Elmo Lovano's 1 Million Dollar Smile...
Pearl Drums: Before we talk about the whirlwind that is Christina Perri, tell us a little about your background and how you ended up playing professionally.
Elmo Lovano: I started playing at a young age. By the time I was 10 all I wanted to do was play drums. When I was 15, I convinced my parents to let me do home schooling and take a touring opportunity that had come up with an older local band. That tour led to exposure which led to a bigger offer. That bigger offer led to a bigger offer. Next thing you know, dreams are coming true and I'm doing this interview!
PD: You play for a lot of diverse acts, does your set-up typically change for each gig or do you have a “one-size” fits all configuration?
EL: My set up changes for every gig. With Christina Perri or Symphonic Circles I'll play my full sized Reference Series kit with clear heads, bright crashes, dark rides and my Reference snare. For the Famiiars, I'll use coated heads on my Reference kit with dry cymbals. With Skrillex or Rob Roy, I use my Rhythm Traveler kit with 3 snares (Pearl Maple Piccolo, Firecracker, and the Rhythm Traveler snare) with thick tape on all the heads to muffle it to a dead, quick, electronic type crack that sounds similar to the samples they use on their records.
PD: Since the success of Christina’s single, “Jar of Hearts”, you’ve traveled to a lot of new places…
EL: I had already performed in the cities we've been playing, with my past bands, but now I'm experiencing playing much bigger venues, which is really cool. Hearing my kick drum pummel through an ampitheater is my favorite moment of every day. And also, catering...don't even get me started.
PD: You also have some great coverage with your Reference Series kit in Christina's The Ocean Way Sessions EP video.
EL: I think that's because I'm playing the most beautiful kit ever. Or maybe it's the smile?
PD: You’ve recently become a part of the Artist Roster, what is it about the gear/sound that led you to Pearl?
EL: I was the 10-year old kid walking around my school wearing my Pearl hat and my Pearl shirt. I was obsessed with my Export Series kit back then. I'd come home from school every day and run to my drum set. Signing with Pearl was one of the greatest moments of my life! It was a big dream come true. Donati, Chambers, El Negro, Hoglan, DiCenso, Mangini, Husband, Mounier, & the Erlandsson's are all gods to me. Plus, I was raised on Deep Purple and Lynyrd Skynyrd from my Pops... and my Mom couldn't be more obsessed with Bon Jovi. I have to meet Tico Torres in order to complete my Mom's life! (laughs)
PD: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to pursue drumming professionally?
EL: I met Abe Laboriel Jr. two years ago and I asked him how he got to where he was now. He responded with, "Say yes to EVERY gig" and I took that with a grain of salt. To me, it meant exposure is everything. One gig will lead to the next. It's important to sit home and practice till your fingers turn to dust, but it's just as important to be playing out and have people see you perform. Always play 100%. There could be an audience of 6 people, but one of those people could be the guitarist in your next group, or an A&R...or a super hot mega babe!
Make sure to check out Elmo's fantastic drumming with his other bands... Symphonic Circles, Rob Roy, The Familiars, Mid-Air & Elmo, Skrillex, WIld Feathers, and Camerata Sundays.
interview by Derek Wolfford / Marketing Department