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!!!

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