Sunday 29 January 2017

Back in the 90's, Georgia, a band from County Donegal released an album entitled Everybody's God, published by Danceline Music. The members of the band were Jason Kelly, John Kane, Stephen Gallagher and drummer Michael Christie. Apart from drumming duties, Michael is also credited as being the composer of a number of tracks on the album, including the title track Everybody's God and Ghosts.

Irish Drummers; Michael, what have you been doing, drumming wise, over the last number of years?

I played all over Europe in the last 10 years with blues/rock guitarist Johnny Gallagher and shared stages with Supertramp, Quo, Govt Mule, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart and Marcus Miller among others. I also filled in for some gigs with Pat Mc Manus formerly of Mamas Boys.

Irish Drummers; When did you start drumming?
Well, I first started drumming in a school marching band and didn't start on a kit until I was 16 or so. Back in those days you learned by watching Top of the Pops on TV, watching other drummers especially in showbands and being thrown in at the deep end in bar bands playing every genre under the sun.

Irish Drummers; How did Georgia come about?
By the time the band Georgia formed, I was also singing a lot from behind the kit and writing some songs. All of us in Georgia were local players, who started writing and recording songs with influences from Squeeze, Marshall Crenshaw and Neil Young amongst others. We financed, produced and recorded the album Everybody's God ourselves and enjoyed a lot of airplay on national radio. We toured with the Frames, played in Europe and even in Nashville-- but we never managed to get the big business players involved and called it a day a few years later. All of us are still living within a half hour and jam together every now and again.

Irish Drummers; What happened after Georgia?
After that band I decided I had spent an awful lot of energy on managing, promotion, and song writing to the detriment of my drumming. I did the Rockschool grades and got back to practicing drums and from there I eventually drifted into the blues rock scene.

Irish Drummers; What is your preferred drum gear?
I've been playing a Pearl Masters Maple kit for a long time now with a Reference snare. Not fussy about cymbals-- tried every brand -- but I do still use the 22 inch Avedis ride that I bought way back at the age of 17!! 

Irish Drummers; What music projects are you currently involved in?
Nowadays I teach drums to some great young local players and I play in my own 3 piece pop/dance /rock band The Trutones as well as a 4 piece classic rock band called In Your Town which plays at the Rory Gallagher festival in Ballyshannon every year.

Irish Drummers; Who are you're favourite drummers?
Favourite drummers include Topper Headon, Bill Bruford, Matt Abts, Pierre Van Der Linden,Brian Downey & Remi.

Irish Drummers; What advice would you give to someone pursuing a drumming career?
For any young drummer starting I would advise not to value technique above feel and to embrace music in every way not just rhythm-- sing a bit, if you can and more work will come your way!!!

Photo credit; Oakfield Photography

Live video of Michael from his Johnny Gallagher days. Enjoy!