wanted to learn how to follow a song and work together as a team.

Were you afraid of being embarrassed? 

That was more of an issue last year when I was singing.  Being right out front was really scary.  This year, I can hide behind the drums a bit.  There’s always a fear that you might be embarrassed, but I just try to have fun.  People will either be laughing with you or at you, either way; they’re having a good time.

Did the program put you in contact with co-workers you didn’t know well before?

When we did the program the first time, the Rochester office was tiny, so I knew everyone really well.   But, when we acquired Callfinity, the office grew a lot and I hadn’t had much of a chance to work with or get to know the people who joined us from Callfinity.  The bands this year have definitely helped us intermingle with everyone.  I’m now quite close with two guys that I didn’t know at all before.

What did you learn about your co-workers them?

I learned more about their personalities and what they like to do for fun.  I also learned their after work beverages of choice.  Knowing what songs someone likes really tells you a lot about them as well.

What did you learn about yourself?

That I can face my fear of getting up in front of a lot of people to perform.  This year’s event will be much bigger than last time, so that had me nervous, but I know I can do it.

What was the most difficult thing about the program?

Last year was much more difficult than this year because we didn’t have the School of Rock or Hochstein to help us out.  I didn’t really have a dedicated voice teacher, so that was a struggle.  This year it has been great to have Ivan from Hochstein School of Music walk me through different things.

How do you feel about the upcoming event?

I am definitely excited.  I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.  It will be a new experience preforming on a full size stage.

Do you think you will keep up with your instrument?

I really would like to.  I’ll have to convince my wife to let me buy a drum set and put it in the basement.

Would you participate in something like this again?

I will definitely do this again if it is offered.  I think I’d like to learn to play the guitar next time.

What do programs like this tell you about M5?

It makes it clear that M5 is willing to help us do things that we find interesting and fun beyond the bounds of work.  They want us to get to know each other as people and have a good time together.  We’re more than just workers.

Anything else that you’d like to share?

M5 Rock has simply been a lot of fun.  It is really a nice change to try something total new.  I would encourage everyone who thought of doing it, but didn’t for some reason, to take the chance.