Q: What kind of setup do I prefer?
A: Any really. As long as it has a twin pedal, OK snare drum and the usual sturdy stuff. I don’t care so much about sizes, layers of wood and all that as long as it has good sustain and tone. I have one kit for practicing (Premier), one for recording (Pearl) and one for touring (Tama). Right now I have one of Simon Phillips’ Tama-kits that I “inherited”, for touring. The best kit I have ever had. I didn’t change any of Simon’s settings. It’s kind of cool to play it exactly the was Simon played it. Did this mostly as a gag at first, but his settings works fine.
Q: Why a twin pedal?
A: I started using them back in the eighties already due to the fact that some sound engineers panned the two bass drums left-right hard in the PA. I also used to get only one of the two drums in the monitors. Or one sounding way different than the other. It also saves a channel using a twin pedal.
Q: Is it true I don’t use monitors?
A: Yes. And no. Nowadays we have a click for me to follow since we have smpte-code running the pyro. In general I think it’s just a matter of getting used to not having monitors. You see these huge mountains of speakers behind the drummers. I don’t get it. The drums sound pretty loud themselves. And the band you’ll hear from the PA, backline, sidefills and their own monitors. I usually don’t say anything, I’ll just un-plugg them. Yes, I don’t use monitors on huge festivals either. If I can manage, anyone can.
Q: What sticks do you use?
A: Pro-Mark hickory 5B wood tip.
A: Meinl. Assorted sizes and types. But something that cuts a bit. Since I play with earplugs it’s needed.
A: Evans G2′S mostly. Power reverse dot on the snare. EQ4 on the bass drum.
Q: Why earplugs?
A: It’s too loud for me playing drums, the snare really bothers me. I have the kind that cut the level the most. The cheap ordinary ones you get at your drugstore. Not the musician type since they dampen too little. Yes, the feeling goes a bit playing with earplugs but rather the feeling right then than the hearing for the rest of your life.
Q: How did I practice as a kid?
A: As much as possible at all times. In as many situations as possible. Back then there was no youtube or transcribe-programs so we slowed down the LP-records. And used my brothers tape recorder that he modified with a slowdown button. Nowadays it’s not at all as much practicing. But I try to keep in shape so I play one hour a day if possible.
Q: How do I prepare for recording?
A: I listen to the stuff and write it down in my own sheet music. I play the stuff with the music in headphones. Then I come somewhat un-prepaired since the producers will change it anyways (since they want to make themselves more than just recording engineers to make up for their salaries:-)). I have an easy time un-learning and re-learning so it’s no problem for me.
Q: Preparations for touring?
A: Same thing. Listen and play at home if it’s new material I’ve never played before. Or just rehearse a few times with the band. I play somewhat more freely than most new drummers, due to my age and background, so it’s just like talking. If you have learned the language of music and drumming you just “speak”, hopefully tight together with the others. Sometimes the others speak a different dialect