I just re-read a feature interview from the October 2014 issue of Modern Drummer magazine with the legendary drummer from Deep Purple, Ian Paice. He’s a huge hero of mine.
Here’s what I think is a great piece of advice for younger drummers that he shared, given his 50+ years being a professional musician in one of the iconic Rock bands of the world:
“If you like playing drums, do it because it makes you happy. If you can find a few friends around you, form a little band. If it goes somewhere else, treat it as a bonus. When we started, we never thought that it would be our careers. We were just kids having fun, and that was enough. For the few of us who had it and had the luck, it became something else. I’ve said before, success is a strange thing. You go chasing it and you won’t find it. But if you stay true to yourself and enjoy yourself and make yourself happy, you might find that success taps you on the shoulder from behind. But you can’t force it.
There are some fantastic young players around the world, and it seems that the industry’s against them. They can’t be pigoenholed; they can’t be put into little pockets of music. The industry doesn’t want to be bothered. Play what you like, play what makes you smile, play from your heart, and just keep on doing it and enjoying it. And if you never leave your garage – if your drums stay in your garage and you just batter the crap out of them – the very least you can do is make yourself smile, because you still have something that most of the world doesn’t have or understand.”
– IAN PAICE, DRUMMER FOR DEEP PURPLE, AND ROCK LEGEND.
I had a blast last Monday being part of the opening performance for the Bellamy Brothers’ debut Singapore concert on their current tour.
The Bellamy Brothers and their band were really nice to us, and we thoroughly enjoyed their excellent, world-class playing. A big highlight for me was chatting with the drummer, Rocky Marvel, after the show, and for him to tell me that he liked my playing, was beyond awesome. He was so gracious in answering a couple of questions I had about his drum setup and it was just two drummers exchanging thoughts about the instrument we both love to play. Before our conversation and photo taking were over, he gave me the pair of his signature model sticks that he used that night and his namecard! How cool is that?
I wish the Bellamy Brothers safe travels through the rest of their tour and to many more years ahead of fine music they have to give.
I wish to thank the following:
The Revival Band – Martin, James, Peter and Ricky.
The Kallang Theatre Management
The Moulmein-Cairnhill Ukelele group
Thank you all for your wonderful warmth and hospitality. It was a joy and honour to play alongside all of you. I hope we get to do this again!
The two pictures above sum up one of the best gigs I ever did in my close to 9 year journey as a musician: The My Squad Is Better Than Yours TV show by Mediacorp’s Channel 5. In summary, it is a TV music competition show pitting various local celebrity performers and entertainers in group and solo categories.
Here’s a video clip from one of the contestant’s, Jermaine Leong’s, solo performances on the “Rock week” episode, which was taped live on 14th September 2016 and broadcast on 18th September 2016 at 9.30pm.
She did a fantastic rendition of the late Prince’s iconic song, Purple Rain, and I was so happy to be back there on the drums supporting her on this performance.
I do hope Prince approves of our version!!
Although Jermaine’s team didn’t win in this particular episode we were on, this particular performance is well considered a true highlight of the show, and I think it will stand as one for a long time to come. Let time decide that.
As far as my drumming goes, I think I have achieved a breakthrough in terms of capturing a more laid-back feel – something I have to work very hard on. It’s still a work in progress, but I think I have alot more confidence now to really master this feel.
I hope you enjoyed watching and listening to this clip. Do look out for Jermaine Leong’s music.
If you don’t know who he is, you’re missing out alot. Wiki on him and look at his credits, then listen to those recordings, and you immediately understand why he’s one of the most sought-after session drummers in the world for the last 40 years.
This masterclass (click on link above) gives an insight into the main ingredients that John identified and developed over the years to become one of the great musicians.
This instalment of “Wise Words” features an excellent quote from the game-changing Stewart Copeland, who once drummed for a mega Rock band, The Police, and is one of my all-time heroes.
Here he talks about the mechanics of playing successfully: Playing the music and not worrying about your technique or the mechanics of your instrument.
“You once talked about “playing outside your instrument.” When did you come up with this idea, and can you speak about what it means to you?
“It came to me when I was playing polo – you ‘play outside your horse.’ If you’re thinking about your horse and your equestrian skills, and things like proper riding and hitting the ball, let alone playing the game and putting your horse in the right place on the field…
“See, you shouldn’t even be thinking about the horse. You have to be outside the horse. Your body and horse are one. You shouldn’t be thinking about riding. You have to think, ‘Here’s the ball. I need to get it there. I need to stop that guy from getting to the ball. Uh-oh, there’s a pass and that’s where I gotta be.’ When you do that, you’re thinking outside your horse. You’re playing the game.
“Put this to music: The mechanics of playing an instrument should be furthest from your mind. You’ve got to think outside your instrument, play outside your instrument. You’ve got to think about the music: ‘What is the music? Where are the other players are? What’s going on? Where’s the groove?’ – things like that. What drum you’re hitting, what your technique is – that should be completely subliminal.”
Complete interview at: http://www.musicradar.com/news/drums/stewart-copeland-on-the-police-drum-solos-rush-double-bass-pedals-and-more-546175
Every once in a while, a student comes along who is really hungry to improve in his/her craft and become a better musician. He or she sees Music as a career and not merely a hobby. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with viewing Music as a hobby, but Music is so much more…It’s life…
Gabriel is one such student. He listens, he practices his butt off, and he applies what he learns effectively.
So, a big congratulations to you, Gabriel. You deserve this fantastic result.
Gabriel is currently studying for a diploma in music and audio technology at the Singapore Polytechnic. He also has his own youtube channel and soundcloud page:
Image of Gabriel’s exam transcript shown here with his kind permission.