Graduate success story: Jon Spiers

Name: Jon Spiers

Course: BA (Hons) Popular Music

Year of Graduation: 2007

A dream of setting up his own business and a love of music influenced graduate Jon Spiers to launch A Bomb studios.

A Bomb studios, based in Hednesford, is named after The Jam’s song, ‘A’ Bomb in Wardour Street. The name was chosen because Jon’s band, The Reluctant Heroes, supported From the Jam, a group which featured two original members of the legendary rock group, on tour.

Jon decided to study a BA (Hons) Popular Music at the University of Wolverhampton to pursue his interest in music. He was impressed by the course and wanted to attend a University near to his home so he could continue performing with his band.

"It is a good University and staff are friendly and easy to talk to," he says. "The theory we learned in class helped develop my skills as a musician as well as giving me the techniques to teach others. The studio work was great practical experience for setting up a studio of my own and working with musicians. My tutors were down to earth and often performing locally themselves so they really encouraged me to pursue my love of music."

Jon always wanted to set up his own business and saw it as a great opportunity to dedicate more time to working within the music industry. The studio also allows him a more serious commitment to his own band as it gives them a first rate space to practice and record tracks.

After University Jon found it was difficult to find work in his area of expertise. He had a number of casual jobs but when the opportunity arose to start A Bomb studios with his friend Karl Hollis, Jon jumped at the chance to be his own boss and put the skills he learned through his degree into practice. The business was also awarded a small loan through the Prince’s Trust Business Programme, which helped with the start-up costs and some building adjustments that were needed.

"Starting your own business is hard work but you get out of it what you put in. It’s exciting to start a new venture and completely focus on the music."

The studio has only recently opened so Jon is currently involved in lots of promotion and is building contacts in the region. The music studio now includes three practice rooms and one recording studio and they have already been involved with recording material for a number of bands and providing rehearsal space for others. Jon also offers tuition in both piano and guitar encouraging people from a wide range of experience to use the facilities at A Bomb.

Jon has advice for other students completing their courses and starting out on their own.

"Keep going. If you believe in what you are doing you will get there in the end. Sometimes you get knock-backs but if you keep going you will succeed."