Monday 30 October 2017

Martin Murphy - Remembering a Great Irish Drummer

Irish Drummers; David (Frew), can you share with us some of Martin’s influences?

Martin's influences were primarily The Clash and the work of Topper Headon, especially his jazz, reggae and rock style playing. Martin wasn't a fan of the more exuberant 'flash' drummers - in essence he liked his drummers fairly primal with a unique feel and style. I know the drummers he was fond of were, Jet Black from the Stranglers, Paul Cook (Sex Pistols) Neil Conti from Prefab Sprout, Charlie Watts from the Stones, Kenny Jones (The Who) and of course the late great Keith Moon.

Irish Drummers; What was it like playing music with Martin?

Martin was great to play with both live and in studio. Amazingly enough, in the studio he was rubbish at playing with a metronome click track, but give him a simple rhythmical pattern and he was bang on time. He wasn't a big fan of the production style in the '90's of 'triggered' samples but it's in the live area where he excelled, he was always playing around with different styles of playing and liked to improvise when he could. 

Irish Drummers;  What type of drum gear did he use?

His kit was a Pearl All Maple. I know he liked his range of Zildjian cymbals and other various percussion accessories (he had a double kick drum pedal for a while which was interesting) 
He had a very punk rock aesthetic and played with a primal feel when needed (a big fan of the floor tom and kick) plus he could play with great syncopation.

Irish Drummers; Can you tell us the extent of Martin’s role in An Emotional Fish?

His role in An Emotional Fish was pivotal especially with the bass playing of Enda (Wyatt), Our song ‘Celebrate’ is a good example of this, a driving bass riff with Martin's syncopation patterns on the song really move it along. Interestingly his work on songs like Lace Virginia and Careless Child, I would suggest showcase his various playing styles.

Irish Drummers; How will Martin best be remembered?

Fundamentally it's him as a friend and a great,arguably self-taught musician (I do know he had some lessons with Noel Eccles). Indeed I'm sure I can answer for Jerry (Fish) and Enda (Wyatt) also on this, Martin loved Music pure and simple and especially his work within the band. I know he took - more then any of us, the gradual dissolving of AEF with some sadness. He was very much the quintessential drummer you want in your band who gives a very visceral contribution to the band and was always up for the experience, if that makes sense. As I said earlier his playing was pivotal to the sound of AEF. We will truly miss him, I know I do.  I'll end with a lyric from his favourite band The Clash which we would say to each other periodically, Go easy, step lightly, stay free. 

YouTube video - An Emotional Fish - Lace Virginia

Sunday 1 October 2017

Dara Coleman - Drummer with Fangclub

Irish Drummers; Dara, when did you start drumming?

I don't know the exact time. I started out on bass when I was 13, but whenever there was a break during a jam session with whatever band I was playing with, I'd always just mess around on the kit. I think I was about 16 when I joined a band as a "drummer".

Irish Drummers; Did you take lessons early on?

I never took lessons. I feel though, because I started on bass, that I had a certain level of understanding in regards to beats and rhythm that definitely helped when starting off on drums. I feel I learn best visually so I'd just watch what everyone else was doing. If I saw something I liked, I'd take it and try to put my own spin on it. Part of me wishes I got lessons when I was younger but in the past year I got myself a practice pad and actively practice rudiments and other exercises, which I genuinely enjoy doing.

Irish Drummers; Who are your drumming influences?

Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl first and foremost. I always loved the way Grohl played the drums like any other instrument. Like if all you heard was the drum track and you are still able to tell what song it is. It's hard to mention those guys without mentioning Bonham. I love Sean Kinney from Alice In Chains, his playing is so fluid and effortless looking. Matt Cameron and Tres Cool both deserve a shout out too.
Irish Drummers; What is your drum gear setup?

I'm about to get a new kit with my preferred specs, which are:
16x24" Kick
9x13" Rack
16x16" Floor
6.5x14" Brass Snare
I use Sabian cymbals and my current set up is 15" HHX Groove Hats, 19" and 20" HHXpolsion Crashes and a 21" HHX Groove Ride.

Irish Drummers; What are your favourite songs / albums?

Woah! That's not an easy or simple question to answer. How about we go with what I've been liking recently? I'm enjoying the fuck out of the new Foo Fighters album.
There is this band called Pond that I'm obsessed with. Their 2 most recent albums are psychedelic rock masterpieces. Foster The People are usually on rotation on my Spotify as well as Father John Misty. As for lesser known bands, Tigercub is an amazing band from the UK that have something on another level. Check them out!

Irish Drummers; What advice would you give to someone starting out in music?

I don't know if I'm in a position to give advice but what I would say is make sure you are honest with yourself about everything. Your goals, intentions, playing, songwriting etc…There are sacrifices that will have to be made but if you are truly playing for the love of it, they won't be a problem.

Irish Drummers; Your debut album has garnered great reviews, you must be delighted with the response?

It's been insane. We self-funded and recorded the album 3 years ago in the Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry with one of our friends. It's so cool to finally have it out and even cooler that people are enjoying the record. Can't ask for more than that!

Irish Drummers; What major projects are in the pipeline over the next few months?

There are a few really cool things we have planned before the end of year which I can't say unfortunately, but mostly we will be touring. We are supporting SWMRS on their UK tour at the end of the month then our own Irish tour in October which I can't wait for. Last time was serious fun and I've no doubt it will be even more so this time around.

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

In other countries I've often got a competitive feeling surrounding music. In the Irish drumming community everyone is always supportive and encouraging. Sound bunch yiz are!