Interview with Derrick McKenzie
It’s all change for the man who has provided the grooves for Jamiroquai for the past 15 years. The band have notched up over 16 million album sales and with the new album “Dynamite” a change of kit manufacturer, a new producer, a new bass player and even a new son, we find out what makes Derrick tick. Even after 20 years in the business he is always checking out new drummers listening to new music and he is the first in the queue to support any mikedolbear.com events.
I caught up with Derrick after the band had performed in front of 25,000 fans in London for the first gig back in London for 2 years.
Mike .D: the new album is out, what was the process you went through to get it done?
When you met up in Scotland at the beginning, was it a completely empty sheet and you started from there?
So can you give us an example of how you guys get it together? As a band do you just jam and see what happens?
You’ve been with the band for quite a long time now, and although Jay’s the main man it’s very much a band effort isn’t it?
Why Costa Rica? Was it a holiday?
Is there anything in particular that you’ve done different on this album, A from a production side and B from the drumming side?
What’s your favourite tracks on the album and why?
You talked about your change of drums. Obviously you’ve been with Sonor for a long time and you’ve now changed to Yamaha, any particular reason?
We’re about the same age and when we started out the standard of the kits was not as it is now. So what makes an artist like you go for one particular company?
Obviously Jamiroquai is a worldwide band and you’re playing everywhere. Do you get that kind of support everywhere you go or do you take your gear with you all the time?
Why the 8 and 12?
You’ve been with the band for 12 years, how did the gig originally come about?
At the time I was actually with Urban Species. Before that I had played with a band called Candyland who split up after we lost the record deal. After the Candyland thing I ended up just practising at home for a couple of years, when I got a call from another friend of mine who works at EMI Publishing and offering me a little bit of TV work, stuff like that, so I did that and from there I moved onto Urban Species, and I was with them for about a year and a half before getting the Jamiroquai gig.
And Jamiroquai at that stage were a brand new band?
In those 12 years that you’ve been with Jamiroquai, have you found the industry has changed?
In the last few years, you’ve got into producing a lot more. Tell us what you’ve been doing?
Are you playing kit on it?
When you are at home behind your kit, what kind of stuff are you practising and playing?
What about when you’re out on the road? Do you get a chance to practice?
Do you to do that to warm up or to mentally prepare yourself?
You always supported the Young Drummer of the Year competition. What do you look for when you’ve judges the competition in the past?
Any advice for young drummers coming through?
Finally what are you up to now?
Photos courtesy of David Rowe - funkin.com
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