Drummer | Educator | Writer | Programmer | Clinician
Its been a while!! #24
Well well well.....Its been a while, in fact its been all this year without an update, I'm rubbish! or thankfully, I've been busy. The Steven Wilson tour started in January and I've just not had anytime to think or take a breath, where has the time gone? its insane. I won't bore you with all the updates but there are some great pics in the gallery if you'd like to see where we've been and what we've been up to, do check out the "random" folder too....
I'm back for a while now and getting into a load more recording and teaching again, the thing I love the most. Septembers recording dates are up and running so I hope to see you. I'm taking a bit of a sabbatical from the "live thing" for a bit and cancelled Septembers and Octobers "things" through generally wanting to spend a bit more time in education and have a breather!! I promise not to leave it too long for the next update !
Rhythm Magazine Readers Poll 2017 #23
THANK you to the readers of Rhythm Magazine for voting me the top clinician of 2017, I'm delighted, "To the Bone" came 2nd as "Drum Album" and I came in 4th in the "progressive drummer" category. I know these things are entirely subjective but its always flattering just to make the list amongst my peers and to top it is a huge honour, I'm extremely flattered, "THANK YOU" !!!
November 2017 #22
remaining teaching for 2017
Hey everyone. Ive just returned from the Stu Hamm tour in Europe, thank you to everyone that came out, the gigs were a blast. Just to let you know that I've decided to spend most of December at home prepping for January's Steven Wilson rehearsals. I've done a LOT of travelling this year so I'm going to use the last month to teach my regular guys and work on my own playing. This will be my last availability until April 2018 to teach so if you fancy a lesson, have a look at the tuition page and drop me a line. At the blink of an eye, September came and went, it was a pretty cool month actually looking back. At the start, Steven and the guys got together for three days of rehearsals, just working up the new album to see what works and get the band ready for TV. As always with these things, it was fairly intense but the end product was great. Straight after this, it was over to Veruno for a Prog festival with Frost. These things are always a bit crazy but this one was a lot of fun, its always nice to play with the guys and there was a warm feeling at the festival. We also played Towerblock for the first time which went down great. That week went to Korg to pick up my new touring rig for next year. I designed it in a hotel room in Finland on clinic tour and to see it come to life and built in the flesh was a real honour, i'm utterly delighted with it and can't wait to start work on it next January. September also saw mine and Steve White's Ultimate Drum Weekender up at RAW in Halifax. 24 drummers from around the country coming together for 12 hours of intense tuition over a weekend. It was a real blast and hope we can do it again in more locations across the UK in the future. Crammed in around a load of teaching I also played at the Bob Armstrong tribute event, 8 drummers all paying their respects to the master tutor and friend for so many people. The event was rammed to the back walls, a fitting tribute to just what everyone thought of Bob. I was a bit unsure what to play but stuck to the plan and did my "out there" stuff and people seemed to dig it, it was an emotional event, huge respect to Steve White and Nathan Meadows for all their hard work. After the event I was straight over the Belgium to rehearse with Michael Schack for our appearance at the UK drum show. We we're asked (on behalf of Roland) to appear on the MainStage this year which was an honour, so we thought we'd mix it up a little. Personally i get a little bit bored of a drummer shredding self indulgent jazz fusion tracks off an iPod for an hour at clinics, i'd like to think its evolved into more of an education, but to a lot of clinicians this is still the norm so we decided to do something a little different and have some fun with the people that came to see us. We did everything for two tempo DJ sets to mashing up classic 60's TV programs and showed how technology can really help you on a gig or in a practice room, we had an absolute blast, I also got to do my own thing in the "best of British" room on the Saturday which was a LOT of fun. Finally, straight after the show I was on Eurostar going to Paris to film one of Europe's biggest music television shows, TaraTata with Steven Wilson, this airs on the last friday in November. Ant that was September, a pretty intense month! I'm now knee deep in recording commitments and preparing to go out to Europe with Stu Hamm in a couple of weeks, the dates ore on my "live dates page" I hope to see you out there.. (Edit: Dates are now up on the tuition page for Novembers 1-2-1 teaching)
August 2017 #20
1-2-1 Lessons announced
Good morning! Well I've just returned from an amazing trip in Russia which I'll blog about over the next few days and now i'm in the studio for a couple of days before heading out on three dates with Lonely Robot. A LOT of people have asked about tuition and i'm now able to offer a very limited amount of dates for September. Please have a look at the tuition page and drop me a line. I hope to see you soon....
August 2017 #19
Greetings from another glorious english summer where its pouring with rain ! Quite a lot has happened since my lot update with travelling and playing its been hard to comprehend let alone type! During the back of August, I was asked to film a series of videos for Apex Drums on their design lab series, which I think is coming out anytime soon. After filming I spent a day at the beautiful Trinity Laban down in London on their percussion open day. Its alway so great going down there and the standard is always set so high. I started work on the new Semantic Saturation album which is a bit of a roast but a LOT of fun. The amazing Virgil Donati played on the 1st album and I was flattered to get the call for this one. I flew over to the Lorely progressive rock festival to play with the David Cross band for a set, which is always great fun. Sadly this was my last commitment with them as i'm tied up with other things but the drum stool is in safe hands with Pat Garvey at the helm. I've been working with David and the guys for nearly 10 years, its been a HUGE blast and i'm sure It won't be my final outing with them. It was then down to the annual Freddie Gee drum academy in Winchester which once again was a huge success, all the students were brilliant in their approach, I was shattered by the end of it...But, no rest for the wicked. I flew over to Munich for a big band gig featuring the incredible John Clark and Dave Taylor, two world class horn players from NYC, their list of credits is simply staggering. We then went on to play at the Outreach Festival and Academy in Austria for the week with many different players from all over the world. I played with legendary bass player Mark Egan for the week which was such a huge privilege. I'm about to announce a couple of teaching dates for September so keep your eyes peeled. So I've barely been home for a day and I'm off to Russia first thing, looking forward to it...
June 2017 #18
Lessons - And a very special gig this week....June July
This Friday I'm going back to where it all started for me as I cut my teeth on the circuit in the early 2000's, I'm going back the venue in Godalming, Surrey where I used to play a LOT to meet up and play with my old friends. I used to do it in between tours but due to the schedule over the last 5 years or so, I just haven't been around. We've tried to get another get together but it just never happens but finally we found a date. The details and how it all happened are on my blog. I hope you can come down and have a laugh with us, no rehearsal, just turn up and have some fun. The tuition part of the website is updated with spaces for 1-2-1 lessons at my studio for this month and July. I've added three dates at the end of this month and only 6 dates in July (Including a Saturday as requested) as the schedule gets pretty busy these next few months there are only a few days I will be able to teach, so if you're thinking of getting a lesson, now's your chance. First come first served. You will be pushed hard, you will get better....Details are on the tuition page, Hope to see you soon...
May 2017 #21
As I seem to type most months, "where is time going?" its mad that i'm now putting up dates for June lessons. March and April were extremely busy thankfully and I found myself in Masterchord studio recording drums for Phil Lanzon's solo album that had features a whole host of ridiculously talented players and the brilliant Simon Hanhart at the helm, I'm. After this session it was time to work on Nico Tsonev's brilliant new album, his "Moonparticle" project. I've been very much supported at my own studio by my friends at Neumann, Sennheiser, Roland and Focusrite which has taken the sound to the next level so I felt very comfortable recording it all at home in my studio. Its one of the most challenging projects I've done for a while but I was delighted how the drums came out. Talking of recording,I get asked a LOT about what I use in my studio so the "Recording" page is now updated and If you'd like me to play drums on a project, an album, a track, drop me a line, you never know... It was then time to hit the road for a few dates with Frost, which was and is always fun, thank you to everyone that made an effort to come out and get involved. It was also great to visit Pat Garvey and hiss students at Bimm Brighton for a masterclass, its always great going back there, they are a great bunch. At the end of the month the 2nd Lonely Robot album was released, it did pretty good on its first week and made number 6 in the rock and metal charts, once again, drums were recorded in about 3 hours and in a totally unorthodox fashion ! the launch gigs were very well received and I'm doing a couple more with them later on in the year in between another tour that I've been asked to play on. Speaking of tours, i'm delighted that I'll be handling drum duties for Steven Wilson on the next tour, touring his new album etc. Its going to be very special...So, off to teaching I go today. I've cancelled all my travelling commitments for June (apart from one show) to teach and record, so If you would like a lesson, have a look at the dates on my tuition page and get in touch. I hope to see you..
March 2017 #20
Last week I was interviewed by "Andertons TV" incredible YouTube channel which now has over a 1/4 of a million subscribers. Over the In this 30 minute frank open and informal chat we covered so many topics in my career from how I turned pro to SW and electronics, stage fright, practicing, why I play my rig, dealing with trolls, my thoughts on clinics and nerves, never taking anything for granted, the different levels of 'pro', early pub gigs in front of other drummers and so much more. It was nice to to just talk openly and frank about the business and the twists and turns of being a pro, I hope you guys can watch it. Please click HERE
March 2017 #19
Today after the best part of two months traveling, starts a couple of weeks back in the UK out on the road with the Roland guys and the TD50 Spring Tour. We'll be taking in six dates on this little spring outing that will feature more of an "evening with" format. Sadly we can't play everywhere we get asked (We did a few dedicated drum stores on the last outing in November) if you want to come along and learn some cool stuff for a couple of hours then PLEASE make the effort to get there, up close and personal is much better than the internet....;)
This will be the last time I'm out in the UK for a while on a clinic tour. A lot of effort and time has gone into the planning and it would be absolutely great if you guys could make it. Please contact the stores directly for details, we really hope we can see you there
15th Dawsons Readling - 0118 958 1320
16th Andertons Guildford - 01483 456777
20th Guitar Guitar Epsom - 01372 730578
21st PMT Oxford - 01865 725221
22nd Dawsons Liverpool - 0151 709 1455
24th Dawsons Manchester - 0161 237 1770
March 2017 #18
Footage from the studio, tracking drums for a great new progressive band..
A couple of months or so, I was asked to play drums on an album by a new band, beautifully called "Quantum Pig" the brainchild of musicians Ian Faragher and Mark Stevenson. I heard a track off the album and really liked it so two dates were fixed to track drums. We tracked three and a half tracks yesterday and completed the album this afternoon. The session was such a joy and it was a real pleasure to play some beautifully written songs with some of my own progressive music influences. I hadn't played the songs before, I charted them last week in Sweden and by the 3rd or fourth run through each track was in the bag. By kind permission of the artist, here's a small snippet of one of the longer songs off the album which features some "drummy stuff" but nothing too crazy..its just a rough desk mix and I was reading it!!
A couple of requests pretty please, If you dig it please please PLEASE share it, I'd really like to give them some exposure as a new band, feel free to follow them on twitter @QuantumPigBand and finally click the HD button and crank it up...The video isHERE
February 2017 #16
Hey everyone. Firstly the mornings and nights are getting lighter so it must mean spring is around the corner, thankfully! As like most musicians, January and February are always pretty quiet but this year its been incredibly busy of which i'm very grateful. I've spent a lot of time getting my studio up and running, I moved it somewhere else and invested some serious time getting the sound how I wanted it. Its only taken 20 years but its good to go now and over the next couple of months I'm playing on quite a few eps, singles and albums. Its fairly full till the end of April recording wise. The cruise to the edge gig was a bit of fun. It was nice to get a bit of sunshine in the USA and Mexico. The thought of 2500 prog fans scares me but I kept myself to myself and ventured out to watch a ew bands I wanted to see (The Fringe with NDV and Stickmen with Pat) both were great and the Frost sets went down very well. I spent a day back at my old stomping ground, The Royal Marines School of Music late January which is always amazing to go back too even all these years on! As I write this now, I'm just getting ready for a couple of days teaching in my teaching studio and then I'm heading over to Belgium on Wednesday to film some content for Roland on the TD50. A UK tour on this fine instrument has been announced for March (Its on my Live Dates Page) and i'm 3 legs down into a 4 leg tour of Scandinavia, finishing in Sweden in a couple of weeks. The live dates aren't crazy busy this year by choice, I made a conscious effort at the start of the year not to play live a lot this year after touring relentlessly with Steven in 15 and 16 so I've cut it back a bit and I'm spending more time in the studio, including working on my own album. So.... I hope you can come out to the March dates and we can have some fun. Until next time
January 2017 #15
Well, I'm a bit late bit "happy new year"! I took a little break over the Christmas period to recharge the batteries which was much needed. I'm back in the fold now with a heavy few months about to start. I had an idea while I was away to do a "Facebook Live" lesson when I got back and see if I could get a few drummers studying with me for an hour around the world. Well, It went way better than I expected and over the hour I taught on the 13th, I had over 6000 people online and over the weekend another 12,000 people have watched it. It was actually horrid to do, teaching a lesson to a phone and watching the questions pouring in, but in the end I quite enjoyed it and i'm considering another, maybe...The Vermillioncore clip I shared last year was uploaded by "Killer Drum Videos" on Facebook and that had over 250,000 hits in just a few days, taking that well over a million hits! Isn't social media crazy?!? Anyway, If you didn't catch the live lesson and you'd like to see it, ItsHERE