With my Dad playing in different touring bands and various live shows around Branson, MO, I've grown up around music my entire life. When I was about 4 I guess I said I wanted to play drums, so dad showed my the basic rock beat 101, we borrowed a kick, snare, hihat, and a pair of sticks and off I went. That continued for awhile until I discovered sports, more specifically, basketball and Michael Jordan. So for the next 10 years or so it that was my focus and all I could think about doing.
I started to get the urge to play again when I was about 11, but stifled my interest and kept it to myself, while in my time alone listening to music and watching bands play I was always trying to figure out what the drummers was doing, what different parts of the kit were for, when they were played, etc, and I spent a good deal of time air drumming along to The Beatles and Blink 182 all hours of the night. Slightly longer story made shorter, I broke my ankle when I was about 14, which kept me from playing basketball the following season, and gave me an excuse to finally act on this new passion that I'd secretly had in development for the last few years. I sat down behind a real drum kit for the first time when I was about 14, got my first kit when I was 15, and it's been a full time journey ever since.
I completely believe that I am in the best place I could be while I am playing the drums. It's something I was MADE to do. So in the same way that birds fly and eat worms, dogs wag their tail, I drum. I really do feel that way.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Not counting the seemingly endless shows I saw with my Dad performing in various bands, the first rock concert I can remember was in Springfield, with the Christian rock band "Pillar" headlining. It was a fun gig, they put on a great show, and it introduced me to the opening band, Dizmas, who weren't much older than I was at the time and were really inspiring to watch and talk to. I kept up some communication with them for a few years. Anyway, memorable moment of that show? Definitely getting kicked in the back of the head by a crowd surfer, being hurled up to the front gate, and mildly throwing up directly under the red stage lights, much to the horror of a group of girls right next to me. Good times.
What gear do you use?
Tama Starclassic Performers (birch shells) 22x18, 12x9, 16x14 (I've got 10" and 14" toms too, but I'm generally a 4 piece kinda guy, so those only come out when I need something different with my sound). Also, a mid 1960's Slingerland, 3 ply maple/poplar/maple shells, in a Hot Rod Purple metallic finish. 22x14, 13x9, 16x16.
Snares: Pearl Maple Free Floater with wood hoops, 14x6.5. Ludwig Acrolite, 14x5.5 (2, one early 70's and an early 80's). 1960's Slingerland COB Gene Krupa signature, 14x5. There's a few others I'll grab from time to time, but those are the most notable so far. Currently on the search for a WFL or Ludwig Auditorium 15x8.
Cymbals : Subject to change, but for now, Paiste 2002 Black Labels (15" Heavy Hats / 24" Ride), Sabian Vault (19" and 20" crashes), and Wuhan effects (14" used in a stacker with a 10" Paragon splash or a 14" B8 hihat, and a roaring 20" china).
The 24" ride is definitely my baby.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Easy question... my Dad.
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
MuteMath, self titled debut release. First heard it just a few weeks after release, and it's completely changed my life musically. From the very first time I listened and through each countless time since, I still hear more almost every time. If I had to go on a list of my favorite albums, there would be many, as I've been influenced by so many, but few are as high for me as this one.