From a young age, Kerry Jacobson has performed in many rock bands, most notably as the drummer for Dragon, Mondo Rock and Ian Moss.
Kerry, who still performs but also teaches percussion, recently visited Hear and Say to have his hearing checked, and to talk about why all musicians should love their ears.
“In the early 70’s and 80’s no one wore ear plugs, it was never discussed. I remember, as a kid, coming home from a rock session with ringing in my ears. It took many years before I realised that the ringing might be damaging my hearing, which eventually it did. Playing drums in rock bands placed me in a position on the stage where I was being subjected to not just the volume of my drums (my snare drum alone measured 150 decibels recently,) but I was also hearing the spill from the guitar and bass amplifiers.
It was many years into my music career when I first experienced wearing ear plugs, and I realised the plugs reduce the level of band volume but do not affect the quality of the sound. After that, I started to wear plugs, and still do.”
However, for Kerry, and many musicians of his era, the damage to his hearing had already occurred.
“I know that I have hearing loss and this affects me in day-to-day situations. For example, I also compose music but find mixing difficult as there are certain frequencies which are not as clear as they once were”.
When asked what advice Kerry would give to students entering the music industry, he said,
“For any young musician it’s important to protect your ears now as hearing loss is a gradual thing, and is irreversible. The great thing about wearing good quality hearing plugs is that the volume of the music will drop however you can still hear the frequency levels.”