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.

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

DeHaven -

Let's get your story out there!


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