Monday, February 29, 2016

Volume 13 - Dre Energy

Volume 13 - Andre Boyd

Hey Drum Heads,

well, we snagged a big fish this week. He's like the James Brown of drumming, with 300+ shows a year, for the last 6yrs (nuts!) 

Amazingly, I caught a glimpse of what he does on FB, sent him a request and next thing I know, we're chatting it up and I'm buying Tshirts from this guy. 

I was kind of nervous about approaching him about doing TC but you know they say "If you don't ask, you won't get"

I got Andre Boyd Talkin' Chop and you'll be glad I did.

Name or Stage Name: Andre Boyd aka Dre' Energy

Where are you from? I am originally from St. Louis, Mo... Grew up near Ferguson, Mo in a town nearby called Florissant. 

How long have you been playing? I've been playing this year going on 32 years. I started to play drums at the age of 2 years old. 

Do you have a genre preference? No, I'll play anything. 

How did you get where you are now? A lot of prayer, dedication, faith, a praying wife and mother. 

What are your goals, short & long term? My short term goals... I am looking to find a major pop, rock, country artists to tour with. Long term goal...I want to open a performing arts high school or musical trade school for children to be able to learn their craft on a much more professional level. 

You are currently the drummer with one of the Cirque du Solei productions, how does one get that kind of gig? I auditioned for Cirque almost 7 years ago, when I had no money and my wife and I went to NYC with $60 and no hotel room. The rest is history. 
Dre Energy- Diabolo Teaser

I noticed you have a pretty heavy schedule between Cirque and doing Drum clinics around the do you do all of this?! When travelling between cities/countries. I have scheduled "off" days and I usually schedule my clinics on the off days.

You obviously have a strong support system at home. How do you maintain a healthy home life? I really try to communicate with my wife all day and as well I am reachable for her at any time of the day, whether I'm onstage or in my hotel room. The really cool thing now is that my show ends here in about one week. I'll be at home a lot more. 

Andre and his wife Gwen

Do you feel like a gig like this enables you to use all of your skills as a drummer? For sure, I can definitely be the drummer I'm wanting to be on this show. I have learned a whole lot being here on Quidam for the last 6 years. 
Dre Energy - "Cordes"

How would you describe you early days as a drummer? Where did you cut your teeth? Early days as a drummer... Mainly church. I grew up in a church that was really big and known in the city for music. We played many concerts and many of the bigger functions in the city but as well as my older brother was and still is s professional drummer. 

Church musicians are a different breed, how would you explain the church experience? Church musicians have the greatest advantage in "ear" training and learning many styles. The thing that I would desire for them to do more would be to learn musical theory. 

Could you list some of your accomplishments?

Cirque du Soleil World Tour - 6 years

Voted one of the best new Top 10 drummers in the world 2015 via Rhythm Magazine.

A video/photo shoot in the Royal Albert Hall- London. 

Clinics in 17 different countries and counting. 

Article in Rhythm Magazine, Drumhead Magazine, Mike Dolbear, Modern Drummer etc...
The list goes on..... Lol

Do you like being a Sideman or would you prefer being an Artist in a band? I prefer either or...which ever is in need of me at the time. Lots of advantages with both. 

Do you play any other instruments? Yes I do.... For a period of time I was the organists at mothers church. She was a pastor. I also learned how to play trombone in grade school. 

You have toured all over the world, playing all types of gigs, Is there anything you haven't done yet? I have not been on the big stage with a major major artists. I want to do that soon... 

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks included and why you choose these items?

Dixon Artisan Maple/Bubinga Drums

8, 10, 12, 16, 22

14" Phoenix Snare

10" Side Snare 

Force 10 Clear on toms

Super Kick 10 on kick drums 

Triple Threat coated on Snare 

13" AAX Excelerator Brilliant Hi Hats

18" HHX Ozone Crash

19" Artisan Crash

7" EVolution Splash

10" AAX Splash

20" Evolution HHX Ride

18" Legacy Crash

16" HH DARK CHINESE / 18" HH Dark Crash

20" AA Holy China


AKAI Renaissance 

Presonus 16.4.2


Sticks :
VIC FIRTH SDC (Danny Carey Signature)

Do you have multiple kits and snares? I do own a couple different kits and snares by different companies, YES!!! 

Birch or Maple? I prefer BIRCH BUT i love Birds Eye Maple...LOVE!!! 

You are with Dixon Drums, it seems like the relationship is going very well. How has their support of you helped in your career? Dixon has been great and I've been able to do my own clinic tour in China/Taiwan and they also provided me with the current setup I use for the Cirque shows. 


Do you have a “Dream Kit”? I don't necessarily have a Dream Kit, but I would love to own some older vintage kits and cymbals. That's the dream for me !!!! 

I am a proud costumer of a couple of your Tshirts, so I want to make sure we talk about your "Drum Biz" away from the stage. You are definitely working your brand, is this something you wanted to do? I've always wanted to have a drummer t shirt. I appreciate you for the support, that's big bro...most definitely. In about a month I will have my signature drummers shoe to come out. I am really looking forward to that. I also have my signature snare out with VK drums that is in the latest edition of Modern Drummer for review. 

Email your selected T-SHIRT NUMBER (see chart) along with SIZE to: 

VK Drums - Dre Energy Snare

Do you think more musicians need to start thinking in terms of their branding? Yes, I think more drummers should become more business minded and not just "craft" minded. I love that they pour so much into the craft but also pour just as much into the marketing aspect of who you are as well. 

How would you describe your drumming style? Precise, Energetic, Musical, Authentic...

You were very young when you started getting in to drums, can you explain the draw to the instrument? You know honestly, I don't remember what drew me to playing drums, other than drums chose me, I didn't choose it. I was sooo young and I remember being on the lap of the drummer at my home church and playing the drums. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? I wouldn't exists if I weren't playing drums, I was chosen just for this life. 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? Drumming has kept me out of trouble, been a resource for me when things in my life were down. It's been great to me! 

I know your really busy but are you able to get to your hometown and mix it up in the local music scene? With the cirque tour, I'm usually out on tour for 335 days/year for the last 6 years. So, when I go home, Mrs. Boyd can careless about me playing locally and as she should because I've taken soooo much time from her and my family. But, as well I haven't been to St. Louis in about 2 years now. I live near New Orleans at the moment. 

Signing autograph at one of his Drum Clinics

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?
Duane Boyd, my brother. The first example of a pro drummer that I was exposed to and learned a lot of the basics from him. 
Jeremy Haynes, one of my good friends today and homeboy whom has played on countless Grammy award winning albums and still a dominate force in the music world today. 
Dave Weckl, a homeboy as well, one of the greatest influences on my drumming style. Dave is a serious legend in music.
Will Kennedy, sooooo unique...plays all the right things at the right time and can play any style of music. 
Chris Dave....this guy is mental and one of the most nicest guys around. He has really tapped into his own identity on drums and is musical and just amazing to watch on drums. 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? Dave Weckl, 1996 in St. Louis, Mo at Mississippi Nights. BLEW ME AWAY!

Are you able to get practice time in? I don't practice because I'm playing a lot of 10-11 hour show days / 5 days a week..if I need to work on something I'll do a little maintenance playing in sound check or after. 

There is usually one or two things all of drummers don't like and want to improve in our playing, do you have any of those issues? I'm always wanting to re examine what I play, my form, my posture make sure it's not overbearing in the music or to the other musicians I'm playing with. 

What is a typical day like for you, on the Cirque show? Sound check, 1st show, Dinner, Second Show, Leave venue heading back to hotel then Answer emails and talk to my wife and family. 

You use some electronics in your rig. Was that a smooth transition for you? No, it was not easy using the electronics to cue sound effects... For the first year I sucked and was hitting the wrong effects all the time lol ...gunshots when it should have been chimes. Just bad lol. 

Dre's Kit

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring? I don't really have a preference. I prefer it all. I enjoy all aspects of each experience. 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? I played with Dolemite years ago and he talked about me the whole entire show lol. 

Rudy Ray Moore aka Dolemite (Comedian)

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? Please focus on the music and not the hype. What do I mean? Endorsements, gospel the music honestly. Learn to use the best placement in the music. We lack placement nowadays and everything is just super loud and choppy. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s???
God Bless everyone

Dre is sponsored by these fine companies:

If you have any questions for Dre, he has an "Ask a Pro" section on his website, or you can hit him up on Facebook & Twitter.

Rockin' my Dre Energy Tshirt!

I'm not one for selfies but I ALWAYS support my fellow drummers. Whether it be shirts, cds, shows (in my area) Soc Media sharing. We're all in this together!

I really want to thank Andre for sharing his drum life. He's a busy kat but he's a kool and humble kat! Much respect! 
I think he stands as a great example for determination, confidence and faith. Good luck to him and all his future endeavors.

Remember, if you would like to be featured on Talkin' Chop
just hit me up at:

I'm Out!!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Volume 12 - Nicholas Gray

Volume 12 - Nicholas Gray

I hope you guys are ready for a fun one. I found this kat through a friends post on FB. It was a very interesting drum video and after watching it, I contacted him right away and said "you gotta let me feature you on Talkin' Chop".

You Must go to this link and watch the video first and then you'll understand...

So, then I proceeded to watch other vids and listen to his work. My conclusion was, this is the kinda guy people need to work with. He's Pro, he's solid and he's gonna keep things interesting. After I tracked him down, Nick agreed to Talk Chop with me!

Name or Stage Name: Nicholas Gray! I go by Nick though.

Where are you from? I am from a backwards town in Kentucky called Owensboro about 2 hours north of Nashville

How long have you been playing? All my life, technically  but only seriously for the past 3 years. 

What is or are your main genre of playing? I love straight up classic rock along with indie rock and blues, however, I mainly play “new” country as it pays the most and has the most work where I live. 

How did you get where you are now? Making and continuing to make huge mistakes. Also my mentor, David Parks, and mom and pop!

What are your goals, short & long term? Short term is to get back out and on a gig which is why I made this ridiculous video! Long term is the same! I belong on the road.

Artists you would like to play for? I would kill to play for Manchester Orchestra 

List some of your accomplishments: 150,000 people have watched me not play the drums. 

Are You in a band?  Details…. I am not in a band, and I never have been, really. I played for a small indie outfit from my hometown briefly, but my bread and butter is freelancing work doing fill-ins and studio stuff! I very rarely play for the same artist twice - I love learning new music, reading and making new charts, and feeling out the scene(s) before I settle into something!

Do you play any other instruments? I do! I play bass, piano, guitar, and most brass instruments. Knowing just enough theory to diagnose and then play top 40 hits allows me to impress chicks at parties, so I’ll always have that. 

What are your touring experiences, if any? I’ve not been on a bus tour, although I’ve spent enough time sleeping in vans and SUV’s to know bunking it on a bus is the way to go eventually!

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks included and why you choose these items? I have to list my ’76 Ludwig Supra-sensitive first. It’s my bread winner! There’s something about the classic honk of a supra phonic that feels like home. As I’m not endorsed by a head company, I use two brands. All my snares have Evans heavyweight batters and hazy 500’s on the bottom with pure sound 42 strand snares. Thick and large, kind of like me. This setup allows me to have super loud drums, which is my playing style. Toms rotate between Remo Emperors and Ebonies on both batters and reso’s. I play loudly, so I need a warm tone in my toms to combat the harshness of my playing. My kick is a Evans heavyweight batter, and virgin “whatever is cheapest” resonant with no pillows. If you can’t tune a virgin pillow-less kick to sound good…well you should. Ha. Cymbals wise, I’m a K Hybrid guy. You can find me rocking a 19” 20” and 24” most nights. David Parks always told me to get “man sizes”. I try to do him proud. I use Cympads. I love my Ludwig stands, I use a combination of classic and atlas stands. I use a DW 4000 on my gigging rig. Currently my night-to-night is a DDrum reflex kit blacked out. I have it because I was tired of my Ludwig X-overs being destroyed from 2a.m. tear downs in bars. I use Promark 5A’s. They break the least often. 

Do you have multiple kits and snares? There’s no doubting Ludwig’s snares are the best of the best (according to me - hah) so I have used a 4” supraphonic, 6” supra, 5” super sensitive, and a 5” acrolite. I also rocked a DDrum Vintone. The most interesting Kit I owned was a 70’s Whitehall kit. It was bop sized and was so warm you could roast a stew in it. I rocked some Tama superstars for a while when I still thought long-ass bridge style lugs were cool. My Ludwig X-overs still reign supreme, with a close second being my daily driver DDrums. 

Would you consider yourself a drum geek? I love talking about drums although I know very little. So no? maybe yes? next question? ha

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? Amber Vista’s in Bonham sizes. (I said the B word!)

How do you describe your drumming style? Loose. I like to have fun. My appeal is that I am a performer first and a drummer second, meaning my #1 goal is to make sure the crowd has fun. I’ve been told “MAN, you’re one of the GREATEST drummers I’ve ever seen!”, and while I appreciate the sentiment, I know it’s not because I played 4-on-the-floor to a Jason Aldean tune, but because I put on a show while I play, and people REALLY dig it. Doing the bar thing, you learn to feed off the crowd. In fact, in gigs where I use a click, I usually ditch the in-ears during the last chorus to help the feel and flex a bit more if the crowd is eating it up .

Why the drums? I only play accurately when I can really beat the living snot out of something. I tried with a piano, but it turns out the hammer has a loudness limit and WILL break. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? I had a full ride scholarship to a private college where I was to major in elementary education. So probably working at Starbucks. 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? It has humbled me. I really am no good at the drums, and after growing up with an inflated ego, being in a community where everyone is immeasurably better than you has taught me to learn, always, and lift others up, always. 

Is the music business your career? Technically. I still have a gig at a rock station in my hometown (Hey 97X!) but growing up with a dad who is in the industry (engineer, producer) I certainly expect it won’t be long before I am out on the road 100% of the time. 

What has been your father's influence on your musical career? My father really was the constant in my life that told me it's OK to be a musician. He was always told he couldn't make a living doing it. Owning a studio for the last 20 years has proved otherwise. 

What do you do at the radio station?
I'm a producer! I've had a couple of brief shows in my career, but I now create social media content and do production work for imaging, spots, and rotators for the stick. 

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown? Ha. 

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? David Parks will always come first. He gave me my first ever drum lesson. He constantly picks me up, builds me up, and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be confident in ANY capacity. Then Bonzo (clichè?), Bermuda Schwartz from Weird Al because dude has to play every style of drumming ever every night and on every record, Brad Davis because he embodies the “performer first” way of playing, and the Reverend himself, Alex VanHalen because, VanHalen

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? My first concert was Tesla. I went to dinner with Troy Lucketta and he had me play piano for him backstage. We talked about everything BUT drums. I think it’s that experience where I really started to “get it”. If you “get it”, you know what I’m saying. 

How much time do you practice? Not enough.

What types of things do you like to work on? Being loose and solid at the same time. Some people call it “groove” and say it’s way more important than chops. Other people are wrong. 

Are you involved in local Shedding sessions? I was JUST talking about this with another drummer I look up to (Jesse French - Jesse French Drums on Facebook). There really isn’t a community in Owensboro. I’ve leeched onto the Nashville scene a bit and have made friends there. The thing about the drumming community is, you have to be a likable good dude. The drumming part comes second. Good thing I’m great at first impressions. 

Describe your current gig(s) Currently I’m not playing drums to Death Cab for Cutie covers because I am not playing with anyone, although a fantastic alternative outfit in Chicago recently reached out. We’ll see how it goes. (which is a good time to plug - please hire me? ha). Usually you can find me cranking out Florida Georgia Line tunes covered in sweat playing to the sound guy in some bar at midnight. 

Is there a healthy live music scene in Owensboro? It depends on who you ask. Owensboro is experiencing its boom currently, which means because of the advent of the internet,  a lot of people are seeing how other cities do a “real” music scene for the first time. This could be good, because maybe musicians can for the first time earn a livable income playing music here. I am a HUGE supporter of getting paid to play, which is why I have to look to play in bands and take gigs out of Owensboro. I’ve taken a lot of flak for campaigning to get paid to play, which actually cost me my last “gig”. We’ll see how it goes. 

I know you do drum videos, how has it helped you? I actually only have a handful of footage of me playing; most of it is really old. It’s helped me get my brand out there. It’s also helped me land gigs. Nearly every artist I’ve played for hired me because of a drum video I have. 

After watching one of your videos, I noticed you have a unique take on drumming and the drum video culture. You are quite the personality. Where does that come from? I really want this. I mean I REALLY want this. Some people got it (drumming) and some people don’t. I don’t. For some reason I still REALLY want this. So I had to turn to being energetic and really performing when I play - it’s becoming part of my brand. 

Are you into electronic drums at all? Yes! if they were more accepted in the “elite” drum community, I would use electric kits all day! The stage volume isn’t a problem, the drums are always tuned, and I can fake some really fast hands on a rubber pad!

Are you a songwriter? I try. I try so hard. I can write a mean guitar riff. That’s about it. Which sucks because I really really enjoy the songwriting process. 

Do you sing and play? I tried once. Turns out I can’t sing. Who knew?

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring? Touring, studio, and local gigs, in that order. 

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman? Hired gun mainly. I’m getting paid to read a chart and look cool doing it, and that’s neat. Although being the “artist” means I can suck and say “it’s just our style, man”.

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? I once played a gig where the other hired guns and I vowed never to speak about it. So really, I guess I can’t share it. I CAN tell you that the stage manager told me not to go behind the (outdoor) stage because the “crocs might get ya”. 

What do you want your legacy to be? I want to be to other musicians what my father and other influences are to me. When guys who looked up to me are being interviewed by DeHaven in 10 years, I want them to say "Special thanks to Nick Gray for helping me get here".

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? Just do it. I’m making it work and I know like 2 rudiments. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
I seriously got this interview by not playing the drums. What a time to be alive. 
@nickgrayiscool on ALL media (Insta, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, Gamertag, whatever)

Thanks to, DeHaven (you ROCK dude), David Parks, Mom and Pop, Christian for the encouragement on the video, Jesse, Travis, other Jesse, and Sam for jamming, Ludwig Drums, Cympad, Zildjian pies, and everyone who’s ever jammed with me and said “hey, you weren’t completely horrific”. 

Well, that was fun! Gotta love this guy and his personality to go along with his love for music and drumming. I want to wish Nick all the best and I know he will be working a lot in this industry and bringing a great attitude and fun to every project he's involved with.

Thanks Nick!!

If you would like to be interviewed on Talkin' Chop...

Contact: DeHaven at

Monday, February 15, 2016

Volume 11 - Gina Marie Osmar

Volume 11 - Gina Marie Osmar 

Hello again Drum Family,
This week is a very kool moment. One of the purposes of this blog is to highlight  our Up & Coming players.  (We must support our young musicians) This young lady is a wonderful talent and has a very bright future. Expressing power, technique and versatility, she is quickly becoming a sought after drummer. With already a number of accomplishments to her young career, it's easy to see why she has made music her life. Her maturity, strong family support and faith has anchored this teenage drummer....only to see her go out to sea and conquer the world. I am very excited to bring you Gina Marie Osmar and glad that she took time to Talk Chop with us.

Name or Stage Name: Gina Marie Osmar  aka (stage name) Gina "G"

Where are you from?  Georgetown, TX

How long have you been playing? I started playing on coffee cans from my parents restaurant when I was 3.  Got my first real drum kit at 6. I am 15 now. (Gina has turned 16 since this Interview took place)

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
I play anything. But, mainly Christian Rock, Alternative and Post Hardcore.  I'm not sure I have a "main genre"? LOL
"If you can't hang" cover by Sleeping with Sirens

How did you get where you are now? Honestly?...I don't know?  By the grace of God I have been fortunate enough to have parents that support what I want to do and a lot of people that are beginning to notice me.  I guess because I started playing in a church of 5000 people when I was 7 years old helped?  That is a lot of people to notice you right away.  Soultone Cymbals was the first company to notice me and offer me the opportunity to be an "Artist Endorser".  I posted a video when I was 9 playing a song, "Lonely Night in Georgia", It was a half-time shuffle.  Then I got a call from a record company in Nashville asking me to come record some drum tracks at Tombstone Recording Studios in Nashville because of that playing.  It's just been picking up little by little, since then.

What are your goals, short & long term? To be touring this year with one of my bands.  After graduating high school, I would like to see if I could get a scholarship to Musicians Institute.  Long tour the world and maybe have a permanent gig on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. (watch out Questlove!)

Artists you would like to play for?  Taylor Swift, Paramore, Selena Gomez
"Find You by ZEDD drum cover

List some of your accomplishments:
  • at 11 I was asked to come to Nashville and recorded at Tombstone Recording Studios.
  • at 12 I was nominated as "Texas State Artist, State Musician".
  • I have songs released with Banana Nightmare from Brisbane Australia at 12 and 13 years old.
  • My former band, "Forever Starts Today" headlined 3 shows at SXSW in 2015.
  • I do studio drum tracks for people all over the world.
  • At 13 I was admitted as the youngest artist for AFM Local 433 in Austin.
  • At 12 I was (and still am) the youngest artist with Audix Microphones
  • I am an Artist Endorser for about 12 companies.
  • At 13 I was a featured artist in the Summer issue of Tom Tom Magazine.
  • Dec. 2015 I was the featured artist in International Musician , Journal for American Federation of Musicians for U.S. and Canada.
  • I was recently asked by Don Lombardi of D.W. and the DrumChannel to be on The Drum Channel here in the near future.

Do you have your own band? genre? Details….
I have a number of projects going. I am a full-time drummer of "Celebration Church" (6000 members), I have my own Prog-Rock band called "Above All Odds". We are in the writing stages.  I am also part of a power trio blues band called "The Bruce Wacker Band".  Bruce is out of N.J. And my newest venture is I'm part of a power-trio called "Hype War Machine".  We are in the "Hype"genre kind of like Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age here in Austin, Texas.

Do you play any other instruments? level?  I also throw in backing vocals where needed.  I taught myself piano about 3 years ago.  I used to transpose the keyboards (marimba, glokenspiel...) from school band at home on piano and then back again on the percussion instruments at school. I can read for these instruments as well though not as well on the piano.  Percussion, I'm pretty proficient.  I started playing guitar about a year ago and I'm a beginner although I have an ear for understanding what key and chords to play in.  My hands are just a bit small yet.

What are your touring experiences, if any?  
A lot of "Local" touring.  A few out of state dates but not too much as I have school. Hopefully that will change soon!

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks included and why you choose these items?
I currently play a Pearl Masters Kit in Birdseye Maple. It's an 7 piece kit. My Main snare is one of two.  I often use a small Pearl Popcorn Snare (10"x6") as my main snare because I like the "crack".  I also have a 13"x 6" Pearl Reference 20-ply snare that is ridiculously loud!  Very cutting!  Pearl signed me when I was 12 and said,"here's a catalog, pick out what you want".  I also have everything rack mounted to an ICON Rack and I use Double Demon Eliminator Direct Drive Pedals. They were interested in me as much as I was in them.
I play Soultone Cymbals exclusively.  I have been with them since I was 11 years old.  They were the first company to sign me.  They are a small family-run business and they care about their clients as if you were family too.  
Heads are always Remo.  Remo approached me about 3 years ago asking why I didn't have an endorsement?  It's nice when companies approach you.   I change from Ambassadors to Emperors on the batter side depending on the need and Diplomats on the resonant side,  but always Remo. Their heads give me consistent tones and I never worry about how they may sound.
I only use Audix Microphones as well.  Not only for drumming but any instrument as well as vocal mics.  I have my D6 mounted on a "Kelly SHU" inside the kick.  Audix approached me looking for an up and coming young drummer.  Again, another smaller company that truly cares about their artists as much as their equipment. Their microphones are some of the most cutting edge!...using carbon fiber booms and micro condensers that you hardly even notice on stage!
My sticks are a custom made signature stick that I designed with AHEAD Drumsticks owner, Bob Kasha.  They actually have 3 anti-vibration weights in the rear with a very hard ball tip and I use the AHEAD grip tape on the handle.  It's essentially a 5A stick but it's 16.25" long.  I love the fact that their sticks are indestructible!  You can quickly replace a sleeve or grip tape in 10 minutes.  No more buying bricks of sticks and it doesn't look like someone was sawing wood behind your kit when you are done playing!  They said that they just saw something in my playing and wanted to support me as an up and coming artist.  I can't think of a better company to be with!
I'm using Kickports now and DrumTacs as accessories.  My sticks are a custom made signature stick that I designed with AHEAD Drumsticks.  They actually have 3 anti-vibration weights in the rear with a very hard ball tip and I use the AHEAD grip tape on the handle.
I also use Alien Ears- in ear monitors, exclusively!  Again, another small family run company with not only the best prices but an incredible product!  I have G16 monitors which have 8 drivers in each ear!

Do you have multiple kits and snares?  I have a small "gig" kit that is kind of a "Frankenstein".  I don't care if it gets beat up!  It's a 3 piece kit that I take on gigs with an 18"x16" Kick, 12"x8" tom, and 14"x14" floor.  I rack mount my cymbals and if I need more pieces to the kit I have a 6", 8", 10" Rototoms that I can pack along.   I use a small Pearl Popcorn Snare (10"x6") as my main snare because I like the "crack".  I also have a 13"x 6" Pearl Reference 20-ply snare that is ridiculously loud!  Very cutting!  My home kit is a Pearl Masters 7 piece MCX.

Which wood shells do you prefer?  I'm not too picky here?  My Masters MCX is all maple.  But my gig kit is Poplar.  Once the heads are tuned properly and it's mic’d up, you really can't hear a difference if all of the drums are of the same size.  I prefer very thin shells for more resonance though...

What would be your ideal gear setup?  list manufacturers and items 
 I haven't played a lot of different kits yet?  I am super impressed with DC California (owned by Soultone).  They have the most distinctive sound I have ever heard!...Unbelievably huge!  I would really like to get a custom designed kit done.  I have talked with them about airbrushing a design.  I hate wraps because they choke the sound of the drum and the shells cannot vibrate.  I have talked with a number of companies but haven't played on many.  A lot of boutique companies want to build you a kit but, what does it sound like and feel like?  You can't get that from a video. I can't understand why most drum companies limit you on color or wrap choices?  If I have to order it, why not make your kit's "a la carte"?  The size of my ideal kit would depend on the cost to me.
Check out this kool interview Gina did at the Audix Microphones booth @ NAMM 2016

How do you describe your drumming style?  
"G"-style! LOL. I just play what I feel but mostly I play what's appropriate for each song. I'm a musician first, but I would say I play with a lot of focus.  I tend not to smile a lot and just concentrate on what I'm doing to make the song sound good.

Why the drums?  My dad brought home coffee cans from the restaurant that he owned when I was 3 years old.  Right away my parents saw that I had rhythm.  My dad gave me an old pair of his drumsticks from when he was a kid.  I used to put the cans plastic lid up for drums and steel side up for cymbals. When I was 6, they bought me a Tama Swingstar for Christmas.  I just took off from there!

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?  
Sports!  I love football, basketball, and I play on the high school softball team. I started in soccer when I was really young and basketball too.  But, I twisted my knee and ankles a few times so I dropped basketball.  I was good at it too.  I have a natural ability for sports as well.

Do your friends understand what it is you do?  Yeah, they know that I play in bands at some clubs and go to LA for the NAMM show but, not much outside of that?  They have been to a few of my shows.  I really don't bring it up though?  I'm pretty low-key.  I just want to be a normal 15 year old.  16 as of February 9th.
Gina with Delphi Freeman @ NAMM

How has drumming impacted or changed your life?  
It's an outlet for me but I get a lot of admiration from other musicians.  I've never really played music with people my own age.  I joined the middle school and high school bands but I was bored to death!  I found that on stage I was good working with other people and their styles and I could read their body language.  That is one of the advantages that I have.  I may never be a YouTube sensation but to me, it's easy to put out a video that you've studied a song for a month and you play well to it.  On stage, when the singer goes back into the verse instead of a chorus or forgets a line, or a song gets drawn out...just because...that's a whole other thing to master.  I could jump in any band and feel confident playing with them and without stage fright.

Is the music business your career?  Yes! When I was 11 and got back from recording in Nashville, I told my parents, "I think I'd like to do this for a living?"  The next year my dad built me a recording studio in the house.

How do find it, being a teenager and female in this business, doing the type of gigs your doing?
Does everyone treat you professionally?  At first, no one would take me seriously.  When I was 11 or 12 and in the music stores I couldn't even get someone to hand me a pair of drumsticks to try out on a kit.  They probably thought I was just another kid that would have no technique.  Once I started to play, things changed pretty fast for them!  I seem to get a lot of respect playing gigs.  First, there are not many female drummers let alone musicians.  The last show I played with a band, I had only been with them for a week when we had our first gig.  The other guys in the band made mention of that and even people from the audience were yelling, "A Week!?, You go girl, you play the hell out of those drums!"  Other musicians from other bands ususally come up to me to tell me that I did a good job.  I think I get mutual respect?

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown?  Yes, I get asked all of the time to sit in with bands or someone needs a drummer, etc.  I play every weekend for my church.  I'm also a part of an Austin band called "Hype War Machine".  We will be doing a lot of Texas touring coming up and then some!

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?  This is funny because I don't necessarily listen to other drummers.  In fact, I don't know many of the "classic rock" drummers.  I find songs that I like...the whole song, and that's what influences me.  There are a few drummers that I've me that make my jaw drop; Mike Mangini of "Dream Theater" and Mike Johnston of
w/ Mike Mangini

w/ Mike Johnston

Can you tell us more about your parents involvement in your career? it seems like it has made things easier for you...  Well, both of my parents are very supportive.  My dad used to play guitar in the Air Force and toured Europe with them.  His parents told him, "You are good but, now go get a real job!".  My dad said to me, "If this is what you want to do in life, I'll back you 100%."  That was when I was 12.  By the time I was 13, my dad had a recording studio built into the house that I could use as rehearsal space as well.  He ripped walls out to build it.  It's a nice size, about 15'x16'.  My dad always finds a way to get me to NAMM every year.  I was also asked to play in Nashville when I was 11 and we all flew out there to record at Tombstone Recording Studios.

Being a church kid, drummer myself, i understand that dynamic. How would you say that has helped your drumming as well as your faith?  Well, I have been part of the church ever since I can remember...  My Nonna took me first when I was like 2 years old.  When I was 7 I auditioned with the youth band at my church, Celebration.  They invited me to sit in, kind of like to humor me?... I sat in and played the last song that they just finished playing from memory, hearing it that one time.  Everyone else was like 15 years old.  They made an exception for my age and got me in.  I've always tried to give back a little.  When I had my 11th birthday, I raised about $1000 in gift cards for the homeless in town, instead of asking for gifts.  I love playing in the church.  I always have.  The musicians are all really good!  It's taught me a lot about working with other players in a live format, timing, production and teamwork.  I believe that I am where I am because it's where I should be.  I'm trying not to think too much about what I need to do or being a star or whatever.  I think it will all work out in God's time.
"Cornerstone" by Hillsong

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?  My first concert was at 11 years old.  My dad took me to see Dream Theater.  We had 3rd row seats.  I got to meet the band and hang backstage with them. All technicians!

How much time do you practice?  I have never been forced to practice.  Somedays I go a day or two without playing.  Usually though, I play about 3 hours a day.  I don't do rudiments, I warm up by playing songs that I like.  I did a lot of rudiments when taking lessons, they were good but not fun.
"Gaucho" cover by Gina G

Are you involved in local Shedding sessions? what do you get out of those sessions?  I haven't been involved yet but starting Feb. 13th, we are opening our studio to other musicians in the area to meet twice a month to get together and jam!

Describe your current gig(s)  I play every weekend with my church, Celebration Church.  I'm also getting ready for a tour with The Bruce Wacker Band and one with Hype War Machine.  I played Sunday, Jan. 24th on the Center Stage at the NAMM show in Anaheim with Delphi Freeman.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? How has it helped you?  
I hate doing videos but my dad (my manager) thinks it's good to do for exposure.  I guess he's right?...
Gina's Groove Challenge

Do you concentrate on Chops or Grooves?  At times....I actually just taught a Songo groove that I use as a fill sometimes to a two time grammy winning drummer!

Are you into electronic drums?  Not really.  My parents wanted to get me an electronic set when I was young because it would be quieter.  I knew at 6 years old that I wanted the sound of an acoustic set!

Do you program drums?  I program some stuff through Garage Band but, I'm not too into that.

Are you a songwriter as well?  I do write but like a lot of songwriters, I hate what I write! LOL!

Do you sing and play?  I've done a lot of background vocals and playing.

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring?  Touring...hands down!  Local gigs second. But, as long as I'm playing with other musicians, that's what I like.  I don't like being in a room by myself doing tracks for someone in another part of the country...but it does pay well!

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman?  
Either one, I just love playing live!  I like it much more when the band is serious and gets paid.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?  Just play because you love to play. I hate competitions.  It's all subjective and such an ego thing so why get into a popularity contest?  I don't compete with others. I try and stay humble. I enjoy what I do and people see that I'm serious about what I do.  That's how I get callbacks.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s???  
I appreciate the opportunity for this interview. I'm always surprised that people want to interview me?  I'm not sure what the next steps in this life process are?  I just put my faith in God and keep on keepin on.  Please visit me on my web page at
Gina G - YouTube

Yes, this young lady has go it  going on! (do we still say that?)
I really dig her vibe as her talent. I hope you guys hit her up and encourage her and support her. We're all in this thing together.

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just hit me up

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