How did you get your start playing drums? I’ve been playing drums pretty much since
about 7th grade. Started out playing marching band in 8th grade. A friend of mine took me
to the band room and put some sticks in my hand and said “follow me” and that is how
it all started. What was the song that challenged you in your
formative years? Dave Weckl “Tower of Inspiration”. I heard
Dave Weckl from a very good friend of mine, Jason Colment. Phenominal drummer. He introduced
me to Dave Weckl and people like “Yellow Jackets”. I was hooked. It expanded my brain. I hadn’t
heard music like that before then. I was more of a hip hop, gospel, and r&b kind of guy.
So when I heard this type of music, this fusion, this broad mind bending music, it was like
“what the heck is going on?!”. I have to figure out how to get in here and make my own way. What is the best thing about being a drummer? It saved my life. I wasn’t necessarily a good
adolescent. I was kinda wild. I had some streaks. And drums gave me an outlet. It took me out
of the streets. It took me away from trouble. It gave me a way to release my agression.
As much as I love listening to music, it was that much more fulfilling to say “wow I did
that, I created that”. These people are nodding their heads because I am playing this rhythm.
That introduced a whole new avenue for life for me because I didn’t have much before music. What do you think about what the internet
has done for drum education? It’s scary actually because when I came up,
I didn’t have a broad community of drummers to reach out to and share with. The internet
basically introduced me to millions of drummers in the world and it taught me that “I’m not
the only guy out here that’s ok, there’s some people out here that’s super phenominal on
the drums”. And so the learning curve is greater in my opinion because you have so much more
information and you have more people to reach out to and learn from and share with. What drives you as a drummer? I lived alot of my life not believing in myself
because of maybe some of the hardships that I had. So when I found something that I was
pretty good at and I saw that it actually took me somewhere beyond my environment, beyond
what I was used to. It showed me a new avenue of life. It’s taken me in and out of the country,
I’ve experienced different cultures. It opened my thinking you know I was pretty much a tunnel
vision type of person. Music gave me an opportunity to experience life and to live and eventually
you believe in yourself when you accomplish things. You start to see things come in to
fruition and you say “wow, if I didn’t apply myself, this would have never happened” and
that is the fufilling reward is when you realize at the beginning of this I thought this was
a challenge I thought this was something that maybe I’ll flop at. And then you follow through
with it and you come out and “I was succesful at that”. It’s inspriring. It drives me as
a producer. As a writer. As a human being. I want a better quality of life. And Music
helped me get there. Do you have any advice for aspiring drummers? So much. As a professional there is a lot
of advice I could give. I think the best advice I can give is that if you want to be a professional
musician, it starts before you get hired. You have to show up with an air of professionalism.
You have to be professional in your approach. Alot of times it is hard to communicate with
people in this industry. But being professional and having good communication skills and believing
in yourself are probably in the top three for me. Be on time for anything that they
say to be on time for. I mean it’s a simple job. If you make it as a professional musician?
Do a great show and show up to the lobby call on time. If you can’t do that then it’s kind
of like you are just wasting the opportunity.