Welcome to Lords of Metal. I interview you because of your appearance at Musikmesse 2018. Are you looking forward to that?
Of course! I had such a great time last year, meeting new friends, seeing some incredible demos and clinics, seeing some of my endorsers and meeting some new ones. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to this one!
Will you be doing a performance with your Evanescence band mate Jen Majura again?
Oh yeah! One of the highlights of last year was getting to play a few tunes with her accompanying me. It definitely increased to "rock your face off" vibe of my demo, we were loud enough to melt the walls in there! Ha! We’re looking forward to doing it again together this year and playing some different Evanescence tunes together.
What was the reason for you to come back again after last year?
As I said it was such a great experience last year that when I was asked to return I jumped at the opportunity! There’s just something great about getting all these musically minded people together in the same room, it’s truly a great experience.
Will you be walking around as a visitor too, or did last year teach you that there is too little opportunity for such for you?
I absolutely will be walking around as a visitor too! That’s one of the joys of being invited back, is I’m a gearhead and love being able to check out all the new stuff and get turned on to the latest technology. It’s a great way for me to expand my artistic pallet, as well as meet some of the fans and company reps.
You have played with so many bands and artists, like Mötley Crüe and Static-X. Do you consider yourself as a gun for hire, or just a guy with a broad and very interesting resumé?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I never set out to be a "gun", I always had my sights on being a member of a band. So me playing with so many different bands was not by design. I’ve been blessed to have those opportunities and look forward to doing some more things with other bands in the future. It’s somewhat liberating and incredibly fun to play with so many different artists that have different styles. It keeps it interesting for me, and each different act has its own challenges. I would consider myself somewhat of a "chameleon" - I can shift in and out of just about any style in rock/metal, other than say death/black metal. That being said, I’m proud to be a member of Evanescence - this is my 11th year in the band. We’re continuing the legacy and forging new ground. It’s an exciting time to be in Evanescence!
Are there any projects you would decline if you were asked for it, or do you really live by that motto that “Will is the opposite of won’t”?
Haha! I mostly live by that motto! Like I said, I'm up for just about anything in the rock/metal genres, except black or death metal. That’s just not a style that I’m adept at performing- the blast beat thing isn’t in my wheelhouse. Guys playing that stuff hit featherlight and that’s the complete opposite of how I play. I’m fascinated by those guys skill, but it’s not something I’ve aspired to do.
After all the great things you have done as a musician, what thing that you haven’t done yet do you still pursue?
I’m still looking for a big hit from my own band - one that I was a part of starting and conceptualizing. At this moment I’ve got three of my own bands that are in process of showcasing for major labels. White Noise Owl has a new album ready to drop. Rival City (which features Jeff Gutt, the new singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Geno Lenardo from Filter) has an EP ready to go. We're waiting for some down time from STP and EV to get that out and support it. And there’s my new band, Thirst, which is raising some eyebrows in a big way. We’re headed in to record our debut in about a week. Exciting times ahead for sure!
Wow, keep us posted! Do you have any endorsement deals of brands you will be representing at Messe?
Of course! I’ll be representing Pearl Drums, Roland, Vater Sticks, REMO Heads, Zildjian, and Cult Of Individuality and Wornstar clothing.
Do you like the concept of the intimate Sweat, Blood & Tears Box, instead of a stage performance, or a booth clinic?
I LOVE the Sweat, Blood & Tears Box! When I’m in there, it reminds me of a sweaty bad ass rock club. We crank the volume and rock the Fuck out in there! It’s a neat and unique way to experience some up close performances from some really great players.
From your experience, what is the best tip you can give to starting drummers, or drummers who get stuck in their development?
Play play play! And then play some more! I constantly play different styles and play to some music that doesn’t necessarily fit into what people might think I do. I love throwing on a Police album and learning some of those tunes and playing to them, or to a Michael Jackson album and doing the same thing. It’s a great way to have fun and evolve as an artist.
Awesome. Is there any new material of you outside of Evanescence coming out any time soon?
Answered that one above. Here’s a link to the latest White Noise Owl video and White Noise Owl on Spotify.
Could you tell a little bit about it?
This is the newest and most recent music available from us. It’s from the forthcoming album that should be out in about a month or so.
What other artists do you really want to hook up with while at the Musikmesse?
Looking forward to hanging with my buddy Karl Brazil, and of course Jeff Waters. We had a lot of fun cutting up and joking last year!
What is the most important reason for fans to come and see you and all the other events at Musikmesse 2018?
I would say to be introduced to some great new equipment and gear, as well as see some familiar artists perform their craft and see some new artists that will hopefully inspire you in some way. It’s a great scene at Musikmesse!
Thanks a lot for your time. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Lords of Metal and the visitors of Musikmesse 2018?
Come see me rock faces this year! I’ll be performing some new material, and am looking forward to meeting some new people and making some new friends!
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