Friday 6 March 2020

When did you start drumming?

I think I was around 4 or 5 years old. My older brother Darren who is also a drummer showed me basic beats and coordination, I don’t have a clear memory of it really being so young but that’s how the story goes. I just messed about for a few years after that when he’d let me on his kit until aged 12 when I really started taking it seriously and really getting into music... largely due to my brother moving out of the family home and leaving his kit to me on the promise that I’d practice every day. He also introduced me to the majority of my favourite drummers and music so really I owe my entire drumming career to him. I’ve been blessed to have grown up 
in a house that always had a dedicated “Music Room” thanks to my dad being a guitarist in bands all my life. I still have a kit there to this day and rehearse with my bands there. Very very lucky and grateful for that!

Who are your favourite players?

In no particular order;

Jimmy Chamberlin - Smashing Pumpkins 
Danny Carey - Tool 
Abe Cunningham - Deftones 
Thomas Haake - Meshuggah 
Dan Foord - Sikth 
José Pasillas - Incubus 
Brian Downey - Thin Lizzy 
Stewart Copeland. 
Also of late, I’ve really gotten in to Pete Ray Biggin who’s currently playing for Level 42. There’s a host of Irish drummers I’ve huge admiration for too! The likes of Dan Lang, Fiachra Kinder, Ben Wanders, Robbie Barrett, Rob Kennedy, Ronan Nolan, David Dockery, Johnny Boyle... could go on and on!  
What are your favourite songs or albums?

This is so changeable.. I can never really pick any sort of Top 5 or 10 songs or albums when asked so I generally answer with what I’m obsessed with currently... favourite album of all time is easy though! “White Pony” by Deftones...but then I think about “Siamese Dream” Smashing pumpkins, “Lateralus” Tool, “Morning View” Incubus... this question is too hard haha. I’m really enjoying Dermot Kennedy’s album at the moment, incredible Irish artist doing incredible things on a global scale which is so great to see. Favourite songs.. “Nutshell” Alice in Chains gives me chills on every listen. I’d have to give “Stand Inside Your Love” by Smashing Pumpkins a mention seeing as I have lyrics tattooed on me. Come back to me tomorrow I’ll give a completely different answer! 

What’s your current drum gear setup?

I have a couple of kits I’m using currently. I play a Pearl Masters maple with a wedding band I play with. 20” kick 10 and 14” toms 14” snare, I find those sizes work perfectly for that gig. My main kit is a custom kit I had built by Mayfish custom drums based in Belgium back in 2010. It’s all birch shells 22, 10, 12, 16. It’s a tad road worn at this stage but still sounds massive. My cymbal set up at the moment is an array of Meinl, Sabian and Murat Diril cymbals. I’ve certainly started to favour the darker, trashier cymbals in the past few years. Depending on the gig I could have a simple Hats, Crash and ride set up or a big set up of splashes, Chinas and stacks etc. I’m constantly experimenting with it and never really settle on a cymbal set up. I also use a Yamaha DTX12 sample pad and Vater Drumsticks because their durability and feel is second to none in my opinion. 

What gigs / projects are you currently involved in? 

I’m currently playing with The City and Us which is my main project. We’ve just released a new single and have been writing, recording, touring as much as possible over the past 12 months with a view to releasing lots more material throughout 2020. So that takes up most of my time these days outside of a busy cover gigs diary. Outside of that, I also play with Hero In Error when I have the time and will be playing with Tool tribute act “The Grudge” for some gigs this year too.. So lots on my plate! It can be hectic to keep everything going but it’s all good stuff and each gig requires something different which keeps me on my toes and out of trouble as my mammy would say! 

What advice would you give someone wanting to take up drums?

First and foremost..As cliche as it is... just bloody enjoy yourself! That’s ultimately why we play. And don’t get too bogged down comparing yourself to other drummers, it’s not a competition and no two players are the same so concentrate on developing your own playing style at your own pace. Always be open to learning, there’s always something to be learned from others, listen to and play a variety of music and did I mention to enjoy yourself!! Life will throw enough stress and pressures at you, music should never be one of them! Quite the opposite actually! 

Photo credit; Nevill Bedford Photography