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VIDEO: SYDNEY DRUM & PERCUSSION SHOW 2017 HIGHLIGHTS

Posted in Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - June 5, 2017

The inaugural Sydney Drum & Percussion Show at Rosehill Gardens May 27 & 28, 2017 was an explosion of sound and vision featuring acclaimed drummers such as: Thomas Lang, Virgil Donati, Michael Schack, Slim Jim Phantom, Lucius Borich and many more. Plus there were some some wonderful ensembles including: Synergy Percussion, Taikoz, and many others. And there was a huge range of gear on hand for attendees to see, try and buy. Here’s our highlights reel

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ROLAND LAUNCH SPD ONE AT SYDNEY DRUM SHOW

Posted in Gear, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - June 1, 2017

Michael Schack and Ryo Takasaki (SPD ONE engineer) demo the 4 new SPD ONE pads at Australian Musician’s Sydney Drum & Percussion Show May 2017.

The Roland SPD::ONE PERCUSSION is a new type of digital percussion pad, one that allows any musician to add authentic percussion sounds to their performances. It contains 22 realistic percussion sounds, including snare and kick drums, hi-hats, cymbals, shakers, tambourines, and more, and you can even import your own original audio data into one of the 12 internal sound banks. Once you’re ready to go, the SPD::ONE PERCUSSION’s robust-yet-sensitive pad can be played with sticks, hands, or feet, and the trigger threshold settings are easily adjusted with intuitive controls.

Powered by batteries or AC, the portable SPD::ONE PERCUSSION can be used on the floor or a tabletop, or mounted to any rig or drum setup with the included adapter. Operation is simple, even for those musicians who are not technical; just by using four knobs on the control panel, you can change the sound, volume, balance, and more. Whether you’re a drummer, percussion player, guitarist, DJ, or vocalist, the SPD::ONE PERCUSSION is a simple and flexible way to expand your sound palette and invigorate your performances.

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https://www.roland.com/global/products/spd_one_percussion/

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SYDNEY DRUM & PERCUSSION SHOW: SUNDAY

Posted in Blog, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 28, 2017

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Day 2 of the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show was as lively and inspiring as the opening day. Sydney turned on another gorgeous sunny day which brought the kids out in large numbers. It was all about the next generation today as numerous hands on workshops were presented and enthusiastically attended. DrumFill, Dynasty Drumline, Bek Wermut and Alex West, plus Taikoz all got the audience involved. Inside there was much knowledge and wisdom to be gained with some great sessions by Dave Goodman, Stan Bicknell, Optimum Percussion and Pete Drummond. Pete had the additional pressure of performing in front of yesterday’s headliners, Thomas Lang and Virgil Donati, who came back to visit again. On the main stage Lozz Benson’s band That Redhead put in a fantastic rockabilly performance. Next up Taikoz performed an exhilarating set of exotic percussion. Michael Schack returned to the main stage to take up where he left off yesterday, leaving the audience spellbound with his energy and commitment. Buddy Siolo and his Gang of Brothers then closed the show with their brand of quality funk of soul. On the trade floor, the house was full of drums and all of them were being played .. all at once! By 5pm folks were all drummed out but glad they came, saw, conquered, banged, and beat their way through a great weekend.

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SYDNEY DRUM & PERCUSSION SHOW: SATURDAY

Posted in Blog, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 27, 2017

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The inaugural Sydney Drum & Percussion Show kicked off today at Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion and the NSW drum community welcomed it with open arms. On stage there were heavy hitters, electronic drum aficionados, exotic percussion ensembles and genuine drum legends. Inside the sweet sound of toms, snares and bass drums permeated the air, with a massive range of drums, cymbals, hardware and accessories available to see, try and buy. Vibrantly coloured kits, cajons, congas and all manner of hand percussion was on view. Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the show was the amount of kids in the house, wide-eyed and totally inspired by the gear and seeing their drum heroes in action. It was also a delight to witness how kind and generous legends like Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, Slim Jim Phantom, and Michael Schack were with their time and energy.

Kicking off their national DW TV Show tour this afternoon, Virgil and Thomas were spellbinding in the way they shared complex rhythms and thunderous beats. If you can catch them elsewhere around the country on this tour, do so! The Schack, the crazy Belgian was incredibly contagious in his enthusiasm and energy. He’s back tomorrow so come on down and check his show out.

During the Australian Musician Pro Players panel, Virgil, Thomas, Slim and Yamaha’s Ben Ellingworth were intriguing with their stories on how they made it in the business and what’s required to get to their level of skill. The guys also didn’t mind revealing the times when things didn’t go so well, such as Slim Jim’s tale of falling off drum stools and Thomas being hit in the head with a beer bottle.

Questions to the panel from the floor were treated with the utmost respect and I get the feeling more than a few kids in the audience had a spark ignited today.

It wasn’t all about the headliners, drum circles were attended enthusiastically and the Sydney Conservatorium Percussion Ensemble was mighty impressive.

If you missed today, don’t even think about missing the Sunday lineup of entertainment, which includes a repeat performance by Michael Schack, Stan Bicknell revealing secrets of his bass drum technique, the incredible Synergy Percussion and Taikoz percussion ensembles, the thrilling Lozz Benson trio (Called That Redhead), and more drum circle opportunities … plus all of that beautiful drum gear to see try and buy. Come on down 10am-5pm tomorrow May 28. TICKETS AT DOOR

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SYDNEY DRUM SHOW SET UP DAY

Posted in Blog, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 26, 2017

The inaugural Sydney Drum & Percussion Show is ready to roll as exhibitors set up their stands today and artists sound checked. The drum show, which runs Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28 at Rosehill Gardens racetrack is already looking like a winner!

As sparkly new drums, shiny cymbals and exotic percussion instruments began to fill the main hall, outside drum wizards such as Virgil Donati and Thomas Lang were perfecting their massive sound outside on the main stage. Here’s a little photo action from set up day.

Tickets to the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show can be purchased at the door or here There’s plenty of parking and the train stops right outside.

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10 REASONS TO BEAT IT TO THE SYDNEY DRUM & PERCUSSION SHOW

Posted in Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 22, 2017

There are many reasons why you should check out the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show on May 27 & 28 at Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion. Here are ten great ones!

The Schack!
The Schack is back. Courtesy of Roland V-Drums, Belgian drum wizard Michael Schack returns to Australia to perform at the SDPS, merging breakneck realtime beats with electronic dance music rhythms. Michael has won several awards, has been nominated for “best clinician/ demonstrator” in international drummer magazine polls and just recently (Feb 2017) received the E-drummer Of The Year award for the third time. He’s also an affiliate instructor on drumeo.com and has contributed to the development of Roland’s V-Drums and E-pads since the early 2000’s. Michael is a ball of energy, whose enthusiasm for music is totally contagious.

 

The headliners. Virgil Donati & Thomas Lang.
Two of the world’s greatest drummers duelling it out on stage at the same time. Virgil Donati is the homecoming drum king, who started out with pop band Taste in the 70s, rising up through the ranks of the Melbourne jazz fusion scene in the 80s. He then relocated to LA, where he became an in-demand session drummer and joined critically acclaimed bands such as Planet X with Ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and actually came close to getting the Dream Theater drum gig. He’s also released his own albums, is a wonderful educator and with hard work and immense talent, has become a bonafide international drum legend. His stage buddy Thomas Lang is an Austrian-born, USA based drummer and founding member of prog rock band stOrk, who has played on numerous recording sessions with some of the world’s finest contemporary artists. Individually, they are considered to be among the world’s best. It’s frightening to think of how powerful this duo will be together at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show when Thomas and Virgil get together on Saturday May 27th. The pair’s Sydney Drum & Percussion Show appearance will be the Sydney leg of their national DW TV Show tour, thanks to DW Drums.

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Slim Jim Phantom
Also on tour throughout Australia before he hits the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show, will be rockabilly drum icon Slim Jim Phantom. Since The Stray Cats first etched their name into rock n roll history with their punkified version of rockabilly in the late 70s, Phantom has been able to trade on that name by touring with various rockabilly flavoured projects. There was Phantom, Rocker and Slick with former Stray Cat bassist Lee Rocker and Bowie guitarist Earl Slick. Another is Dead Men Walking with The Damned’s Captain Sensible and The Alarm’s Mike Peters. However the most celebrated is probably The Head Cat which features gun LA guitar picker Danny B Harvey and garage rock legend Lemmy. Courtesy of Pro Music Australia, Gretsch drums endorsee Slim Jim Phantom will be at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show for a meet and greet session and will also be joining the Australian Musician Pro Drummer Panel for an entertaining Q&A session.

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Cajon but not forgotten
Ever seen a cajon ensemble? No not a conga line of creole cookin’ cajun chefs. We’re talking about the cajon (pronounced CAH HON, like a percussive sneeze!), the box-like percussion instrument which originated in Peru. Well if you come to the drum show, you’ll be able to see Mark Byron’s Cajon Cats, a whole bunch of vibrant young musicians  playing beats on the cajon at the same time and the results are amazing!

 

The circle of life
Never played the drums before but harboured a deep, dark desire to do so. Come down to the Sydney Drum and Percussion Show on either the Saturday or Sunday and participate in a drum circle. If you’ve never witnessed a drum circle before, it’s a truly uplifting experience, sharing rhythms with strangers. It’s highly addictive!

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The huge pop-up drum shop
You may have been to some of Australia’s finest drum shops and found yourself in percussion heaven but what if a bunch of those amazing stores and the distributors of all that great drum gear set up shop together under one roof for one weekend? Well that’s what you’ll get at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show when they set up stands side by side, along with a contingent of locally made drum gear. The best thing is that there will be one-off, Sydney Drum & Percussion Show specials to enjoy too.

Learn a thing or two
Even the most successful musicians in the world never stop learning. This is a rare opportunity to learn from the best with the various educational opportunities on hand at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show. You’ll find sessions on drum stick control, practice advice, information on electronic drums and so much more. Plus there are many hands-on opportunities to play percussive instruments. Parents, pack your kids in the car and beat it down to the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show for a dose of pure musical inspiration. It may be a life-changing moment for them. Kids, get your parents down there to ‘snare’ that kit you always wanted.

Feel part of the local drum community
If our sister event, the annual Melbourne Guitar Show is anything to go by, you’ll not only see some of the best drummers in the world on stage and in session but you’ll find that the whole local drum community will gravitate to Rosehill Gardens to catch up with their drum mates, talk shop and take in the atmosphere with hardly a guitarist or lead singer in sight. It’s the drum community’s weekend to be self-indulgent and shine. Most of the headliners will be mixing it with the public too, attending meet and greets on stands and soaking in the percussive vibe.

See into the future
In addition to the amazing array of established international and local performers at the show, you’ll also get a glimpse into the future with participation from many school-aged kids presenting their percussive best. From the extraordinary DrumFill Percussion Ensemble to the students at the Thomas Hassall Anglican College leading a drum circle, you’re in for a treat

Value for money event
For a very reasonable ticket price, you’re able to spend two whole days at the drum show checking everything out. There are three stages featuring performances and sessions, going-non stop on each day of the show. Plus, if you’re in the market to buy drum gear, you’ll probably save the cost of your entrance fee by enjoying some of the great drum show-only special deals on offer. And the variety of performers will blow you away, from the headline acts, to superb local drummers like COG’s Lucius Borich, Stan Bicknell, Pete Drummond, Jake Taylor Sproule and Ben Ellingworth, plus bands such as That Redhead, featuring the enigmatic Lozz Benson, to the soulful Gang of Brothers, the dynamic Taikoz and Synergy Percussion Ensemble and even the Sydney Conservatorium Percussion Ensemble.

Sydney Drum & Percussion Show ticket info here

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VIRGIL DONATI: DW TV SHOW TOUR INTERVIEW

Posted in Artists, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 18, 2017

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He may blush at being reminded these days but we first saw a teenage Virgil Donati behind the drum kit in satin pants on ABC TV’s Countdown in glam rock/pop band Taste in the 70s. Stints followed in commercial rock bands like Southern Sons and The State in the 90s but Virgil’s heart always laid in more complex rhythms, such as that played by local fusion band Changes, whom Virgil had a spell with in the 80s. However there wasn’t much of a market for such music in Australia at the time and eventually Virgil moved to LA to follow that stream in more progressive bands such as Planet X, a band formed by ex Dream Theatre keyboardist Derek Sherinian. Since the mid-nineties, Donati has made a name for himself as a highly sought after drummer performing and touring with the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, while also maintaining a busy schedule as a band leader and member of numerous recording and touring bands. At the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show on Saturday May 27th Virgil, along with Austrian-born, US-based drummer Thomas Lang, will begin their national DW TV tour, in which they’ll share the stage together. AM’s Greg Phillips caught up with Virgil to chat about the upcoming tour.

How did the idea come about of you and Thomas playing together on a tour?
I believe it was DW who came up with the idea and approached Thomas and I about doing something special as a two drummer event. We were looking for an opportunity for it to happen and this tour came up and we thought this was our chance. I have never really done a serious drum duet tour with anyone so it is very new to me. Of course I have played and jammed with drummers at various festivals around the world but never a specific show where we are going to work out specific parts and come up with some interesting rhythmic explorations.

ThomasVirgilcomboWhat do you hope the audience get out of it?
They’ll get to see us expressing ourselves musically. For me, it’s a new vehicle to do that in and I hope that they can find some inspiration and some musical highlights. Let’s hope that a wave of rhythmic delight will overwhelm them!

Do you like mixing it with other drummers at drum shows? Do you think there are characteristics unique to drummers?
Drummers and bass players have a certain fraternity amongst themselves. Realistically, it is not without some healthy competition as well. We’re friends but in human nature I think there is an element of competition in any field. We try to avoid the subject but there is always an element of that. As long as it is directed in a creative manner, it’s all good.

How far back do you and DW Drums go?
Not too far back actually. I made the change to DW Drums about two and a half years ago now and it is one of the best moves I have made. I’ve really enjoyed working with the company and playing the drums primarily, that’s what it is all about. I found that when I moved I hadn’t really played DW that much and when i did I was very pleased with the new timbre, the tone I was hearing from my drums and it gave me a fresh and renewed  inspiration to play and record. It was a real change, an eye opener.

You’re just back from a tour to China and Taipei. How was that?
That was fabulous. China is really an emerging musical market and finding their feet right now. I was amazed at the amount of kids getting onto drums and their parents were really encouraging them. There were so many more of them than I have seen at events at any western country. A lot of kids and I think there is a bright future for them and a surprising number of girls and they all really play well. They play with attitude and charisma, it is quite amazing to see. They have so many competitions and they are really encouraged to play. Almost every show, I had a band of kids playing.

Another thing you did recently was release the Dawn Of Time album, an ambitious symphonic work. How long was that in planning?
About ten years. It took a long time. I started working on the concept when I was on an extensive European tour in 2007. I spent a lot to time writing on the road. I came up with the core idea and music on that tour and then it was on the back burner all those years. I worked on it when I could and eventually decided a couple of years that I had to complete it and record it. I am really proud of that work, it’s a monumental work and every note  was written and scored and I worked really hard on it. I am really pleased with the result and I hope i get to play it live at some stage.

You also play piano on the album. Do you think you play piano percussively?
No, I don’t think. Obviously I will always have a certain rhythmic awareness with everything that I do but when you sit at a piano you are playing it as the instrument that it is. It’s harmonic and it’s melodic and yes it will be infused with the rhythmic elements that i am feeling but certainly not always the overriding factor.

Another project you are working on is Icefish. Tell me about that.
That’s really exciting. We’re progressing well with that. The plan was to have it out at the end of June but we may have to postpone that by a month. We want it to be as good as we can. It’s very a progressive rock band, all Italian guys, all living in Italy. We are excited about the potential of the band and now it’s all coming together in the writing and recording and we’re starting to really hear the sound of the band and I think it has so much potential. We are releasing the record and then hitting the road at some point and taking the music to the people.

Photo taken in North Hollywood  on  07/29/15.

Another person you were working with earlier this year was Allan Holdsworth. His death must have been a huge shock for you?
Yes we are still mourning the passing of one of the greatest musicians of the last century. I mean literally … anyone who is not aware of him or may not understand how great he was, you need to listen to his music. it is so sublime. His music, his sound, his playing he was so unique. You can put him in the company of greats like John Coltrane and Brecker. There are only a handful of those guys and he was one of them and I had the pleasure of working with him for a number of years. Unfortunately we had worked on a new record which he never finished and Jimmy Johnson and I finished all of our parts but he didn’t get to finish his but hopefully we can release that posthumously at some stage somehow.

We look forward to seeing you and Thomas on tour and at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show.
I’m really looking forward to it too.

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Sydney Drum & Percussion Show

DW TV Show national dates

27 May: Sydney Drum & Percussion Show* – Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavillion

30 May: Brisbane, Australia – The Princess Theatre

01 June: Melbourne, Australia – Union House Theater, Melbourne University

03 June: Adelaide, Australia – Century Theatre, Immanuel College

06 June: Perth, Australia – Red Door Auditorium

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LUCIUS BORICH: SYDNEY DRUM & PERCUSSION SHOW INTERVIEW

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 12, 2017

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Let’s face it, pressed to name the members of any band, most people will tell you who the singer and guitarists are. It’s an unfortunate fact of life but knowing the drummer’s name is a less likely scenario. Sure there are exceptions but in general it’s not the guy sitting at the back of the stage pumping out the beat who will earn the bulk of the spotlight. In Australia, this even more evident … so when you actually ARE known by name for your drum skills, such as COG’s Lucius Borich, it says a lot about your stature as a musician. Lucius has been playing drums since he was three years old and has become one of Australia’s most accomplished drummers. It was a no-brainer to invite him to perform at the inaugural Sydney Drum & Percussion Show and AM’s Greg Phillips was thrilled to catch up with Lucius to chat about his career and the upcoming drum show.

You are playing at our Sydney Drum & Percussion Show on May 27th. You recently presented a drum clinic at Park Sound Factory in Wollongong. What kind of things did the audience there want to know from you?
There were some good questions actually, like what’s the most important thing do you think you should focus on? My answer to that was to try and find a space to practice. Drummers can sometimes have quite a frustrating time because it’s a loud instrument, to find a good space to do what they actually need to do. We spoke about that quite a lot.  There was a different range of age groups there so I tried to incorporate everybody. For the young young kids, I took it back to when I was young, living in units and flats and trying to get creative with how to practice. Whether it’s air drums or beat boxing, because I didn’t actually have a drum kit until I was about 11.  My very first drum kit when I was about 3  but was unfortunately was stolen when I was about 4 or 5.  Then I didn’t have one for ages and it was kind of tricky, so that question was pretty good. We got to come up with something pretty creative, possibly things people hadn’t thought about.

Did you attend drum clinics when you were younger?
I went to a few but they were very few and far between. But I do distinctly remember going to some really cool ones.  I went to Billy Cobham, which was fantastic.  I saw Simon Phillips and at that point and I was studying him quite hard, so he was exciting to see. Doane Perry from Jethro Tull, I saw him.  I was pretty fortunate because my dad’s a musician and he’s always had pretty great Australian drummers and we’d go and watch some of these gigs.  I never had drum lessons, I was all self taught.  It was all based on watching, listening and asking questions while I had the chance to sit with these great drummers.  The other thing I got that was quite informative were VHS tapes which I had to use.  You probably remember those back in the day … Steve Smith and Steve Gadd … they were all releasing videos. So they were really informative and they helped as well. So between having the drum space to practice when I was about 12, the videos and watching some live stuff, it was my world, my drumming practicing world.

You say you studied Simon Phillips, who joined a later version of The Who. Were you also a Keith Moon fan?
Yeah I was, I mean Simon was one of the guys I listened to a lot and Billy Cobham. They were around at the same time.  I didn’t really focus on one or the other. Obviously he was the one that came through town to do the drum clinic.  He must have been playing at Townsville at the time.  From the late 60’s, 70’s all the drummers were a big influence on me, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Keith Moon.  My dad was a big Hendrix fan so I listened to a lot of Mitch Mitchell and he came from a jazz background so all that dexterity, that was really informative.

What about the new breed of drummers? Any that you’re currently impressed by?
That’s a really good question because everything is really just sound bites now. It’s only 30 seconds to a minute on Youtube or Facebook. You start out in terms of a whole gig or an album, like how is it been done in the past and has it been done with integrity. Are these drummers as good as they show themselves in these little snippets, these 30 seconds, one minute snippets? It’s quite interesting.  You see the different social media platforms and how they produce themselves… how they look outside the practice room, online and stuff.  There are a lot of bedroom warriors, like we all were back in day and now they have a format they can integrate.  For me it’s hard to tell because it’s just soundbites. I can’t see whether they are a really good drummer or not. I got my idea of what a good drummer was by listening to a whole record or seeing a whole performance live. A lot of stuff I’m seeing now is all recorded. It’s probably chopped up before it’s released to the public and there’s bugger all live footage.  A lot of these drummers are getting a lot of hits and views.  It might be just in the practice room or something, which is fine. It’s a space, which is important for growth of course but I reserve my judgement.  What are they like when they perform live? What are they like when they are in the studio cutting an album? You know … 3 or 4 albums. What are they like when they do a drum solo in front of people, not just in the bedroom and stuff like that.
If I take it back to the early nineties, I really liked Jimmy Chamberlin from Smashing Pumpkins. I thought he had quite a jazz approach and he was playing in a rock format. I really enjoyed his playing and solid playing, like John Stanier from Helmut and Battles and Danny Carey from Tool, who’s very good.  I get my inspiration from other areas really but there are great drummers and they’re awesome and it’s really great to watch how individually people are developing.  It’s such a wide spectrum now, it’s incredible. I only imagine if I had that amount of interaction online to view, where my playing would be at now, there’s so much variety.   It could be to the detriment too because people are spending too much time watching other people instead of developing their own stuff. There’s some great players out there obviously  but I just reserve my judgment because I find it very hard to distinguish whether they say they are or who they actually are, that they are playing what they are actually playing and they haven’t been sliced and diced and edited.  It’s incredible how it’s going, people are getting all sorts of deals and sponsorships based on small pieces.  It doesn’t matter, it’s just how it’s all come about these days.

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You’re playing our very first Sydney Drum & Percussion Show. What can punters expect to see from you?
I’m going to do something based on my recordings with COG. I think I did some good work there, coming up with my own ideas for the songs. I can integrate some of my electronics with the organic. I cross both together.  So I’ll be playing some songs from COG, which I think is some of my best playing that I’ve done on those recordings.  I’ll do that live and I’ll see where it goes really. I don’t like to have too much structure. I mean the structure will be in the  songs but if I feel like doing a bit of a improvisation at the end … I might do something like that.  It will be more performance based I think. I really want to bring forth what I play in a songwriting context … of a whole song. I think there’s enough chops in all the songs, enough cross rhythms to have a bit of a bullet spectrum there for any drummers to wrap their teeth around.

You played Frank Corniola’s Ultimate Drummers Weekend before. Do you like mixing with other drummers at events like that?
Yeah drummers are a very happy bunch, they are fun people. The characters I’ve been around in the past, it has always been a enjoyable and its always a lot of fun.  When we get serious, we get inward but I also know it’s a lot of fun. The drumming community is quite tight and quite healthy and we know we are the foundation of all music.  It’s good to get together and honour that part of what we do with our role within music and being a musician. So developing that and conversations backstage, watching each other, it’s always a lot of fun.

You play DW drums. What factors are important to you in a good drum kit?
I look for something that’s pretty easy … straight out of the box, you don’t have to do too much and it sounds pretty good. It’s obviously going to depend on budget. I’ve also played kits I’ve found on the street at gigs,  something that someone has thrown out.  I’ll just grab that and see how it sounds. I will work with it and I’ll see if I can produce something out of it .  I’ve played some big festivals with drums that haven’t even got a brand on it. But I’ve been with DW now for 20 odd years.  The durability in them is something I look for definitely.  If you’ve got a budget to spend that amount of money, you definitely want durability.  Obviously the tone too.  Before I was with DW, I used to play with Gretsch and before that, I played with Tama and Pearl and I had a lot of snares  I did have a good range and variety and I think it really helped. By trying different brands, I was able to see what was comfortable  and what sound suited me. It was a long period of growing and being a drummer and and working through different brands and seeing what suited.  Finally I think the DW suited me because of the durability and strength.  I have never had a problem with tuning them. I’ve got a PDP kit as well and the old wooden hoops and I used that on many gigs. I have a top of the range DW kit but I still do play the PDP. I have a variety of snare drums. Matt from Love Drums makes beautiful snare drums and has made me a few. I did the Glenn Proudfoot album a couple of months ago and I used that one snare, a 13 inch  and it was fantastic. He’s an Australian craftsman and we work well together, so much so that we have come up with a brand of drumsticks called Ascension drum sticks with him.

Matt basically approached me about the snares. He brought me a few and I was very impressed. So I worked with it in the studio and then live a few times with COG and we struck up a good friendship. Then he said, I have just invested in this drum stick making machinery and I want to get into making sticks. He asked where I was at with the sticks I use and endorsements etc. I said I had been with Vic Firth for a long time and they are a great brand and liked playing with their sticks. I didn’t know whether I should move on from them but I said to him, if you think you can cut the mustard with an Australians drum stick, something that really has the durability and flexibility that I need, let’s have a look at it.  So he did some tests and stuff and before I made the announcement which was only 4 weeks or so ago to say I was now with Ascension, we’d worked on it for about a year and a half before that. We’d been shaping and going back and forth and saying, no it needs more work. I thought  If I am going to leave Vic Firth, and do this then I don’t want to just be an endorsee, just the face of the brand. I’d like to invest my time and energy into being part of the business and co-managing it on all levels. Once I had the sticks that I was happy with, I thought OK now I am going to have the conversation with Vic Firth and they were more than happy to see me branch off with my own company. I wasn’t being sponsored by someone else, it was different. I wasn’t leaving because I didn’t like Vic Firth, it was a whole new business venture. It’s all made in Melbourne and I take a lot of pride in that. It’s a really satisfying feeling making Australian drumsticks that are durable and flexible and we are getting great feedback.  So we’ve been going 4 months and things are going pretty well.

You’ve just come off a run of dates with COG that were all sold out. That must be a great feeling to know you’d be playing to full houses each night?
It was amazing. You have a break and sit back and tend to other parts of your life that need tending to. You think you know that you have produced something special in the past but then you think, does it still have value? Is it relevant still? If we put on shows, will anyone care? When Luke and Flynn and I made the decision to do it, there was  a bit of nervousness. I mean, we thought we could pull some people but to sell out all the shows within a  day and put on more shows which also sold out, it humbled us beyond belief. It was quite emotional really. People were so happy to see us play again and the vibe was really relaxed and everyone was enjoying each others company. I made the decision to move up north and the other guys are up there too. We thought, well people have come out and proved that they still like the music and proved that they want more so let’s make some more music. So I made a decision with the family to move us all around the same area and get busy and write more material. It gives us the confidence as an independent band to push it forward and open the next chapter. We’re in house we can record and produce ourselves. We’re hoping to get a couple of songs out by the end of the year. We’ve come up with some nice little sound bites at rehearsals for the shows we just did. Someone would say, quick turn the tape on and capture a groove or riff or bass line or something. So we’re really excited about that.

Cog Website – http://www.cog.com.au
Cog Facebook Official- https://www.facebook.com/COG-12878803369/
Ascension Drum Sticks – https://www.facebook.com/ascensiondrumsticks/?fref=ts
Lucius Borich Drums – https://www.facebook.com/Lucius-Borich-Drums-1423988967903754/
DW Drums Australia – https://www.daddario.com.au/pages/dw-drums

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LOZZ BENSON (THAT REDHEAD) INTERVIEW

Posted in Artists, Interviews, Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 9, 2017

Ahead of the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show, May 27 & 28 Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion, we chat with That Redhead singer/drummer Lozz Benson, who will perform at the drum show on the Sunday at 11am.

Despite only being 26, frontwoman Lozz Benson has been around the blocks in the Aussie music scene for a while, collaborating with legends such as Paul Kelly and playing drums for bands including Urthboy and buzzy all-female outfit Rackett, who just finished a run of dates supporting UK band The Darkness. Lozz Benson has just released a new track with her rockabilly and blues trio That Red Head. It’s a punk-infused anthem titled ‘Gotta Be A Man’. AM editor Greg Phillips sat down with Lozz at a recent Melbourne gig to discuss her career and her upcoming performance at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show

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GERRY PANTAZIS: CHANGING YOUR SNARE SOUND

Posted in Sydney Drum Show News    //    Post Date - May 5, 2017

Respected Melbourne-based drummer Gerry Pantazis offers tips on changing your snare drum sound on the fly at a gig.
Gerry has performed and/or recorded with artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Larry Carlton, Guy Sebastian, Anthony Callea, David Campbell, Olivia Newton John, Stylus, The Seekers, Roachford (UK) and more He is currently a long serving member of Geoff Achison and the Souldiggers, The Jack Pantazis Quartet, Project 3 and Damage.

Sydney Drum & Percussion Show May 27 & 28 Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion. Sydney Drum & Percussion Show tickets on sale at www.oztix.com.au, and Oztix Retail Outlets

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