Music and tech make a perfect pair — coding, troubleshooting and focusing on projects are often accompanied by a soundtrack for many in the IT industry. Whether it’s getting into that “flow state” or simply dialing in on a complex problem, listening to music seems to be the method of choice for IT employees looking to unlock creativity.
In this series, called Music Behind the Tech, we’ll help you get to know Rackspace employees, their stories and the relationship between the music they love and their work. We’ve even embedded their playlists at the bottom of each post. Rock on!
Tim Duvall — a Rackspace Senior Network Security Engineer by day and the bass guitarist for Austin-based Lucid Dementia by night — has enjoyed the creative outlet of playing music for a long time. While he currently lends his bass-playing abilities to the horror-based band, which plays a hybrid mix of metal, electronic and industrial music, his musical journey originally began with the drums when he was in middle school.
“My parents bought me a drum set and realized it was a horrible idea,” Tim recalled. “The drums are unbelievably loud.”
Meanwhile, Tim felt that as a drummer he was not intertwined in the creative process enough and decided to learn how to play a different instrument. After taking up the guitar, Tim found it difficult to find a band because everyone wanted to be a lead guitarist. This ultimately led him to take up the bass guitar.
“Everybody needs a bass player,” Tim said. “I thought, it’s just like a guitar, but with two fewer strings. I should be able to knock this out no problem. I picked up a bass and started in some bands and it’s been history ever since.”
Besides performing with Lucid Dementia, Tim is also an accomplished Network Security (NetSec) professional. His career included stints in the financial and transportation industries before he joined Rackspace, and in his current role, Tim helps configure firewalls and load balancers for our managed hosting customers on dedicated gear.
“I cut my teeth on the Cisco 535 PIX,” Tim said. “I’ve moved on up since then, becoming quite adept at administering the F5s as well.”
At Rackspace, Tim’s passion for music has helped him connect with some of his colleagues. From gigging with a fellow Racker’s band to helping guide another NetSec colleague on a journey to begin playing the bass, music has been central to helping Tim connect with his peers.
“For me, music is just a huge part of my life,” Tim said. “I can’t go very long without talking about music, which has led to new relationships with many different people and many different groups. Just being able to center on that passion of music that we all have.”
Tim’s Liner Notes
We end each of these profiles with some musical questions so you can get to know the Rackers a little bit better — here are Tim’s answers and his specialized playlist.
Over the ear headphones or earbuds? Over the ear headphones
Spotify, Google Play or Pandora? Apple Music
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles
Biggie or Tupac? Probably Biggie
Miles Davis or Louis Armstrong? Miles Davis
Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings? Johnny Cash
Deadmau5 or Danger Mouse? Oh wow, that is a really good question… probably Deadmau5
Song that’s stuck in your head? In Praise of Bacchus by Type O Negative
Best concert you’ve ever attended? The best concert I have ever been to was The Lights in the Sky Tour with Nine Inch Nails. My friend Nick and I actually hit up not only Houston but the Dallas show as well. Just seeing Nine Inch Nails is just tremendous anyways, because at least on that one Trent Reznor still had Josh Freese as his drummer, which, he’s a huge influence for me. But that one really stands out, in so far as the actual stage show itself. Trent actually had a small Linux cluster that was running three different LED screens, one in the background, one in the mid-ground, and one in the very foreground. The very really cool thing about this is that everything was done in real time, all changes on the screen were real time. He even had different effects that could be actuated with different instruments that he actually had, hand-held, on the screens themselves.
Stay tuned for our next Music Behind the Tech profile and visit Rackspace to find out more about our experts and the ways they’re helping customers tackle their toughest IT challenges. And whether you like smooth jazz or hard rock, if you’re looking to start your own career at Rackspace, be sure to apply online today.