Thursday, 28 September 2017

September/October Updates

Remo announcement
I'm very excited to announce that I have joined the Remo Artist roster! I've spent the majority of my career using Remo heads so it's an incredible honour to be part of the team.
After going to their UK base and trying their vast ranges, I settled on the P77 snare head, coated emperors for the toms and a P4 for the kick drum, although there are so many different models I'm bound to use different ones in different situations.

The UK Drum Show. 23rd/24th September
Meeting Thomas Lang!
The UK Drum Show was a two day event that ran at Manchester Central towards the end of September. The show brought together some of the best artists from around the world alongside a plethora of companies. I was enlisted to help on the Amedia Cymbals stand; displaying and demonstrating these beautiful Turkish cymbals to a wide range of drummers. These events are always a highlight for me, I love meeting and chatting to such a variety of drummers, you learn a lot from people from all walks of life. We received some great feedback, met a lot of the Amedia Artists and caught up with old friends. What always sticks to me is the faces that you see just walking about, playing and chatting; Thomas Lang, Dennis Chambers, Simon Phillips, Al Murray, Dion Dublin, Craig Blundell, the list just goes on. It really is a communal feeling being at a show like this and the venue, staff and layout I found to be perfect. Very excited to hear plans for the 2018 UK Drum Show.

A lot of big shoutouts, but just a few include; Chris and Alex @ Amedia, Gary @ Remo, Simon @ Pearl, Gareth @ Highwood, Tim @ Provenance Drums, Stu @ British Drum Company, Dion @ The Dube, Nick Hopkin Drums, Low Boy Beaters, Rusty Drums, Mike Dolbear, Chris Young Drums.
You can check me chatting about some of the Amedia Cymbals here.

Ducking Punches - Alamort
I left Manchester Drum Show and headed straight to Leeds to begin tracking drums for our latest album. Bob Cooper is one of my favourite producers and this would be my first time working alongside him, which was super exciting. The first day was a blur of trying different combinations of kit, snares, heads and cymbals. In the end my North Bubinga kit, North Beech Snare drum and various Amedias were selected. We kept with Remo Coated Emperors (toms) and Coated Ambassadors (snare) plus a P4 for the kick.

Once sounds were chosen and cemented and levels and everything adjusted, we were all good to go by the afternoon. Bob was a master to work with, pushing me hard to make sure I achieved the best possible takes, but all with a gentle and friendly nudge. He was also incredibly meticulous with his tuning; coming in after each take and checking with both his ears and a tune-bot. It took until halfway through the third day to get all 11 tracks down, but I was incredibly proud of the results.
Over the next week and a half we could then hear the songs really come alive. Recording is my favourite experience, especially when you have a bunch of songs that you feel proud about.
You can watch some of the footage we took on this tour video.
Since recording it's been mastered by the ever amazing Mass from Sonic Iguana studios (who's recorded and mastered a lot of my favourite albums) and is availble to pre-order from Xtra Mile, with a release date of 16th Feb 2018. You can pre-order Alamort via this link.
We have also just confirmed two album release shows, one in Norwich, one in London. Our good buddies Nervus and Grieving will be playing both shows as well.

USA Tour
After the fun of recording was over, it was time to turn our attention to heading back stateside for the third year in a row. We had only covered the East Coast before, this time we were going to work our way down the West Coast, starting in Seattle and going all the way down to San Diego, before an internal flight to finish at FEST in Gainesville, Florida. As usual, it always takes so much planning for these kind of trips and they inevitably end up zipping by way too quickly. Luckily a lot of the equipment and transport logistics were being covered by a band from LA called Spanish Love Songs who we were going to co-tour with. First up, they deserve the biggest shout out, not only are they a group of lovely people, but they are one of the best bands I've heard in a long time. Not only did they lend us every single piece of equipment, but they arranged all the drives, places to stay and even took us on some wonderful sight seeing tours. There is so much to talk about, but here are some tour highlights; Star Trek exhibition at MPop Seattle, playing Death By Stereos' skateboard shop, getting tattooed at Scapegoat in Portland, gambling in Las Vegas, vegan punk rock doughnuts in LA, Patrick Stewarts' Hollywood star, 39 degrees heatwave, FEST!

Monday, 18 September 2017

July/August Updates

Guilty Party - Jacksons Lane. 17th July
Just got back from Jacksons Lane Theatre in London where we took over the entire venue with our Guilty Party show. It was my first time at Jacksons Lane and straight away everyone made us feel really welcomed, it's a great venue ran by a a core group of very passionate people. I decided to take my 'bop' kit for this event as we were a little pressed for space (sometimes up to 15 of us on stage at any given time) Plus with the mixture of hoop acts, aerials, dance and theatre I wanted to keep it all compact. All in all, a great evening and hopefully the start of more Guilty Party events to come.

Ducking Punches
Another hugely busy couple of months with Ducking Punches which begun with our first time playing 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham. I had heard a lot about this festival over the last few years but had never made it down so I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. To make things even more special we were opening up the Main Stage on the Saturday.
First impressions were amazing, it was one of the most friendly and well organised festivals I have attended and we were made to feel welcome straight away. After catching a few bands (including our buddies Muncie Girls) we got a fairly early night on the Friday so we were fresh for the show.
I was humbled by how many people showed up to watch us. It felt so special looking out and seeing so many people singing along as well. I have vowed to come back to 2000 Trees next year, it really is a special little festival.
Another highlight was getting back over to Germany for a few shows. It was my first time in Trier, which really is a spectacular city. In fact it's the oldest city in Germany and for once we got a rare full day to explore as well as try plenty of local mosel wine. Another first foe me was Ulm, which has the tallest spire in the world which we went to the top of. The shows were excellent and as usual, the people and venues went beyond expectations and treated us wonderfully.
We have also just finished demo-ing up the 3rd album. Drums were recorded at mine using my Zoom r16 before everything else was laid down at our guitarists. Really happy with how the new songs are sounding and even more excited to get to the studio in September to start recording.

Drum Shows
Over the next few months there will be two huge UK drum shows happening. The first one is happening the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September at Manchester Central and will see the likes of Thomas Lang, Dennis Chambers, Gerald Heyward and Simon Phillips amongst many others performing. There will also be all the major companies showing their gear (as well as plenty of independants) a vintage room, clinics etc. It's shaping up to look like the best show we've had in the UK for years. I'll be there for the weekend on the Amedia stand so come and say hi.
More info at ukdrumshow
Then on the 11th and 12th November, the London Drum Show will be making it's return to the Olympia. It's always been a great weekend and there are some really big names confirmed including Anika Nilles, Aaron Spears, Steve White and Jimmy Chamberlain. Jimmy (from Smashing Pumpkins) is always at the top of my list when it comes to influences so I am especially excited to see him, for what will be my first time. A lot of exhibitors haven't confirmed yet, but hopefully we'll start to hear of some companies being involved soon.
More info at londondrumshow