Monday 23 October 2023

How did you get started with drumming? 

My family are in the Music Business so I've been around Music my whole life. I started playing at 17, which I guess was a bit late in some ways. My parents got me my first kit for my 17th birthday and it was all up from there! After 3 months I had my very first gig playing with my brother at a school show. I loved it and haven’t looked back since. A month or two after that, I was lucky enough to see Chad Smith at a really small master class in Dublin and that took my motivation to play to another level.


What type of drums do you prefer to play? 

I have two main kits that I use -  a Gretsch Brooklyn which is nice and compact and a bigger Ludwig Classic Maple. They’re two beautiful and very contrasting kits. I chop and change between both of them all the time. My go to snare is a Ludwig Copperphonic 6.5x14 and my cymbals are all Istanbul Agop. They’re incredible cymbals and usually if I get a comment from somebody about my gear after a gig, it’s about my cymbals.

Who are your favourite drummers?  

Steve Jordan, Chad Smith, Carter Mclean, Aaron Sterling, Dave Elitch, Steve Gadd & Graham Hopkins. 

What songs / albums inspired you the most?

John Mayer - Where the Light is Live in L.A

Skinty Fia - Fontaines D.C

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories 

Eminem - The Eminem Show

Starboy - The Weekend 

What’s your favourite The Burma track? 

Our newest single “Holiday”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start playing the drums? 

Find yourself the best teacher you can. Learn from people who know what they’re talking about. My first teachers were Danny Byrt and Fionn O Ceallachain and they were a huge part of why I went down the path that I did and got me to where I am today. A good teacher can help you progress on the instrument at a much quicker rate. Also record yourself constantly, even just with your phone. Listen back, make adjustments on what you like, or don’t like and repeat. 

Play with as many people as you can and prep for each gig you have even if it's a familiar or easy gig for you. There's always room for improvement and the attention to detail won't go unnoticed.

Photo Credit: Ciara O'Toole

The Burma Spotify

The Burma Youtube

Monday 2 May 2022

Who are your drumming influences?

I really love Glenn Kotche of Wilco and Mervyn Craig from The Redneck

Manifesto. I sit down and I wonder how they come up with the beats to their songs.

The way they play is different to the way I do. They’re drummers that I love and will always go back and listen to. Another drummer that has really influenced me is David Lovering of  the Pixies. Over the years, while I was playing, even in cover bands, I used to steal ideas from Dave and the Pixies. Pixies not only influenced me but also pretty much all of my friends. Also I really admire Levon Helm of The Band. I absolutely love their music.

 How did you get started?

Well my dad was a DJ. We always had music in our house although no member of my family played an instrument but then in primary school, in order to get out of class, I volunteered for the marching band. I played with them until I was sixteen or seventeen. It involved a couple of years of just snare drum. It was a novelty because we were all young and my friends and I played in parades like St. Patrick Day and in competitions.

What are your favourite songs and albums?

This is always a hard one. Over the last year or so during the Covid-19 lockdown, I was listening to a lot of music that was familiar. I was listening to a lot of Van Morrison.

My favourite album of his currently is St Dominic’s Preview but it changes all the time. I recently started listening to Arthur Russel as well. “Love is Overtaking Me” is the album I have been listening to most.

 What’s next for the band?

Well the new album is out which is great and we’re looking at getting out an album a year. With our first album we had the songs ready and we waited six months for a record deal that never materialized. I imagine by the end of this year we will have a third album recorded that we’ll try to get out for next year. The guys are really prolific and they always have songs on the go. We’re playing Whelan’s on the 20th of May and we’re also due to go to the UK and Europe and play a couple of dates over there in May.

 What’s your favourite song on Archive Material?

 Well the song I tend to go back to the most is Central Tones. I’ve done a complete U-Turn on this because it was originally the song I suggested shouldn’t be on the album. Another song which I really enjoy is Archive Material because it has a really good vibe.

 Do you play certain songs differently live as opposed to the recorded version?

Gary: Yeah it’s actually quite funny because with the first album we had recorded it but we were playing those songs for at least a year or 18 months beforehand but because of the Covid-19 lockdown, with all the stuff on Archive Material, we haven’t really been playing those songs live except maybe 2 or 3 times. When we went back out again on tour last October, we started in the UK and we did a couple of dates around Ireland at that time. When we started playing the songs I was thinking maybe I should have played it a different way. At the end of Archive Material itself, I have this sort of shuffle beat where it slows down and I kind of have regrets about that. With the new album, we wanted it to be more of a studio album so we used more percussion but we were conscious that we needed to replicate it live. On the song, Different Kind Of Holiday, when we recorded it in the studio, we used a lot of percussion and when we went out live, I wondered how I could replicate it, but we managed to recreate the feel which is the most important thing.

When it comes to arranging songs how much of an input do you have in that process or is it left to one or two band members?

The way it works is that Daniel and Killian will do a demo, they love to demo everything. They will write all that stuff and I can’t really sit down and listen to it because if I hear the song 5 or 6 times, I end up thinking that’s the beat. All I can hear is the way that they recorded it and I can’t get that out of my head. I don’t really want to get locked into it. So what we do is bring in the song, break it apart and then put it all back together again. It’s funny when you hear songs like “Different kind of holiday”, “Archive Material” or anything like that, they’re different from the demo and we’re in a lucky position that no one is precious about the material. Everyone will have a say and everyone plays a part.

There’s no doubt you take your music seriously but also in listening to the album, there’s a real sense of fun

Yeah you’re right, anyone who comes to our gigs and hears our music, they know we take it seriously but they know they’re not just listening to a dour rock band. They’re also listening to a band that has a lot of humour and fun in their lyrics and music.

 What advice would you give someone that wants to start a career in music?

The main thing I would say to people is to start a band with your friends. Get as good as you can. It’s only when you go out and play live that you really get your groove. The best thing is to just join a band.

Gary is the cool dude with glasses

Photos Credit; Róisín Murphy O'Sullivan

Tuesday 28 December 2021


Can you tell us about the new album and your favourite tracks on it?

The new album - Blood, Glass and Gasoline, was put together in 2020 at Hellfire studios in Dublin. We were originally to start in March but because of lockdown we had to cancel. Then we got a window in September where we worked hard for two weekends to do as much as we could. In 2021, Pete finished putting his new studio “Pilgrim Sound" together and the album was mixed and completed there. The album is the bands second and has eight tracks.

My favourite tracks on the album are, “Old Days" written by Tony. He has a great way of writing emotional lyrics to go with the music and this song certainly brings out a lot of passion when we play it.

And Pete's “Light a penny candle” It’s a story of Pete’s experience of walking through Dublin City and encountering the homeless. I feel it will be a become a true classic of Irish Music.


How would you describe your drumming style?

I like to play a very precise and straightforward style as a good foundation. I play hard and like to drive the music à la punk rock.

I came across Dr. Feelgood when they were on a TV show called “The Geordie Scene" and I admired the drumming of John Martin (The Big Figure). They say the Feelgoods were the influence of a lot of the early punk bands.

I have been very lucky to play with a lot of bands over the years and try different styles of music such as country, rockabilly and blues.

I really love that big punchy beat that the audience feels pounding through the PA.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Terry Chambers from XTC

I really liked Terry as he had a style which was his own and when I went to see him perform, I was amazed at his ability. Another drummer I love, who had this unorthodox style was,

Hughie Friel from the Irish band The Atrix.

And of course ...

The great Clem Burke- A left-handed drummer who plays a right-handed kit.

I met Clem at a gig he did in Whelan's a few years ago. That trick of his of throwing a stick in the air and catching it without missing the beat? Well in Whelan's he did it and it hit the ceiling and rebounded back at him fast, but he still caught it,and didn't miss a beat, -magic!


What are your favourite songs/albums?



Dr. Feelgood - Roxette

The Go Betweens- Right Here

The Records- Starry Eyes

Hugh Cornwell -Going To The City



The Flys-Waikiki Beach Refugees

Blade Runner-1982 soundtrack

Calexico-Hot Rail

X.T.C. - Drums and Wires


What advice would you give someone wanting to learn the drums and be in a band.

I started out in 1978. We sat around a table in Ireland's first McDonald's, in Grafton Street and we each picked what instruments we fancied playing. That band was Skank Mooks. I picked drums and at my first gig in Saint Anthony’s Hall, I asked Paul Bibby who was The NewVersions drummer,could I get a go on his kit after he sound checked as I had never sat on a kit before and I was doing my first gig that night!!!

I'm self-taught. I never got lessons, but I think if I was starting off today I definitely would. I suppose I was lucky that punk was just born and that gave me that motivation to get into music. There are now a lot of online learning sites which are mostly free and are worth a look.

Try to play with people you get on with. It’s important that everyone gels and you need to listen to different styles of music. Enjoy what you’re doing is the most important thing.


What drum gear do you use?

I have two kits at the moment.A vintage 1960s Pearl kit with a light blue Pearl wrap and a Tama Star Classic Bubinga with a Marigold sparkle wrap.

The Pearl kit I bought in 1978 and it took me through the early punk years. In later years I gave it a full restoration job and it came out gleaming.

Pearl:  22-inch bass drum, 14-inch snare 13-inch Tom 16-inch floor Tom

Tama:  24-inch bass drum 14-inch snare 12-inch Tom 16-inch floor Tom

The Tama Kit is Bubinga which is harder wood than Maple or Birch but that does make it heavier to carry around. Which kit I use on the day sometimes depends on the load into the venue because of the weight of the Tama.

I also use

Sabian and Paiste Cymbals

DW9000 bass drum pedal

Porter and Davies BC2 silent tactile bass drum monitor.

Wincent XXL5A drumsticks.

Photographer credit;

Tama kit pic, credit John Ward.

Pearl kit pic, credit Vanessa Byrne.

Saturday 30 October 2021


How have you been coping during the Covid-19 pandemic?

It hasn’t been too bad over all. But, there have been ups and downs just like for everyone else, I imagine. Fortunately, I have a set of drums at home which I can play at any time because I’m out in the country side. So I do try to play every day, it’s always a work in progress. I’m on the coast. A daily swim in the sea and a walk on the beach has also helped my sanity! I like to sketch with oil pastels. I’m collecting ideas for future new music projects in everything i see and do.


How would you describe your drumming style?

I am a musician first and drummer second. I play for the song or piece of music. I think my style is quite simple, really and usually, simplicity is what’s required to make it work. This can be trickier than people think. I’m a product of all the people I’ve played with, the music I’ve listened to, and the places I’ve been to over the years. Plus, my own personality informs my playing. I’ve been a Zildjian Cymbals endorsee for 30 years. Click on the link for my Zildjian Cymbals profile from the Zildjian Cymbals website.

I’ve been a Pearl drum artist endorsee for 17 years. Click on the link for my Pearl drum artist profile from the Pearl drum company website.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Well, in terms of drummers, I think there is a deep well to go back and tap into within Jazz, World Music, and the Blues.

I love Jack DeJohnette, his playing is really musical.

Elvin Jones is someone I go back to a lot and listen and watch, always in control but right on the cliff edge it seems to me.

Tony Williams, I really love the rawness and power and honesty of his playing.

Tony Allen, who was one of the main driving forces in the genre of Afrobeat music and his playing with Fela Kuti, as well as his own solo records.

Carlton Barrett with Bob Marley who is famed for popularising the one drop rhythm apart from his amazing playing Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Mitch Mitchell with Jimmy Hendrix.

Ginger Baker with Cream.

Jimmy Cobb with Miles Davis.

Hunt Sales with Iggy Pop.

Ronnie Tutt with Elvis.

Fred Below with Chuck Berry.

Phil Rudd with AC/DC.

Earl Palmer with Little Richard/ Fats Domino/ the wrecking crew and so many other great artists that he played with.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! So many great musicians across all genres and time.

What are your favourite songs / albums?

This is hard also as there is so many great albums / artists and songs that I love.

This is an incomplete list in no particular order:

The Idiot - Iggy Pop - Hunt Sales drums.

Lust For Life - Iggy Pop - Hunt Sales drums.

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures - Stephen Morris drums.


Metal Box - Keith Levene drums on Poptones.

Echo and the Bunnymen - Crocodiles & Heaven Up Here - Pete de Freitas drums.

The Sound - From the Lions Mouth - Micheal Dudley drums.

Sly and the Family Stone - Stand & There’s a Riot Goin’ On - Greg Errico and Gerry Gibson drums.

The Rolling Stones - Aftermath & Exile on Main St- Charlie Watts drums.

The Beatles - Revolver / Rubber Soul & Abbey Road - Ringo Starr drums.

Neil Young - Harvest - Kenny Buttrey drums.

Myles Davis - Bitches Brew - Jack DeJohnette drums.

Sketchs of Spain - Jimmy Cobb drums & Elvin Jones percussion.

Kind of Blue - Jimmy Cobb drums.

The Doors - Morrison Hotel & the album The Doors -

John Densmore drums.

Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde - Kenny Buttrey drums.

Modern Times - George G. Receli drums.

The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk - Vince Ely drums.

The Who - Won’t Get Fooled Again - Keith Moon - drums.

Led Zeppelin - Kashmir / Ramble On - John Bonham drums.

Lou Reed - Transformer - John Halsey drums.

The Velvet Underground & Nico - Album of the same name - Moe Tucker drums.

David Bowie - Low - Dennis Davis drums.

The Ramones - It’s Alive - Tommy Ramone drums.

Dave you have an incredible and impressive drumming C.V. Can you let us know some of the amazing musicians, studios, bands and producers you are currently and have been involved with?

From Amuse, Blue in Heaven, The Blue Angels,The Black Velvet Band, Eddi Reader w/HHF, Mary Coughlan, Warren Zevon ,

Maria Doyle Kennedy, Glen Hansard w/Hank Halfhead and the Rambling Turkeys, Kieran Kennedy, Gemma Hayes, Paul Tiernan, Fleadh Cowboys , Something Happens,John Martyn w/HHF , Supernaut, Shane MacGowan

w/HHF, The Dubliners w/HHF, PreNup, The Revenants to name a few.

Working in the studio with Producers like Martin Hannett {Joy Division, New Order, Factory Records}

Chris Blackwell {Island Records, Bob Marley,

U2, Steve Winwood}

E.T. Thorngren { Talking Heads, Black Uhuru, Bob Marley }

Jimmy Miller { The Rolling Stones}

Donal Lunny { The Bothy Band, Planxty, Moving Hearts}

Edge {U2}

Working in studios like Windmill Lane studios, Dublin.

Compass point, the Bahamas.

Abbey Road, London.

Townhouse, London.

Sarm West, London.

Strawberry Studios, Manchester.


Studios, London.

And a lot of the big studios and small of the day, sadly mostly gone now.

Touring with Blue In Heaven opening for bands like:

The Cramps

Orange Juice

The Cult

The Alarm


Simple Minds


The Damned

New Order

Echo and the Bunnymen

Art of Noise

The Chameleons

China Crisis

The Boomtown Rats

John Cale

Theatre of Hate

Spear of Destiny

Self Aid in the RDS Arena Dublin 

and for the last 21yrs HotHouse Flowers, touring and recording, tv Shows, playing festivals like Glastonbury, Fuji Rock in Japan and many others.

The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime, recorded in the Mojave desert.

Burning Man, Black rock desert, Nevada.

Hothouse Flowers latest album “Let’s Do

This Thing” is out now. We made this record over the course of a great week of work in Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin.

Released 2020.

Available on all digital platforms:

What is the secret of your success?

Well, I think ‘musician first,  drummer second’ is an important thing for me when

working with other musicians.  Playing what’s best for the song or piece of music you are

working on. For any musician, it’s important to always be aware of what’s going on. So, you have to learn to watch and listen. You’ve got to be able to get along as you can be with the same people on the road or studio for long periods of time. 

Be prompt and know the required material.

Listen to all types of music.

Learn another musical instrument.

Start writing music/songs. This will all help when playing what’s needed.

Nothing should get in the way of what’s required to make the music work and flow in the right way.

Enjoy the music and playing

always - have fun!

Apart from drumming you also write and record your own material. In fact Hotpress magazine said of  Listen For The Signals that it is a timely, provocative kick against over-polished production – and it’s well-worth wrapping your ears around. You must have been well chuffed with those comments?

Yes, a very good review for that album. It was much appreciated at the time.

It’s fantastic when a piece of work you have made gets

that sort of recognition.

I have three solo albums out which i have written, recorded and produced.

I play all the instruments and sing on them.

They are song based albums so no big drum solos!!


There Was A Girl - 2010


Hey You - 2013


Listen for the Signals - 2019


Available on all digital platforms.

Photo Credits; Marcelo Biglia / L Campos-Moya

Sunday 19 September 2021


How have you managed during the Covid-19 pandemic?

I have tried to make the best of it. Progressed some writing and recording for the next release whether that’s Theme Tune Boy or something else. But the week before the world shut down I'd had a small cyst removed from an index finger joint and it wasn't entirely successful meaning I'd have to go back for another go when the world re-opened. So lockdown rolls on into late summer and I went for a swim in the Headrace Canal near my home just outside Limerick, near Ardnacrusha Power Station in Co Clare.. Next thing I know I've a gangrenous looking septic infection that's right the way into my bones and I'm in hospital in Cork hooked up to IV antibiotics and they're slicing dead bits off the finger. It was insane!. A year later, I still have the finger but it's still a bit of a zombie with a mind of its own. I got the ability to hold a drumstick back handy enough but guitar and bass are going to prove a longer road. So I did the only thing that seemed logical to me -I wrote a song about it. More an essay really. Somewhere between Alice's Restaurant, Alien and The Walking Dead.

When did you start drumming?

I started building my own practice kit at home from plastic tubs when I was 14. The first time I got to use an actual drumkit was the night before a live performance on the back of a truck in Limerick city centre. Soon after, my dad backed me with money. I'm sure he couldn't spare to get me a tiny Striker beginners set. He also gave me his drumsticks and céili block -he and his family were quite musical and involved in Ceoltas. I made shit of his sticks and céili block in no time -pretty much using it as a cowbell. Luckily I did a bit of woodwork in art college and was able to do a tidy restoration on the block at least.


How would you describe your drumming style?

Probably for others to say, but I'd guess they might say, historically at least, I'm in the Vera Duckworth range when it comes to subtlety and nuance. Though in more recent years I think I've developed something of a gearbox I can shift through. I did drums and percussion with my friend David Irwins, Tom Waits -the early years Tribute some years back which put it up to me a bit to consider creative alternatives to 'leathering' everything. I also play club gigs with a DJ and they can be long shows so it's better to start with a lighter palette and build up.
But generally I'm probably regarded as an old school heavy hitter and I think there's also a strong enough association with using twin kicks as well which is funny as I can't blast beat AT ALL. I mostly play them as Keith Moon did -knocking out a string of 8s.  It helps that being a songwriter I can build in bits for the couple of modest tricks I can do. There's an urban myth in Limerick (that I did nothing to reign in of course) according to which I was "banned" from playing drums at school masses because I went full-on 'Won't Get Fooled Again' on closing hymn 'Walk In the Light'. Also have a rep for having a "wide" set up with one drummer colleague remarking "your hi-hats are in a different time zone to your china but fair play you get around them". It's one of my favourite compliments along with someone messaging me to say "jaysis Niall, you're handy as a small pot on them drums" 

Who inspired you to take up drums?

I suppose the bands I was listening to in my early teens in the mid 80s. I think Vom Ritchie from Doctor & The Medics was the first person I used listen to that had me distinctly going "I wanna play drums" as opposed to any other instrument. I think I imagined it'd be easier than guitar the same way some people think bass will be easier coz it's only got four strings. But I started tapping along with my hands or improvised sticks to things like The Cult 12"s of Rain and She Sells Sanctuary. Those 12"s were very useful in terms of breaking the whole thing down into manageable chunks. Not just drumming either -guitar, bass, composition itself. 

Who are your favourite musicians?  

As well as the aforementioned Vom I suppose in my earlier days playing in my teens it would've been Keith Moon for the sheer energy as well as Mitch Mitchell and Ian Paice. 

As I got older I'd have gotten into the metallers like Philthy Taylor, then Lars Ulrich, Charlie Benante, Dave Lombardo, Igor Cavalera. A huge one in later teens for me would have been Fyfe Ewing from Therapy?. Fyfe has the power of metal, the nihilism of punk and the groove of dance. He brought it all to the party.


What are your favourite songs / albums?

Ooh I've lots of those. Some not all that 'drummy'. Many of my favourite albums are by Half Man Half Biscuit 'Achtung Bono' and 'Urge For Offal' just for starters. Other albums that get spins uninterrupted are Bizarro by The Wedding Present, London 0 Hull 4 by The Housemartins, Mellon Collie by Smashing Pumpkins, Master of Puppets by Metallica, The It Girl by Sleeper, Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and and the absolute timeless belter that is Exile On Coldharbour Lane by Alabama 3.

As for individual songs - I'll never be able to play along to Slayers 'Angel of Death' properly but I like to try. I'm getting better at Metallicas 'Battery'. I love to play along to dance music -mainly big beat stuff like Fatboy, Prodigy ,Chemical Bros and 90's techno as well. Myself and Eric (The Hitchers guitarist) gig together in the guise of Decks&Drums where he spins the tunes and I leather away. We play the coolest of the cool to cheesiest of the cheese. It's too much fun and people seem to really enjoy it.

What drum gear do you use?

I've had the same kit since I rescued it out of a couple of inches of water in a coal bunker in 1988 though these days it's just the shellpack itself I use. It's a late 60's Japanese made student kit they used to make under the name Morris. I did a bit of research and found the shells are made of Indonesian mahogany ply -so they're pretty heavy. I'd to do a little restoration on some of the shells. When younger I always hoped to trade up eventually and I used be obsessed with Premier Resonators as a teenager. I had my midlife crisis in my 30's where I began obsessing over obtaining Ludwig Vistalites despite the fact I was drumming relatively rarely at that time.
Eventually I realised me and the Morris' are like an old age couple at this stage. I can't imagine playing anything else and it'd be vulgar to the point of treacherous to replace them now.  Its shells which had a damaged but beautiful mother of pearl wrap have long since been crudely covered in the posters and smash hits song lyrics off teenage Nialls bedroom wall in a homage of sorts to Keith Moons Pictures of Lily kit. I used to use two kicks but the second bass drum was always the first thing thrown out of the van when we got stuck for space so my band mates indelicately manoeuvred me to a twin kick pedal back in the mid 90's and I never looked back. My current Double-kick pedal is a Hayman. The rest of the kit is a 22" kick, 12" and/or 13" toms and a 16" floor. I use a 14" x 5" blue-olive badge Ludwig Supraphonic snare and I swear I wouldn't swap it for a Black Beauty.  


The hardware has been gradually replaced by Pearl stuff over the years. I know they make fabulous drums that record beautifully yet I've always found Pearl drums just not to my taste. But their hardware I've always found excellent in cost/quality terms. I do actually have an 18" Pearl floor tom which gets used as often as a kick with a jungle jig for dance gigs. But the Morris', which are skinned with a mix of Ambassadors, Diplomats and Emperors plus a pinstripe on the kick with Remo muffles on both ends to tighten the punch, have a superb and somewhat 'lively' sound that is very much of its era -sounds great with a 70s Glam Rock gig I've sat in on. It also puts that fear of god face on soundmen which is absolute gravy to me. I like to spoof them some pseudo-scientific drummer bullshit when they express concern and offer gaffa tape like "Oh no, no, it's imperative they're never tuned -but just left on the stage to 'room up' like a nice beaujolais".

Pretty much all my cymbals are Paiste which I presume your readers know is pronounced Pie-Stee and neither Paste, Pash-tee nor Páistí. I used have an endorsement deal with Paiste back in The Hitchers days but lost touch with 'my guy' there who I think moved on to C&C. I wish I'd taken further advantage of it to obtain some smaller and faster crashes. But I used get 18" heavy crashes -absolute bin lids because a lot of the time I was competing with a wall of Marshall Amps in semi-amplified/smallish PA setups. Among my crashes I've a vintage 18" Giant Beat crash/ride I picked up from an old jazzer. I rarely use it for rock gigs but for mellower stuff you can crash it, ride it, swish it. It's super. 

The only non-Paiste cymbal I own is a a 14" Meinl wafer thin crash a friend quite generously gave me that I use for the club gigs. It cuts through everything, super-fast decay. In-out. 
So my cymbal set up for The Hitchers and any other live rock gigs would be 2002(top)/Rude (bottom) combo 14" hats, 12" Signature Flanger Bell (tiny bin lid that cuts through EVERYTHING! Long decay mind. As Nigel Tufnel said you can go for a bite and that'll still be going) and to avoid a forest of cymbal stands that shares a boom with a 16" 900 dark Crash. Similarly sharing a boom over the other side are an 18" 2002 Crash and an 18" Rude China the latter of which I got 2nd hand for IR£80 in 1993 and it's still hitting me back. I alternate between a 20" Signature or 2002 Heavy Ride though I sometimes use both -more overhanging than stacked so I can play 16ths jiggling a stick up and down between them. 


What advice would you give someone wanting to take up drumming?

If you can dance you can drum, and I mean if you can dance at all as in sway in time to a piece of music -then you can drum. Drumming is articulated dancing is all. 
Also -protect your hearing from day one. There's nothing rock'n'roll about tinnitus. 

What advice would you give someone starting out in music?

 I used give a standard smart-arsed answer to this along the lines of "don't take any advice from beaten dockets like Niall Quinn".  But then I heard a story about the second world war that gave me pause for thought. Its a story of incomplete datatsets really. The allies were concerned about the number of planes they were losing on raids over Europe. Unsustainable losses. So trying to enhance survival chances they looked at the damage sustained by the planes that made it back and made a chart or diagram that mapped out the most common areas of damage to the planes. They were about to embark of a program of adding heavy armor plating to those locations when someone cried 'STOP'.-having realised that's where the planes that survived were hit. That means it must be possible to survive being hit in those locations and inversely it must be impossible (or at least unlikely) to survive being hit in the places those planes HAD NOT taken damage. They added armor to the locations showing little damage in their charts. Survival rates shot up. So the planes and crews that never made it back still provided data that saved others. So I guess that makes me one of the planes that never made it home and therefore I may actually have useful data to contribute. In that spirit and with the caveat that I'm in my late 40's, can't work Instagram and the landscape of the music business has changed beyond recognition to when I started out here goes...

- Be more generous and open than I was with the ideas, suggestions and creative inputs of your bandmates. They are your greatest asset and are as invested in your success as you are.

-Turn up on time.


-In any and every contract you're offered don't presume the independent legal advice you will of course be getting will spot everything. Have each band member who will be signing the contract go through it counting and highlighting every instance of the word ALL. Now each of you write out what you understand the sentences containing the word ALL to mean. Where differences of interpretation occur seek clarification until you have consensus. With consensus reached -you now have your battleground. You'll want as many of those "ALL"s as possible changed to something like "certain specified" or "certain defined". 

-Work as hard as you can, play as hard as you like and set reasonable boundaries between the two. It took a long time, far too long, for the penny to drop with me that "heh ...the barman isn't pissed, the girl on the door isn't pissed, neither are security. So -why am I pissed?" Now when your work is done -drink paint for all I care. There's no Just Say No lectures from me beyond suggesting you make informed choices on what you put in your body. But respect the fact you've chosen to work in an industry that floats on alcohol. 
And beyond that I'm afraid I really haven't a clue. Noel Redding once said "Eat well, sleep well and try not to get your dick caught in your zip". I think that advice has held up well. 



What is the music scene like in Limerick at the moment?

As ever It's very, very good. I'm not one of these people who imagines golden ages for bands or music or whatever. Limerick has always had loads of creative people doing exciting stuff in any and every genre. What can ebb like the tide a bit is opportunities for those creatives to show what they can do and develop -be that access to venues putting on gigs or recording facilities or even rehearsal spaces -the latter of which ironically there are often more of in economic downturns. But a lot of those boxes seem to be ticked at the moment and hopefully more so as the world opens up a bit. Limerick has always had it covered with the indie-guitar based thing and singer/songwriters but there's a thriving hip-hop scene now too that's given rise to the Make a Move festival and sure the whole world has heard of Denise Chaila by now. And metal has always been chugging away in the background thriving just fine in the dark -and Siege of Limerick which happens twice a year when the clocks change has become a cultural jewel in the crown. 


What’s next on the horizon?

Well I'm still writing and recording and getting over damage to the left hand. 2022 will see the 25th anniversary Vinyl re-issue of The Hitchers first album It's All Fun and Games Til Someone Loses An Eye so I'm looking forward to doing some gigs around that.