Thursday 16 March 2017

Irish Drummers; Gar, when did you start drumming?

I started playing drums pretty late actually. My whole life, I was banging on tables, my legs, and anything that made noise but it wasn't until I was 20 that my Dad gave me £800 and told me to go get a set of skins! I was messing around with a guitar and a bass for a few years but as soon as I sat down at a kit, I knew guitars and anything with strings weren't for me. I bought my first kit from Aidan in Music Maker, a Black PDP with Sabian B8's!! The lads in Music Maker are absolute heroes!

Irish Drummers; Did you take drumming lessons?

I taught myself to play by playing along to AC/DC, Queen and old Motown records, basically anything with a nice groove! Perhaps I should've started lessons earlier as I'm not a choppy drummer. I'm not into blazing fast sticks, while I do appreciate and admire the ability of choppy players, I just love sitting on a thick fat groove. My go to fill is the pat boon debbie boon, or a six stroke pick up and that's what works in the studio. My strengths are metronome, I can lock onto that without a second thought! My weakness is my noggin! I get way too far into my head sometimes!!

Irish Drummers; Who are your drumming influences?

Mick Fleetwood, Ringo Star, Charlie Hall (The war on drugs) and "song" drummers are the players I look up to. All the old Motown pick ups are my favourite, William Benny Benjamin and Richard Pistol Allen, them dudes had the best feel.

Irish Drummers; Any Irish Drummers you care to mention?

A few favourite Irish Drummers of mine are.... Rory Doyle, Ronan O'Reilly, Robbie Barrett, John Gray and Graham Hopkins. There's so many whopper drummers on this little island, and everyone is so supportive of each other, which I love!

Irish Drummers; What drum gear do you use?

I play a DW Collectors series 24" Kick, 13" Rack and 18" floor. I'd love an old Rogers or a Luddy, and something a bit smaller!! We recorded our latest album "Ghosts" in Sonic Ranch, El Paso and I recorded the drums on a BEAUTIFUL 1979 Rogers Butchers Block and I wish I could've brought that bad boy home with me! I play all Sabian Cymbals,14" HHX legacy hats, a 16" HHX Ozone, 16" AAX Crash with a sizzler and an 20" AAX Ride.

Irish Drummers; What is your favourite piece of kit?

My pride and joy is my Ludwig Black Beauty snare. My spare snare is a Pearl aluminum sensitone, and I had a Brady spotted gum but a bass amp fell on top of it and bust the rim! (Lesson learned, always leave your drums in hard cases, away from bass players!!)  ;)

Irish Drummers; What are your favourite venues?

My favourite venues are; Vicar Street, Whelans, The Olympia, The Set Theatre, Dolans and De Barras.

Irish Drummers; What are your career highlights to date?

A career highlight has to be playing the main stage at Electric Picnic before Future Islands in front of about 30,000 people!
That and recording in America, with legendary producer Ted Hutt. (Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, Old Crow Medicine Show)
Also having a number 1, Gold selling album is pretty sweet! :)

Irish Drummers; Apart from drumming, any other interests?

One thing I might mention is I'm REALLY into photography, I've shot loads of our posters and the photography for our new album! If anyone is interested in seeing my shots you can follow me here 

Photo credit Moat Hill Photography (B&W side profile)
Photo credit Dublin Daily Photography (live photo).