What is it you like so much about playing Pearl Drums?
Pearl export was one of the first drumkits that I ever played, so there is a nostalgic approach, but more to the point they always sounded good, and easy to tune. I also took early notice of their superb hardware and pedals. Pluss a lot of my favorite drummers growing up played Pearl.
Which drummer/band influenced you most into playing drums?
Early on a would have to say Kiss with Peter Criss, we painted your faces and bangd on poots and pans with alive spinning in the background. Later on a friend of mine turned me one to DeepPurple and Ian Paice, I believe I was around 10 years or so. So Ian Paice and Purple made a great impact early on. Later in my early teens I was turned on to Motley Crue and Tommy Lee. Long side Metallica and Lars Ulrich those two became one of my main inspiration to pick up the sticks and beg my parents for a drumkit. Those two are still one my top ten list. Had a huge impact on me. Later on Vinnie Appice, Mike Portnoy and Vinnie Paul also had a huge impact, and they all still do. Tommy Aldridge, John Bonham, Mickey Dee, Brian Downey, Scott Rockenfield, Mike Bordin, Eric Singer, Vinnie Colaiuta, Alex Van Halen, Nick De Virgilio, Simon Phillips, Gozy Powell, all formed and shaped me as a drummer, and still do.
Who in your mind are the drummers of tomorrow, who has caught your eye?
There is a lot of amazing drummers out there these days. The extreme metal scene is of the rails when it comes to speed and technique. I am a big youtube nerd so I follow a few of them, and I am amazed by their control over the instrument. To name a few: Alex Rudinger, Krimh, Mario Duplantier. Others you have Benny Greb, Matt Gaskar.. the list goes on and on, it kind a depends on what genre you are looking at.
What do you like most about being a drummer?
It kind of define me as a person I think, I love the way playing the drums makes me feel. I love the fact that if I am in a shitty mood, playing the drums for a few hours can turn that completely around. To quote Neil Peart: “ If you got a problem, take it out on a drum” I love playing in a band making your own music and being able to write, record and tour. I love the energy of playing our songs in a live and being able to tour the world and bring our music to new places.
What is the worst thing to happen to you during a show?
There is obviously a million things that can go wrong during a show, but as of being a drummer there is only so many things that you can control, come to think of it, you can only really control what you as a drummer bring to the table. Because all the technical aspect of it with the sound on stage, the PA system, stands and drums moving , you kind a have to adapt too. But of course, going through the bass drum head or the snare drum head at the first note of the gig, aint gone make for the best show:)
What do you practice and for how long?
These days I am working on reinventing my foot technique, I have had a lot of problems with my right nee and hip as a result of overloading, so I have been forced to reinvent or figure out a different way of approaching my foot technique. Besides that I work on applying different rudiments into fills or groove parts. And of course working on my drum parts for your upcoming album. Time wise it depends on what I`m working on and how much time I have. It can be a few hours there and another there. I realize that I have a lot to gain by organize my time for practice. So I need to work on that too.
What is your best advice to a young player wanting to make it in this industry?
I think you can gain a lot of knowledge quickly and early on by having a drum teacher, and just going through the rudiments and basic technique. Then play with different people in different situations. Work on time with a click and play along to your favorite tunes and bands. Try to be as prepared as you can be in every situation. Try to have fun with it along the way and try to have a positive attitude towards your fellow musicians.
If you had the chance to play drums for another artist who would it be?
I would have loved to work with Devin Townsend, I am a huge fan of his music. I also would have loved to work with Neal Morse. I am a big fan of a lot of prog and he is in my opinion one of the greatest songwriters not only in prog but in generally. But come to think about their drummers, I don`t expect a phone call any time soon . (laughter) They got that bit covered, to say the least. Both amazing drummers, but that would have been a blast.