Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Colm,when did you start drumming?
As a young kid I was always beating ( with knitting needles or wooden spoons) on upturned pots and pans to my Dad’s rich and varied record collection which consisted of Scottish pipe band music , The Gallowglass Ceili band, Joan Baez, Johnny McEvoy, John McCormack etc. I then progressed to four plastic buckets of different shapes and sizes , then I somehow persuaded my parents to buy a snare and hi-hat.I remember one Christmas my sister got a Chris DeBurgh and a Queen album , we thought we were the coolest !!  Eventualy I got a bass drum, all purchased from a music shop off Capel St , now gone. When I was 13, I worked all summer long in a fleece processing factory and used my savings to buy my first kit, a  black Maxtone 5 piece with cymbals. The first time I played drums on stage was at a school band competition and our intro song was ZZ Top She's got Legs. We were a terrible band with some original material and an equally terrible name ( During Stone Down )

Did you take drum lessons?
I studied under the great Monica Bonnie for a very short time and latterly under Swapan Chaudhuri on tabla. I have always been fascinated with drumming and the rhythm section. I remember my dad taking me to see The Chieftains in the national concert hall and trying to get as close as possible to sit in the wings above the drummer on kettle drums and going to Elvis Costello in the Stadium on the south circular road because I knew Jim Keltner would be on drums. I went up to him after the set and talked for a bit, he gave me one of his sticks which I held onto for years. I love his style of playing and Elvis was good too.

Apart from Jim Keltner, what other drummers do you admire?
I absolutely love Brian Downey’s playing with Thin Lizzy and I would study songs, playing them over and over and the same with Topper Headon of The Clash , Simon Crowe of  The Boomtown Rats , Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Steve Gadd on everything. I find different styles of playing drums fascinating regardless of the music genre , like how one drummer can have a totally different way of approaching a song or phrase to another and how players develop their own style of playing , and where does that come from.

What drum gear do you use?
In my days with Whipping Boy I had a Tama Crestor 5 piece 12" 13" and 16" toms and 24" bass drum and a Ludwig 4 " black beauty. I still have them and they sound good but the hardware is terrible on that model, Paiste cymbals long trashed with holes and cracked to bits and yes, still have those stored. I now play a Yamaha maple absolute grey to black sparkle 12",14", 16" toms, 24" bass drum and I have a selection of snares I made myself, a 7" x 14" solid wood cherry , a 4" x 14" solid walnut and a 7" x 14" stainless steel and I have Zildjian K series cymbals.

What projects are you currently involved in?
Last year we just finished recording our debut album, Rivers End, with Fran's artwork on the cover . Fran is a really gifted visual artist. The album was recorded at Helfire recording in the Dublin mountains with Joe McGrath mixing and Stano producing. It was a long drawn out process but in the end we are all really happy with the end product. We are now in the process of ideas for videos and are looking forward to some more recording with Stano later in the year. We found his approach to recording very organic , not rigid and very quick to make ideas or ditch 'em which really helped everyone relax throughout the recording process.

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