Rule No.1: Be steady. Doesn’t matter how simple it has to be, just make sure you’re solid. Once you’ve got that metronome in your blood you’ll never allow the bottom to fall out of the band. That’s your priority and what your fellow band members rely on you for, otherwise you’ll soon be the ex-drummer. Master that discipline and you’re set to explore the artistry of rhythm.
I was never proficient, merely picked up some of the lingo (and I don’t mean Ringo).
Hi Caroline. Do you mean stage fright? I’ve not experienced that. First night nerves can sometimes be fairly acute but that’s about it. There are usually too many other things to concentrate on – I’d probably be mortified if there wasn’t. There’s plenty of stage freight on tour though.
Disappointingly non-weird before a show, but I know what you mean, nerves can make people do some bizarre things. I’m no stranger to anxiety.
(is ‘tennantbutt’ a trepidatious condition?)
If someone asks that question it usually means they’re a petrol head and my answer could only serve to disappoint, so I should instead say that I drive a 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider, or some such, because that would be infinitely more stimulating.
Absolutely not, drumming isn’t just about speed and complexity, unless the aim is to make records for the Guinness book. Drumming is about feel, style and design. I wouldn’t drive a hideous car just because it went fast and had lots of buttons.
A sampler contained a collection of sampled percussion sounds from the studio recordings. In the case of ‘Shaman’ the hand drum phrases were broken into smaller sample fragments which were then triggered by playing the Octopad in a sequence of specific beats to replay as the original phrase. This was deemed safer than triggering a sample of the entire bar because that could potentially sound very irregular if not struck with absolute precision every time … the shorter the phrase the greater the flexibility, and it was also then more ‘played’ rather than merely triggered (I could incorporate a slightly wider variety of sounds too). A similar approach was taken with the ‘Weathered Wall’ hand percussion, the reason being that the tonality and phrasing of these rhythm parts were important to driving the track and it wasn’t possible to replicate it sonically in a live situation, therefore using samples of the studio recordings was more reliable. Because some of the samples were still long enough to require a strict BPM it was necessary for me to wear an earpiece with the precise BPM metronome ticking away in my head the entire time.
Probably around the commencement of recording Tin Drum with John Punter where we went into Basing Street studios to record a potential single which turned out to be ‘The Art Of Parties’ and ‘Life Without Buildings’. With the latter of the two tracks I felt there was an exciting shift into an area of experimentation in the studio which allowed a track to be incrementally constructed through playback. Up to that point everything was fine tuned and completed in rehearsals (perhaps with the exception of ‘My New Career’ which was a late addition to the ‘Polaroids’ album and therefore took shape at Air Studios, and which I feel is the most honest composition on that album). It was essentially the moment where I believe we as a band no longer felt that recording was merely a process by which something already composed and arranged was to be faithfully captured in a recording, and instead were able to use that environment more to our advantage by pushing our boundaries a little and experimenting with sonics instead of merely performance. It was the beginning of creative studio production which up to that point was mostly the input of the hired producer.
I’ve not been formerly introduced to any of these people but have encountered them all except for Alice at one time or another. Eno’s studio was local to me and we’d often be in the same food shop. Nearly knocked him off his bicycle once with my car door and it made me think: ‘ambulance music’.
Which image would that be Louise?