Sunday 18 November 2018

What or who inspired you to take up drums?
I was a complete music fanatic throughout my school years and was pencil drumming on everything for as long as I can remember so I suppose I was always drawn to it from a very young age. I was already playing guitar but what possibly sealed the deal for me taking up drums was my first live gig going to see Therapy? in Dundalk in my late teens. Their drummer Fyfe Ewing totally blew me away and it was shortly after that that I bought my first kit.

Who are your favourite players?
Drummers I was listening to during the early days of playing with the Rednecks probably had the biggest impact on my style and remain firm favourites. Brendan Canty (Fugazi), John McEntire (Gastr Del Sol/Tortoise), Doug Scharin (Codeine/June of 44) and Britt Walford (Slint) were all big influences. Some current favourites are Mark Giuliani, Nate Wood, Alexander Sowinski (BadBadNotGood) and Greg Fox.

What drum gear do you use?
Strangely enough for most of my drumming life I was never particularly into drum gear at all. I originally started out playing guitar so I always thought of myself more of a guitarist who also happened to play drums and only bought guitar equipment/studio gear while just having the core drum stuff needed. In the last few years, I’ve started to get more passionate about drumming and have gone down a rabbit hole of buying vintage drum gear. I’ve always been a big fan of old Premier drums and I’m currently playing a beautiful early 70's Premier mahogany kit in 12”,14", 20" sizes. Premier kits age so well, this one's nearly 50 years old and looks like new! It always amazes me how Premier kits are so overlooked in the vintage market. They’re seriously some of the best made and beautiful sounding drums out there but are always overlooked for the big US brands. I’m currently playing all Zildjian K / Dark K cymbals, I’m probably amassing way too many snares for the amount of time I actually get to play them. Some favourites include a 6.5” 20-ply Pearl Reference,which was my main snare for quite a few years, 5” brass and 6.5” aluminium Pearl Free-Floating snares. I also recently bought and restored two vintage COB snares - a 60’s Premier Hi-Fi and a 70's Pearl Jupiter which both sound incredible. I use mostly DW flat base stands and hardware along with some vintage stands.
Your favourite songs or albums?
That’s a tough one, I have such a wide ranging taste in music that seems to be constantly evolving. Not necessarily all of drumming interest but a few records that’s have stood the test of time for me are Fugazi - In on the Killtaker, John Fahey - Blind Joe Death, The Beatles - Abbey Road, Polvo - Celebrate the New Dark Age and Jim O’Rourke - Insignificance. Some more recent albums I really love are Christian Scott - Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, Szun Waves - New Hymn to Freedom, Skeletons - People and Mark Pritchard - Under the Sun.

What upcoming projects are in the pipeline?
This year (unbelievably) marks the 20th anniversary of The Rednecks forming! We’re doing a show in Vicar St on the 30th November to celebrate and and also launch our new album ‘The How’. It’s our first album in 8 years so really looking forward to getting it out there finally. We also have a second tour of Japan in the works and will be doing some dates around Ireland next year to support the new album too.

What advice would you give someone wanting to take up drumming?
Learn to play rudiments and how to apply them to the kit. I taught myself to play so skipped that enormously important step and struggled with a much weaker left hand for years because of it. Thankfully, with all the amazing video content online these days it has given me a renewed love of drumming so I’ve been actively righting all those wrongs over the last few years. Also, get some decent ear plugs and always wear them when playing. Tinnitus is no fun and your ears will thank you for it, 20 years down the line!

Photo Credit;  Afghaniscan