Sunday 21 May 2017

Irish Drummers; Callum, when did you start drumming?
I started drumming when I was 15, which was later than I would have liked to pick up a pair of drum sticks, especially when you see these rhythm ninjas on YouTube, upending their kits and they're only 7&8. Fecking x-men drumming but I knew from the moment I saw one of my best mates gigging in a local GAA club that I needed to be a drummer...not to mention, the amount of attention he was receiving from all the girls made me even more curious.

Irish Drummers; Who are your drumming influences?

The older you get and the more music that comes into your life, the more you evolve as a drummer. I started playing drums because one of my best mates, Eoghan O'Brien (No Monster Club) hypnotized me when I was back in school. After a few weeks of sitting out in Eoghan's shed, learning 'The Pixies - Where Is My Mind' I was ready to play live. This was at a school assembly we had one morning where Eoghan played electric and I played the kit while trying not to murder 'The Strokes - Last Night' . After that, I held onto MUSE for many a year and Dom Howard became my main influence. 

Irish Drummers; What is your drum gear setup?

My kit is f**king nuts looking. Haha it's originally a Pearl Masters Custom which evolved into a blue hybrid MadaFaka. Jack Maximus* With the help and creative genius of Burnt Custom Drums / Overdrive, Bobby Vickers turned my kit into a fractal equation. I'm still trying to explain what the hell that means but I haven't nailed it yet. The artwork on the wrap is inspired by H.R. Giger, the creative mind behind the artwork for the Alien movies. The rims have been powder coated blue which is being chipped away at but f**k me, when the light hits it live, it's pretty cool. GO ON BOBBY V!!! 

Shell Sizes are : Kick 20x22
12×10 rack, 14x14 & 16x16 floors. 

Using a Tama Superstar snare at the minute as I felt 'Wild Youth' needed a poppier wooden snare rather than the brass sensitone I've been using for over half my drumming career. 

Cymbals ... are in f**king shite condition at the moment but you just have to get on with it.

Hi-Hats  13" HHX groove hats.
18" AAX Ozone
18" AA Thin Crash (f**king demolished)
21" AA raw bell, dry ride
I'm itching to get my hands on the Roland SPD-SX but that'll be down the line after I've robbed a bank (only kidding).

Irish Drummers; Callum, what are your favourite songs or albums?

Ahhh Jaaasus come on now. There is no answer for that wan... eeehhhh... it's all very mood based. I believe as a drummer you can't be biased towards different types of music and genres because you draw influence from absolutely EVERYTHING. Even if you don't think you're properly listening, the brain is listening all the time. One day I can blast Aphex Twin for the day and then the next I'm on a Sigur Ros buzz. You need to be listening to everything to constantly be learning, adapting to different styles and arrangements around the kit. There is SO MUCH music out there from all corners of the globe. It's ALL inspiration and motivation. 

Irish Drummers; What are your favourite venues?

I've been lucky enough to play most venues in Ireland because of the previous band I was in called 'Bipolar Empire'. Most gigs we played were high energy and I always found the gigs that were most fun and memorable were the Whelan's and Button Factory gigs. Such great rooms and you can pick people out in the crowd to bounce off and it makes the shows more personal but the sound system in The Academy and The Olympia gets me excited every sound check. The minute you hit the kick drum for the first time, you get this tickly feeling at the top of your japseye like when you were a toddler and your ma went too far ahead of you in a shopping centre hahaha... just Me??? Right! Cool, I'll let myself out... thanks for having me...

Irish Drummers; What current drumming projects are you involved in?

Current project, passion, love, is mah boys, WILD YOUTH. It's been a few years of hiding, writing every day. Writing around 150 songs, maybe only 5-10 (at a push) of them are any use but if you're not consistently writing, you're never going to progress. You will have days when you wanna throw yourself out of the highest window in the house (bit much?) But I'm being honest here. You write from 10 in the morning until 7 in the evening for five days a week. Trying to find your sound, trying to play to each persons strengths in the band, creating this unity, an unstoppable force and all the while making music you are proud of and excited to share with people you've never met before. This is the world we get ourselves into for love and passion of our instruments, our skills, our music. It's not easy but you should NEVER give up...or at the very least until you feel you have nothing left to give but those days come and go. You gotta stay strong and keep, keeping on ;) 
I haven't released anything with my drumming on it in years and 'Wild Youth' are just about to start a new journey together and I’m super excited but also quite nervous. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be human. 

Irish Drummers; What advise would you give to someone interested in drumming?

If you feel you have rhythm and a buried passion for hitting wood with two sticks of wood, get on that shit NOW! Don't wait!! It's such a powerful instrument. Great for the mind. Great fitness, helps with your breathing. Fantastic de-stresser, which makes for a healthy soul and all the while you're getting to put your mark on the drumming world. Coming up with fun grooves to play for the rest of your life is the most fun part for me. I still have sooooo much to learn but I’m excited for those years. I just want to create drums that I will always enjoy playing and hopefully other people will enjoy playing along as well.
Once you get over the first 6 months of cursing at your hands and feet for not being synchronized, then the fun really begins. Learning Bonham triplets, studying the insane drumming of Keith Moon and trying to fill in the pocket, like the fantastic Mitch Mitchell. 
One thing I would definitely encourage is while you're learning, keep a metronome going in your ears. Very important for vibes of a song, being able to play on or around the click....f**k me that was a lot... if you made it this far... well done you! Looking forward to getting on the live circuit and seeing all my favourite Irish drummers again.

Thanks for having me.

Cal x

WILD YOUTH's debut single ALL OR NOTHING is out at the end of May 2017.

Photo credit; Hamish Kay