Thursday, 27 October 2016

Tom: Phil can you give us your background;
Originally from Drimnagh in Dublin, I moved to Lucan almost 20 years ago and opened the door's on The Lucan Drum Centre in 2009, later changing the name to the now Drum Lessons Centre. I started getting into drums from about six or seven years of age and had two great drumming mentors, my Dad, who was a puritan Jazz drummer that had me playing swing jazz and Afro-Cuban from such a young age and my eldest brother Eddie Gaynor or Eddie G, as he's known, a brilliant drummer who had me immersed in 60's and 70's hard rock, (Lizzy, Zep, Sabbath, Rainbow). I couldn't have asked for better teachers or techniques.

Tom: Approximately how many drummers have you taught?
 I have literally taught hundreds of drummers from raw beginners to advanced pro players from bands such as the Bentley Boys to Gar from The Riptide Movement. I love to see talent shine and without being cheesy, I take great pleasure and pride when a student overcomes a tough exercise and eventually masters it.

Tom: Apart from providing lessons what gig drumming have you done?
I was on the rock gigging scene from about fifteen years of age, playing all the usual venues around Dublin at the time; The Baggot Inn, Slattery's, The Underground etc. At about eighteen I got into percussion in a big way. While playing kit with Texas Shade an Irish band playing Texas Blues, I also joined up with Folklore a traditional Irish band with members from Stockton's Wing, the Damien Dempsey Band and the Chieftans. I toured Sweden for a year and played with quite a few A-listed acts there too.

Tom; That certainly sounds exciting 
I had the best five years of my life, touring, drinking too much and laughing for most of them. This time gave me a great insight into the percussion world; playing Conga, Djembe, Bodhran, Indian Tabla, Spoons and many more ethnic hand drums. I pursued a technical knowledge in percussion and to this day I have as much passion for hand drums as I do for the drum-kit.

Tom: Did you have a break from touring and gigging?
At about twenty four years of age my job took off big time and due to managing a team of over one hundred people and travelling overseas weekly, I went off the gigging scene for over twelve years. The joys of paying a mortgage and rearing four kids. I did regret the decision of not gigging, but such is life, and I'm back with a vengeance for the past decade or so.

Tom: Any regrets?
I suppose being of the scene for so long meant I potentially missed out on any real top end session work, but who knows what's around the corner. We live in hope.

Tom: You did however get back to drumming on a more full time basis
After a turn of faith in 2008, after being made redundant, I decided to follow my passion for drumming and went full time a year later. Not an easy decision to make and with the support of my wife I manage to keep going and hope to until the day I die.

Tom: Who do you gig with currently? 
I've been involved in the Vibe, have played with loads of the top heads in Dublin and Nationwide. Bands I gig with include; Tow The Line (established wedding band), Pat Farrell and The Business Blues Band, Gerry Quigley and the Shinkickers (original blues/rock band), Traditional Arts Collective ( original Irish Sean-Nos), Blue-Root-Fusion (original blues/rockroots/jazz). It keeps the music fresh and keeps me on my toes to ensure I craft the proper technique for each discipline.

Tom; Have you any endorsements?
I'm delighted to be recognised and endorsed by Vic Firth Drum sticks and Zildjian Cymbals and I'm the house drummer with five well known Irish Recording Studios.

Tom: Phil, you obviously enjoy what your doing
I have a deep passion for drumming and the constant pursuit of drumming knowledge. I doubt if I've been off the skins for more than a day a month for the past eight years or so and I feel blessed and privileged to play music with many great, interesting, talented and genuine people and long may it last. I've a few tours planned for 2017 to the UK and Scandinavia and no doubt will put up many lonely miles covering gigs the length and breadth of Ireland.




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