Monday 18 March 2019

Who inspired you to take up drums?
I think the biggest influence on me for sure was Adam and the Ants when I was 10 in 1980.
Kings of the Wild Frontier was their second album released and I thought the drums sounded fantastic on that, especially the use of the lower toms.
They had two drummers, Merrick and Terry Lee, which made the sound even more spectacular. Malcolm McLaren was their manager at the time and he had introduced Adam Ant to the Burundi Beat and persuaded him to change the band's sound.
I then bought their debut LP, Dirk Wears White Sox and to this day I think it's my favourite snare sound captured on record.

McLaren was also looking after another band around the same time called Bow Wow Wow and they had a similar drum sound on their two singles C30 C60 C90 Go and I Want Candy.

I started playing along to songs with pens on pillows then and drove my class mad at school for constantly playing pretend drums on my desk.
My grand uncle Jimmy Mintern had been the drummer in a Cork band called The Dixies so he encouraged me to get a kit so I bought my first one at Christmas in 1983 and rehearsed in my grandmother's house.
The local music scene in Cork was very strong  around then and there were some great local drummers around like John Kilkenny (The Belsonic Sound) and Mark Healy (Cypress,Mine!).It was fantastic to sneak into shows in places like Mojos and Sir Henrys and get to see local bands regularly so I then took the next step and started a band with some friends at school and we played our first show the year after.

Who are your favourite players?
Stephen Morris has always been my favourite drummer, the drums in both Joy Division and New Order were like a song within a song.I loved the different patterns he played.
When I was learning to play I was able to play along to their songs and my timing improved quickly. There were a lot of great drummers in the 80s' whom I thought were superb like Nick Knox from the Cramps,, Marky Ramone and Mike Joyce from the Smiths.
Larry Mullen Jr. from U2 was a massive influence as well - he is a fantastic drummer.
Nowadays my favourite drummer is Todd Trainer from Shellac.

Your favourite songs or albums?
My favourite album would be the Smiths debut LP. I like loads of Fall songs - some superb drumming on those records by the various different drummers who played with them.
There were some great  drummers in the various 80s - Ska bands as well like John Bradbury from the Specials.
U2's Boy is a standout record for me as well.

What’s it like to be playing Tipp Classical this year?
The last time we played in Thurles was way back in 1993 at Feile then so it's great to go back and play there again after all these years and complete the circle.
We will also be doing a few songs with the orchestra there so I am looking forward to trying to keep in time with them!

You wrote a book about Cork slang “Dowtcha Boy”.Any plans to write more material?
No plans on any other books at the moment. I spend most of my time teaching Swedish people to speak with a Cork accent.

What advice would you give someone wanting to take up drumming?
If you want to be good at anything you have to put the time in and there's no substitute for hard work if you want to learn, find a friend or two who want to play music and take it from there.

Sultans of Ping - U Talk 2 Much (Fanning Session)