Sunday 7 May 2017

Irish Drummers; When did you start drumming?

I started drumming when I was 12. I went to my local music shop called The Sound Factory to look at my options and I decided on a Peavey kit. My brother played guitar and bass at the time. He helped me out by paying for half the kit to get me started. I still have most of that kit knocking around back home. After a couple years of playing, my Dad built us a small studio with a nice sound proofed room for me to play all day long. I got so many hours of practice in that room.  

Irish Drummers; Jason who are your drumming influences?

Over time my influences have changed, but early on I got a lot from Tre Cool, Patrick Wilson, Zac Farro, Dave Grohl and John Bonham. Some of my favourite drummers right now are; Steve Jordan, Ash Soan, Carter McLean and Aaron Sterling. I can’t get enough of their groove. 

Irish Drummers; What drum gear do you use?

I have a Gretsch USA Custom and a 70’s Ludwig. It’s great having two types of kits to cover a modern sound and that classic vintage sound. The Gretsch is the kit I use most of the time but when I’m recording I love to take the Ludwig out. I’ve been using Meinl Cymbals for the last seven years or so. I’m a big fan of the Traditional Byzance line of cymbals. I have a handful of snares at the moment. I see a collection building up over the next number of years. Here’s a full list. 

Gretsch USA Custom

22 x 18
10 x 7
12 x 8
14 x 14

70’s Ludwig Classic Maple

22 x 14
13 x 9
16 x 16


13” Byzance Trad Hats
14” Byzance Extra Dry Hats
18” Byzance Trad Crash
20” Byzance Trad Crash
22” Byzance Tradition Ride
22” Byzance Dual Crash Ride


Ludwig Copperphonic 
60’s Ludwig Supraphonic 
80’s Ludwig “Rock Concert” 
70’s Ludwig Vistalite 
Gretsch New Classic 
Pearl Aluminum Sensitone 
Mapex Pro M 

Irish Drummers; What are your favourite albums / songs?

One of my favourite albums is “Vivarium” by a Scottish band, Twin Atlantic. I was hooked on this when I was about 18. Some other favourites would be Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin, Born and Raised – John Mayer and The Olllam (self titled) 

Irish Drummers; Jason, what current projects are you involved in?

I’ve been in a band called We Were Giants for the last 5 years and we recently just changed our name to KARMS. We recorded an album up in Donegal last year and just released our first single “We Always Lose” which has been getting a great response from Radio and Spotify plays. We will be in Whelans on the 13th of May. You need to come to a KARMS gig!
I also play with Jake Carter who is a modern pop/country artist who’s doing really well over here. I like to be involved in a few projects, to have some outlets for the different styles that I enjoy playing, rather than trying to force ideas into the wrong band.  

Irish Drummers; Any advice to aspiring drummers?

It sounds obvious but listen carefully, like really listen. Learn to listen to what the other musicians are playing. It’s so important to get the vibe right. You have so much colour to play with behind a kit and choosing the right groove, dynamics and sounds are going to really change everything. A lot of the time it’s the lyrics and melody that guide what I’m going to play. Playing with the guys in KARMS and recording with engineers like Tony Doogan and Stuart Gray really helped me to understand that less is nearly always more. 
I think it’s important for drummers to be able to get a good sound and learn how their gear works. It’s amazing how happy your band and engineer will be if you can take that weird wobble out of your floor tom quickly and move on.

Irish Drummers;  In your opinion, what makes Irish drummers unique to other drummers?

I’ve had nothing but good experiences with drummers here. I studied with about twenty drummers for four years in BIMM. I made great friends there and learned a lot from all of them and the tutors. Everyone’s approach is so unique and interesting. I see so many great drummers in original bands that are so creative and dedicated to playing for their love of it. Likewise, I have huge respect to the drummers out every weekend, travelling up and down the country, playing music for other people to enjoy, in both cover and wedding bands. The level of talent in this country is phenomenal. There is a unique quality to the network we have here. We have professional players encouraging younger drummers online and the interaction is great. The variety is so important. You can see some world-class players every weekend and no more than a couple of hours away

Photo Credits; Dara Munnis / Shauna Kenny