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The Essential List: Bruce Tweedie

09/10/2023
Music & Sound
Sydney, Australia
103
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Music Mill managing director Bruce Tweedie, an expert on music for advertising and brands, on his essentials and his non-negotiables

Bruce is a specialist in finding and licensing songs for advertising agencies and brands. He runs Music Mill alongside his business partner and wife, Clare Tweedie, and has in the music supervision niche, specialising in advertising campaigns, longer than anyone else in the Asia Pacific region.

His 23 years of experience on the border of music and advertising have made him a deep subject matter expert in the arena of songs for advertising and he is renowned for always being available for advice in a highly complex area. Bruce and his team have licensed more than $150M worth of songs and have completed many thousands of music licences, including the first commercial license for Van Morrison with his song “Days Like This” for Tourism Queensland, and the enduring use of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” by Isuzu.

However, unlike most music supervisors Bruce didn’t come from the music industry originally – he spent a few decades in the IT and Telco world first, with an emphasis on sales and marketing. He also has a degree with double majors in Psychology, which helps with the understanding of how advertising and music work together to evoke an emotional outcome. All that experience has proven to be a huge advantage in the music supervision niche, because it delivers deep insights into how music works within the context of advertising campaigns.

Lifestyle

  • Place of birth and Hometown: Leeton – an irrigated oasis out in the flat plains, a very long way West of Sydney. Isolated but an idyllic place to be a kid.
  • Staycation, Vacation, any cation: Bali – nothing quite like a Villa with a high wall. Shame they won’t let us build them on the Northern Beaches.
  • Pet: Spike the Rottweiler/Husky Cross. Mr Personality. Amazing dog, but I wouldn’t recommend the breeding – a 40 Kg puppy-missile at the end of a rope.
  • Place of work: Home since before it was fashionable.
  • Place of workout: The yoga room upstairs.
  • Side project: Who has time for that? Actually I’m writing a book.
  • Mode of transport: Walking to work - from the dining table to my study.
  • Bonus travel essential: My wife Clare. Indispensable, not a bonus.

Culture

  • Artist: So many. Clare Liked my dating profile because I mentioned Imagine Dragons. It differentiated me from the competition, all stuck in the previous century.
  • Musician: Keef Richards. So last century, but they just released another album! King of the riff.
  • Commercials / music video director: Can’t go past Tim Bullock.
  • Film director: Jane Campion.
  • Photographer: My daughter in law Paigge Warton, breaking through in NY City.
  • Film: “Manchester By The Sea”, “Power Of The Dog”, “Lion”, “Lantana”. I guess I like them gritty.
  • Series: Predictable. Breaking Bad. Mad Men. Anything from Taylor Sheridan.
  • Commercial: So many good ones, but I do really admire the ones we’ve worked on that have achieved the holy grail of longevity – like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” for Lotto, “Go Your Own Way” for Isuzu, “I Love It” for KFC, and “By My Side” for NRMA.
  • Music video: All the OK GO videos – ahead of their time.
  • Video game: I did play Call Of Duty for a few days when it came out, but realised that if I stayed I might never come out of the black hole.
  • Board game: Catan.
  • Book: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A useful perspective on all those accumulated regrets.
  • Graphic novel: Never.
  • Podcast: A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs by Andrew Hickey. Fascinating insights into a subject I’m obsessed with.
  • Newspaper (off or online): All of them. When I go to heaven I just want to read the papers all day long.
  • Magazine: Rolling Stone back in the day when mags were a thing.
  • Bonus culture essential: Going to live gigs is a fabulous part of the job.

Food and Drink

  • Breakfast: Carefully curated home made muesli. Strong black coffee.
  • Restaurant: Infinity at Sydney Tower – the best restaurant in the world. First real date with Clare.
  • Cheap bite: Guzman
  • Working lunch: Curated salad.
  • Favourite dish: Lamb shoulder.
  • Signature dish: Air fried Brussels Sprouts
  • Snack: Nuts
  • Guilty pleasure: Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. 
  • Bar: Donny’s in Manly.
  • Booze: Not any more.
  • Not booze: None of it is very interesting.
  • Bonus food: Chocolate
  • Bonus beverage: Strong black coffee

Kit 

Kit is kit, I’m a functional kind of guy not a fashion plate. Apart from the black hat I’m not much attached to any kind of gear or clothing. Whatever works.

  • Phone: Apple of course
  • Computer: I don’t care as long as it does it’s job efficiently.
  • TV: so long it’s BIG and smart
  • Headphones: Rarely use them
  • Camera: I just use my iPhone.
  • Soundsystem: Bose – I like good sounding music
  • Pen / pencil: Doesn’t matter to me. As long as it writes.
  • Where you document an idea: the old-fashioned way. On my trusty writing pad I keep next to my computer.
  • Casual clothing: Jeans and t-shirt
  • Smart clothing: Jeans and t-shirt. And add a coat.
  • Footwear: Comfy.
  • Collection:
  • App: BOM
  • Website: News sites and BOM
  • Favourite social media feed: LinkedIn

Credits
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