Friday, October 26, 2018

Volume 67- Sammi Potts










SAMMI POTTS









Hello TC fam, It feels so good to bring another talented drummer to the forefront. This time around we're heading to Nashville by way of Stillwater,MN.
This young lady is an up & coming talent, who is definitely going places...literally. I connected with her while she is currently on tour with her band. I'm glad we were able to get this thing done. I really dig what she's got going on and she's got the goods to make happen for herself. Luckily before she blows up, we get to hear about her drum life so far. So, let's Talk Chop with Sammi, shall we...





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Where are you from? 

I am originally from Stillwater, MN - A cute little river town near the Twin Cities - but am currently based out of Nashville. My favorite music city. 



Tell us something we may not know about the Mpls. music scene…  Although Minneapolis is best known for Prince, funk, and the “Minneapolis Sound”, Minneapolis has a thriving musical theater scene. The city has several professional theaters and a great culture for the performing arts. 




How did you get started with drums?  I started playing percussion when I was 8. My grandma took me to a Minnesota Orchestra concert and I asked her who was the highest paid member in the orchestra. She told me it was the timpanist, so I (an ever business-minded 8 year old) decided to pick up percussion. I later learned that the timpanist is definitely not the highest paid orchestra member, but it sparked my love for percussion - which led to my love of drum set - and I never looked back!




So, you played in a youth symphony when you were younger, how was that experience?I joined the Minnesota Youth Symphony when I was 13 and it really pushed me to refine my instrument, learn high volumes of music, and pay attention to detail. It has greatly affected my playing as a drummer and taught me to pay close attention to sound as well as mallet and stick choice. 







Ok, you make your move to Nashville in 2013. A great place to grow as a musician. What was the motivation for that move?I moved to Nashville to study at Belmont University. Two of my biggest musical influences, Zoro and Chester Thompson, were professors in the drum set program and I was eager to study with them while living in such a creative and musical city



How would you describe your playing style?My playing is influenced by may diverse genres. I definitely think that my classical and musical theater background taught me the importance of detail and finesse. Most recently, I have been focused on funk and gospel. Because of these influences, I try to focus on giving the groove space while emphasizing finesse and timing. 



What projects are you working on now?I’m currently on the road with a side project I’m leading, an all-female band called The Reckless Charms. We’re overseas until the spring of 2019, so I’m mostly focused on that until I get back to Nashville.


What type of band is The Reckless Charms?The Reckless Charms is an all female, Indie-Pop band. We cover pop songs but add a unique twist - four part harmonies and violin lead lines, usually with unique time signatures and tempos.



How did the band form?The lead singer (Noah Vonne) and I started the band with three of our friends freshman year of college. We formed the band as a bit of an experiment to see how far we could stretch the limits of traditional pop songs. That led to the development of our unique, indie sound. Although we formed the band as a side project, it has opened a lot of doors for us and I am excited to watch it grow!

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band?I’m involved in the Nashville scene and love playing with songwriters, country artists, and churches in the area. When I’m not on tour, I typically rotate between local artists and play for their shows and recordings in Nashville.








What are some of your goals as a musician?One of my main goals is to never stop learning. Every day, I try to immerse myself in a music and videos so that I can continue to grow and develop my craft. 



You've played with some named artists, who else would would like to play for?I would love to play for a top CCM artist, like Lauren Daigle, For King and Country, or Hillsong. But it would also be a dream to play for a top pop artist, like Bruno Mars. I love his production, creativity, and funk influence.



I see you play in church as well. How important is that for you?Playing in church has significantly impacted my life. I first started playing drum set in my little home church in Stillwater. During that time, I cut my teeth on learning to play with a band. I still love to play at my home church in Nashville whenever I can. It keeps me grounded and inspired. 






You're doing live shows and studio sessions. You like doing both?I love studio work, but I actually prefer playing live shows. I love the energy that the crowd brings with them to each performance - it drives me to play my best. I especially love the relationships that have blossomed from my time on the road, as well as the constant adventure of traveling to a new place every night. 



What are your touring experiences, if any?Immediately following college, I toured with a husband and wife duo for a year and a half. In between those runs, I subbed for a CCM artist named Moriah Peters when I could. I’m currently on the road with my all-girl band and plan on joining another tour when I come back to Nashville in the spring. 



Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks…ect?I work with several boutique companies that I really love - Risen Drums, Heartbeat Cymbals, and Alclair Audio. I play a beautiful 5-piece maple kit from Risen - 20” kick, with 10”, 12”, and 16” toms. Right now I have an Aquarian Super Kick on my bass drum and Evans EC Resonant heads on my toms. I love the Studio and Custom line of Heartbeat Cymbals and currently use 16” studio hats, a 22” studio ride, 16” and 18” custom crashes, and a 16” holey crash. I use VicFirth Extreme 5As and DW hardware.






If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?I can’t imagine doing anything else now, but I considered going to school for physical therapy back in college. I think I would have loved to work in PT or a similar branch of the medical field. 



How has drumming impacted or changed your life?Drumming and touring have significantly impact on my life and how I view the world. I have been able to meet people from all walks of life and it has really challenged me to see the world from a different perspective. 



Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?I’ve been very heavily influenced by drummers who are not only incredible players, but incredible people. Zoro (Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Brown) has been one of my biggest mentors and inspirations, along with Steve Goold (Sara Bareilles, Ben Rector) and Lester Estelle (Kelly Clarkson). I also listen to a lot of Steve Gadd and Neil Peart



Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?That’s tough! One of my favorite concerts from this past year was Ariana Grande on her Dangerous Woman tour. I am a huge fan of her drummer. 






How much time do you practice?In college, I used to practice 4+ hours a day, but it is much more difficult to find time to practice on the road. I typically try to at least warm up on a drum pad everyday when I can’t get to a full kit. 


What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?I rotate through different areas that I feel like I need work on - bass drum, left foot independence, hand speed, and different styles (latin, jazz, etc). I love watching videos of my favorite players and trying to emulate their work. I also spend a majority of my practice time learning new songs for my artists. 



I know some of us have that "one thing" that bug us about our playing, do you have that one thing?I would really love to improve my kick speed. I've always felt like it has been held my playing back. I compensate by using the heel-toe technique on an extended footboard, but I still have a lot of work to do!


Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you?I do! It has been one of the most powerful learning methods for me. It has really refined my feel and timing and has also helped me focus on my stage presence. 



Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?Probably my favorite gig ever was playing in the music video for Carrie Underwood’s single, "Love Wins". I got to drum with color powder and smoke machines going off all around me. By the end, I was completely covered in color powder and it took me days to get it out of all of my stuff, but it was so worth it! 

Carrie Underwood - "Love Wins"







What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?It’s very important to never forget that music is a gift. Whenever you get discouraged, remember that so many people would love to be able to do what you do. Always look for inspiration, whether through watching videos or attending live concerts. Finally, never hesitate to reach out to your favorite players - they just might be willing to meet up with you and share their stories with you! 



Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s???Thank you so much to my sponsors - Risen Drums, Heartbeat Percussion, Alclair Audio, and SKB Cases. They are some of the best companies in the business! Thank you to my mentors, Kory Andry and Zoro, for all of your hours of teaching and inspiration. Thank you to my friends and family that have been my constant support and encouragement and have pushed me to do what I love. And lastly, thank you to DeHaven and Talkin’ Chop for including me in your blog! I would love to connect with you! 
You can find me at:  www.sammipots.com 
FB - www.facebook.com/sammi.potts





Yet again, another great look into one of players in the drum community. Big Thx to Sammi for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share with all of us her drum life. It's really kool when you see people like this, living their dream. I see a bright future for Sammi. And I second that piece of advice about "reaching out..." to some of your heroes. The smallest encounters can make a difference. We all need some encouragement along the way. That's one of the reasons why I love the drum community.



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As always, if you or anyone you know would like to be the subject of Talkin' Chop, please hit me up!
DeHaven - de@oliomusic.com
www.facebook.com/dirtyde
www.facebook.com/talkinchop
Instagram.com/drummerdehaven
twitter.com/talkinchopblog 








Big Thx to all of my drum partners:
SJC Drums, Soultone Cymbals
Cympad, Cymbag, Sweet Spots
Phatfoot Drum Harness


#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife



I'M OUT!







Monday, October 8, 2018

Volume 66 - Tammy Mitchell-Woods










 TAMMY MITCHELL-WOODS







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Alright drumming fam, I have a special one for you today. I have been wanting to interview this person for awhile. My schedule has been krazzee lately and I finally got some time and contacted her...again and we got the ball rollin'.
Most of you know her and are friends with her on FB or IG. She is an awesome presence within the drum community and an inspiration. She has the classic looks of a certain Hollywood legend and a big heart to go with that big beat of hers. If you've noticed, she's been getting a lot of coverage lately with interviews, features and what not. Well, it's all deserved and I'm glad to get my turn and to share with you all. Ladies & Gents...give it up for Tammy Mitchell-Woods! 



First off: Are you ever not smiling?
Haha, yeah, I am smiling, laughing and generally being goofy most of the time. Its not that my life is never hard but I choose to have a happy, positive attitude.

So, where are you from?
I am an Okie from Muskogee ( Oklahoma). I was born there, graduated high school and got married there.

How long have you been playing?
I taught myself to play when I was 12 and played until I was 21 or 22 when my husband joined the army and we were moved to our first duty station in Anchorage, Alaska. We had 2 children and was busy raising them. I didn't play again until about 15 years ago in my 30's.

Are there any genre's you really like to play? 

Funk, Fusion, Soul, R&B

How did you get into drumming?
I saw guys on TV and in concerts playing drums and just knew that if I ever had a drum set, I could play it. I decided at 12 that I would work all summer mowing lawns to save enough for a set, and that's just what I did.

How would you describe your playing style?
I would say smooth and solid. I am not a flashy player or a hard hitter. Instead I play musically. I lock in with the bass player and I try to play with the same level of emotion the singer is bringing to the song...when they get bigger, I get bigger, etc... I watch the other band members carefully when I play. In the end, we play as a symbiotic unit that feels magical when it's done right.

Click for video:

What are some of your goals for your drumming career?
I just started teaching drum lessons in person and via Skype and I really am loving that and want to continue building my student base. I still hope to go on a national tour this next year with a really tight band. I've been asked to join several bands lately but am holding out for a really good fit with great music. 

I am also going to be co-teaching masterclasses at a female drummers day in Tulsa with Drum World Drum Shop in the spring 2019. That is going to be an amazing, really exciting day.






The right gig: Waiting for the right gig. I see a lot musicians rush into gigs without being ready or without knowing all the details of the situation. Is it hard to not get caught up in the offer and wait for the right situation?
Yes, in fact I just got a call last month to tape a TV special and go on tour with an R&B artist. We agreed on my fee and started talking details. She was really bad about communication and I made a decision that touring with this person would be really rough so I bowed out. If its not the right fit, its not worth the headache and stress. There are plenty of excellent musicians with a professional attitude out there. I am waiting for the right band and while I am waiting, always learning and improving.

Female Drummers Day: Sounds like a kool event, indeed. How did that come about?
I had the idea to do it a couple of years ago and needed to partner with the right drum store to make it happen. I've become good friends with Mat Donaldson, owner of Drum World in Tulsa, and he and I started talking about it. He is all the way on board. I've heard from friends in my Drummergirls United group and people are flying in from all over. I am very excited about it!

Obviously in the last 10yrs or so, we have really seen an increase in women behind the kit. And they're not just goofing around. There are some great players and are getting some high profile gigs.
How do you see the culture in drumming for women?
When I was growing up in the 70's, for the most part women were looked down on for playing the drums. We were told "It's a boys instrument". I kept asking. "Why?" This made no sense to me. Girls can sit. We can hold sticks. We can move. We can keep time. We have rhythm. There is absolutely no reason that a female can't play the drums, the guitar, bass or anything else that she wants to play.
I am thrilled to see so many females playing now and there is a ton of amazing talent out there!
The female drummers that I know are extremely supportive of each other. I love that and hope to cultivate that attitude in all of my social media, my FB group Drummergirls United and in lessons and classes. I want gal drummers to know that we are not in competition with each other. We need to strive to be a better drummer and musician than we were yesterday. That's all.

Name an artist you would like to play for? 

P!NK







I know you play at your church, tell us how long that has been going on and how did that start?
I started playing at my church when I was 14 yrs old and played until I graduated high school. I started back about 15 years ago.

I know your faith is an important part of your life, how do you see it playing a roll in you as a musician?
Faith is a huge part of my life. When I am playing at church, even though I am having so much fun, it is a part of the way I worship. I am so incredibly thankful that I get to do this. That carries over into every area of my life...I am just really thankful.


What other music projects are you involved with? Are doing any studio sessions?

I have recorded a worship album about 10 years ago. I haven't been doing studio work recently although I would happily with the right band. I love playing music like Dirty Loops, FLR Project, really any fusion projects that's fun, funky and challenging. I absolutely love it.
I am the staff drummer at my church, and play in another worship band on Monday nights. I play in local bands as well but nothing permanent right now.

CLICK for video:



Describe your current set up & gear - drums, heads and sticks...ect?
Oh gosh, I have 6 sets currently. I haven't signed as an endorsing artist with a drum company because seriously I can't choose.
Right now I have:
DW 1999 Collectors Series kit (10,12,15, 22) in Marine White Pearl
Gretsch Renown maples in Autumn Burst 12, 14, 22
Mapex Armory 12,16, 22 in walnut gloss finish
Ludwig Classic Maples Monroe Edition 10, 14, 18
1962 Ludwig New Yorkers in Silver Sparkle 12, 16, 22
And finally a Sakae Pac-D in cherry/mahogany red fade 10 tom, 13 floor, 12 snare, 14 bass drum on a cradle.
My cymbals are all Heartbeat cymbals. I am proudly an endorsing artist. I have lots of cymbals from them and love every one of them.
I only use Cooper Groove drum sticks. Because of the way they are constructed I don't drop sticks, my grip can be looser and more relaxed and i am not getting blisters anymore.
I am endorsing artist for
Heartbeat Cymbals, Cooper Groove Drum Sticks, Kick Strap, Ahead Wicked Chops Practice Pad, Sledgepad, The Sweet Spots Drum Dampeners, and Pray With Drums Gear.
I generally use Aquarian Studio-X, Remo Emperor and Evans G2s or EC2s. I also really like the Evans UV1s.








I know you just got a new kit, do you consider yourself a gear junkie?
I am a total gear junkie. I have enough gear to open a store. Some women like shoes or purses...
I like drum gear :)

If you weren't playing drums, what would you be doing?
Well, I am a hospice social worker a few hours per week, counseling patients and families.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life?
It has changed me in almost every way. I am a drummer, inside and out. Drums have so much shaped who I am. I even choose clothes according to " Can I drum in that?" Haha When I am having a hard day, drumming can change my whole outlook. It puts me in my happiest place. When I am drumming, even if it's learning something really difficult, I am happy, I am free, I am creative. Drumming is very healing for me.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?
Danny Sarephine (Chicago). The very first songs I learned to play along to was to Chicago and he is an incredible mixture of jazz/rock drumming.
James Bradley, Jr. Is an incredible drummer. I first heard him with Chuck Mangione Live at Hollywood Bowl. Fusion, funky and precision. I studied that album to learn his style.
Anika Nilles is one of the premier drummers today. Her style is incredibly unique and powerful. I love the music that she writes and her interpretation and execution of the music is ingenious.
Mike Johnston is the best drumming instructor that I've ever come across. I love his smooth, diverse style of playing and his teaching is easy to follow and extremely encouraging and uplifting.
Aron Mellergardh is the drummer for Dirty Loops and to me has a perfect playing style. Its energetic, musical, and locked in with the other band members. I study his fills and groove and make them my own.

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?
Not a concert but a masterclass at PASIC in 2015 where I saw Larnelle Lewis then an hour later my friend Anika Nilles.
Both amazing musicians.


Tammy & Anika Nilles


How often do you practice?
If I can, I practice daily.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?
Sometimes its as simple as putting my favorite music on and just playing. Sometimes I am working on getting lessons ready for my students the next week and others its working on specific skill sets: linear fills vs non- linear fills. Kick speed, hand speed, rudiments, incorporating kicks into more of my fill patterns. Because I am self-taught I never learned to read drum music really or rudiments, techniques, etc...so I am forcing myself to learn to read drum music better and to become a very well -rounded, educated drummer.


You post some kool vids of you playing, has this helped you improve on your skills?

Yes! The reasons I started recording is so I can see what I played that I should keep in that song, and what I should do different. Also I was very sick, newly diagnosed with Lupus and I was having so many breathing problems we thought I might die. My husband convinced me to let him make videos of me playing because , up to that point, there weren't any pics or videos of me playing.

One of the things I notice the most in your vids, is that there is a joy that comes through in your playing and it is inspiring. Do you feel like or get the feedback on how you inspire people through you drumming?
Almost daily someone writes to me to tell me that I've inspired them to keep playing, to hire a drum teacher, to audition, to practice or just to have a happier attitude. I am floored and humbled that my life inspires anyone. This makes me so happy.





You have posted about you personal, health issues..How has that effected your playing and how do you press way?
Yes, like I mentioned, I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia and 3 other autoimmune diseases. Generally Lupus attacks my lungs making me short of breath or wheezing a lot. It keeps my joints inflamed and I feel like I have the worst flu I've ever had every day, and terrible brain fog and it never goes away. My skin burns, I am so tired and dizzy sometimes I can hardly stand up, I get sores in my mouth, my hair falls out and I have bouts of nausea from the anti-malerial meds I take to protect my organs. Generally I feel really sick every day BUT if I have any energy at all, I play. It wears me out sometimes and I have to take breathing treatments sometimes afterwards but I HAVE TO PLAY. If I am too sick, I tend to go to Facebook and encourage my buddies there. It all works out.

I know there are days where you can't even play, does that drive you crazy?
Yes and sometimes makes me cry, thinking," What if this gets so bad that I can't play anymore?" I honestly don't know what I would do...but I know there is a plan for my life so I take it one day at a time and make the most of every day that I can.

Are drums your best therapy?
Yes, without a doubt. Close second, though, is spending time with my husband, my best friend, my kids and my other family members. I feel so blessed to have them in my life.

As someone who deals with health issues of my own, to see you in your honesty and courage, I just wanted to say Thx for being light for the rest of us!
Thank you very much for that😊❤





Being married, I know he's kool with you being a drummer but do you ever drive him crazy with all of this?
Actually, its the other way around haha. He spends tons of time trying to find me the best equipment, designed and made my studio, made a bass drum overhead light for it...he is constantly looking for new snares for me. It's very sweet that he is so incredibly supportive.

You have had a number a interviews and spotlight pieces done on you in this last year, did you ever think you would be doing things like this?
No, especially at my age and my health but somehow people, (magazines, radio shows, percussion companies, etc...) somehow found out about me and are very supportive of me. I am so thankful!

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?
Hmmm, you know, even bad gigs or weird gigs are good gigs to me. If I am playing, I am happy. Churches, festivals, restaurants, country clubs...it doesn't matter to me. I love it all.


What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?

What was tripping me up for so long was self-doubt. I knew that I was a good drummer but because I was self-taught I felt very insecure about my technique and inability to read drum music. However, if I hear a song, I generally can duplicate it. I started to realize, that is a huge asset. My words for you are...realize your strengths. Build on them. Work on areas that are TEMPORARY weaknesses but never let them hold you back from pursuing whatever drumming dreams that you have.






Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You's???
Many, many Thank Yous to all of the people who have encouraged me, hired me and partnered with me in my drumming career.
You can find my fan page on Facebook at Tammy Mitchell-Woods Drums & Instagram
I am working on a website and will have that up by the end of the year.
I offer Skype lessons to beginners and intermediate players. You can contact me through my Facebook page.
For female drummers I started a Facebook page called Drummergirls United for all ages and all skill levels. Its very encouraging and educational. We have drummers from 65 countries and we are growing.

Finally, I will be attending the winter NAMM Show again in January in Anaheim. I would be happy to meet and greet with other drummers who know me through Facebook and my articles and interviews.



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Well, there you have it Tammy Mitchell-Woods, in her own words. Man, I was right. She is an inspiration and a great person to get to know. This is one of the main reasons why I started TC. To be able to share these stories and careers of players a lot of us might never hear about but need to know about. Tammy is showing us about perseverance and the love of the craft. A fighter and a groove machine.

Tammy, once again...thank you so much for doing this. It was really kool being able to peek into your drum life and share it with the rest of our drum family. I will see you at NAMM 2019!


As always, if you or someone you know would like to be interviewed and share their drum life, please contact me and let's make it happen.

DeHaven - de@oliomusic.com
facebook.com/dirtyde
facebook.com/talkinchop
instagram.com/drummerdehaven
twitter.com/talkinchopblog



DeHaven is supported by:
Soultone Cymbals - SJC Drums
Cympad - Cymbag
Sweet Spots - Phatfoot Drum Harness
Olio Music Group


#DrummersSupportDrummers #TalkinChop #DrumLife




I'M OUT!




















Sunday, September 9, 2018

Volume 65 - Drew Stevens




DREW STEVENS







Hello my fellow drum enthusiast. It is another exciting day in the drum world. I'm hyped to bring you another up & comer. This time we head to the East Coast. I actually found this kat thru a submission site I was on, looking for an opp for my band. It just so happened they were looking for an opening band for one of their shows in L.A. 
I didn't submit but when I checked them out, I was diggin' what I heard. So I did some research and found another young gun ready to take on the world. I have no doubt these young men are going to make some noise on the circuit. You can find them on tour with another great band (and drummer) Vinyl Theatre. But right now you can catch him on Talkin' Chop. (see what I did there?) lol. 




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Name or Stage Name: Drew Stevens

Where are you from?
I'm originally from Manalapan, New Jersey or central Jersey if you believe it exists.

How did you get started playing drums?
When I was in 4th grade I played trumpet in the school jazz band. The trumpet section was right in front the drummers so I would listen to them play every rehearsal. My neighbor just so happened to be one of them and he showed me some things on his kit at home. I was instantly hooked.

How did the The Catching form?
The Catching was the product of a few School of Rock's in Jersey. Holden (Singer/Bassist) and Jake (Guitarist) were neighbors and grew up together. They had gone to the same School of Rock as Evan (Guitarist) and then came to the School of Rock I attended. Eventually the four of us got together to form the Catching in 2013.



Did you always want to be in a band?
As soon as I felt like I was getting the hang of things on the kit and my chops were coming together I knew I needed to be in a band. I remember calling a guitarist early on before The Catching because he was looking for a drummer to join his band and I couldn't sleep that night from the excitement after he said that I should come in for an audition.

What is the best part of being in a band, for you?
I love playing live with really talented musicians. There is an energy between musicians when they are in lock step with each other and the audience that I haven't found anywhere else. It's addicting.



"Do It All Again" by The Catching








You guys are currently on the road, do you like touring?
Touring is one of my favorite parts of being a musician seeing different cities, trying different food and appreciating how beautiful this country is... it's so rewarding.

Is this the first tour for the band?
We've been on a few tours but not like this one. We'll be playing 40 different clubs and rounding the country twice so this is a high caliber tour for us and we're ready to take it on.

Being that this is a long run, what are you doing to make sure you are physically and mentally sharp every night?
I try and hit some of the hotel gyms on the road though that can become challenging with ever changing schedules. I like to stretch my fingers and on occasion I'll run into a Guitar Center to hop on a kit and jam for a little. Mentally I like to run through the set once or twice a day so I can really solidify timing for interludes and fills that could be more effective at certain times. Before I hit the stage I like to wave my hands back and forth at my side and concentrate on the air that runs between my fingers. It clears my mind of anything going on in my life so I'm very focused when I go on.

You guys released a new single this Summer "Get Even" How was the process in the studio?
"Get Even" was started with a demo idea that Holden had and then we all jumped on it and was written and recorded within 2 days.



Take a listen: 





On Get Even, your playing reminds me of Matt Flynn from Maroon 5. Solid pocket with that nice swing to it:
Matt Flynn has great feel and style. So I appreciate that.

Did you guys work with a producer or are you self produced?
We worked with Matt Squire to produce that song. He's such a great guy and very good at bringing out the best in bands. A "music plumber" as he says.

Are you please with the outcome?
"Get Even" is one of my favorite songs we've ever written, I couldn't be happier with that one.

You guys have released some singles, are there plans for a full length album?
We have 5 new songs in the works and plan to drop one of them in early October.

So, what's your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect?
Currently I have a Tama Starclassic Birch/Bubinga kit. I have Evans EC2 clear heads on the two toms and kick. I use a 13'' Pork Pie "Little Squealer" Snare with and Evans Dry head on that. I'm endorsed by Soultone Cymbals with 13'' Gospel Hats 16" Gospel Crash 21" Vintage Ride and a 19" FXO. I've been fond of the Vater 5B's at the moment and I mainly use DW hardware.



How did you find out about Soultone and what do you like about their cymbals?
My old drum teacher Chris Stone told me about them and when I tried them out I fell in love with their sound. They're very durable cymbals (I've been playing my 16" crash for over 3 years) so I know I can rely on them and the team behind them are great and I enjoy working with them!

Do you have a "Dream Kit"?
I'm still looking for my dream kit but it's most likely between a Gretsch USA Custom or a Yamaha Live Custom.

How do you describe your drumming style?
I like to think I'm a versatile drummer with rock roots with funk and gospel influence. I have always aspired to perfect some real gospel chops one day.

What intrigues you about "Gospel Chops"? Can you apply it to what you're doing with you band?
Gospel chops intrigue me because it is something I was never taught from a teacher. My first teacher was a reggae oriented player and my second teacher played punk and latin. Gospel drumming has a flow about it that you can't find in other styles. I put sprinkles of it in fills and some beats but I also want to serve the song first and since we play more rock/pop I want to keep that at the forefront. 



If you weren't playing drums, what would you be doing?
I really don't know what I'd be doing, I almost don't like to think about that.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life?
Drumming since I started has been a massive part of my life. Its been my release since the start of 7th grade and a passion that has never been a burden but a pleasure. Almost everything I am proud to have accomplished has come from drumming.

Asbury Park, NJ is your hometown, How is the live music scene?
Asbury Park has an interesting music scene. They've been trying to figure out what is "cool" for some time but I will always call it home and between The Stone Pony and The Brighton Bar, The Catching was truly born and raised there.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?
Brad Hargreaves of Third Eye Blind has always stuck out to me, I used to play the record "Blue" on repeat in my room when I was a kid. 
Neil Peart of Rush of course. 
Luke Holland has always pushed my mental boundaries. 
Eric Moore is just such a monster on the kit one day I want to be able to play with his speed and intensity. George Daniel of The 1975 is very creative and always puts a great twist on what could be a simple pop beat.

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?
I saw Mutemath when Darren King played with them at Terminal 5 in New York, his playing and style had me home for the next week just playing.

How much time do you practice?
I try and practice once a day whether that be by myself, on a pillow with just sticks or with the guys full band.



What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?
Sometimes I just play to release energy, most of the time I try and work on weaknesses and sometimes I play because I heard a song in my car that makes me want to get on the kit and jam with it.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you?
I have recorded videos of me playing. It brings a new perspective for yourself, seeing what you can improve on and what looks good when you play.

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?
We got on a tour called the High School Nation Tour and the first show was in Texas playing outside to about 3,000 students. We were the first band up to play and we had never played to more than 500 people at the time. That was a very memorable gig.



"Lock That Door" by The Catching






Playing in front of 3,000 High School kids,, that I assume didn't know much about you, how was the response?
It was fantastic! There is an energy that a rock band brings that people can instantly connect to. Kids were on top of other kids shoulders, throwing their hands up, it felt like a true music festival. 

You guys are still young guys and have been touring and gigging, Do you guys feel like younger people are still into "Bands"?
Mike Rowe has a quote: "Look where everyone is going, then head in the opposite direction". Kind of an enhanced "Take the path less traveled". This resonates with me because everything at the top of is Urban and the tone of most modern Urban music is "I don't care about anything, whatever, I'm the best, let's do drugs". Everyone is headed in that direction I want to be at the front of bringing back music back that can move you, that can make you think and makes you feel different emotions. I see this shift already and I'm excited to see where it goes.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?
Watching other drummers of all styles and emerging yourself in their playing has always helped me. Whenever I feel like some of my playing is getting stale I'll dive into a different band or drummer and spark a new interest. It's how you can become a great all-around drummer which I aspire to be.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You's???
Check out The Catching tour and music on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube and www.thecatching.com shout out to Soultone Cymbals for endorsing me, and I'd like to thank Talkin' Chop for the opportunity to talk about my passion!



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I always like it and appreciate it when you see a young kat in the game who plays well and has the passion and perspective needed to be successful in this business.
Thanks Drew for taking the time to share your drum life with us! I wish you and the band nothing but good fortune in your future.

Remember to link up with Drew and his band The Catching on all soc. med. platforms and drop a "Hello" on Drew. If you can, go to a show & experience them live.


Once again, if you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for Talkin' Chop, please contact me:



DeHaven - de@oliomusic.com



I would like to thank all of my sponsors:

Olio

Soultone Cymbals - SJC Drums
Cympad - Cymbag
Phatfoot Drum Harness - Sweet Spots



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I'M OUT!