5) You play a reasonable UN known drum manufacture “ Zicko drums” - can you tell us more about these drums and how you got involved with them?
Yeah, the first time I'd heard of Zickos Drums was in 1975, my aforementioned buddy, John Pace got a massive set of them! All acrylic, transparent, big sound, powerful and majestic! All the big names of the early '70's had 'em( Bill Ward from Black Sabbath, Keith Moon from the Who, Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly,etc...). Then they dissappeared! They reemerged in the 90's and are back making superb instruments! You can check out their history properly on www.zickosdrums.com! So I had to have 'em(in addition to my three Ludwig kits, greedy boy)! I got in touch via email, they liked what I was doing and we worked out a deal! They are truly spectacular drums in every respect! Come see me play and hear/see for yourself!!
6) You also have an interesting drum set up could you tell us more and also the benefits you find in this set up?
Yowsuh! My set-up is kind of a schizoid thing! I've got a big "rock" size kit(26"x18" bass drum, 14"x6" snare, 14" rack tom, 16"and 18" floor toms) set up as a right handed kit, which is convenient, as I am right handed! But, set up right next to it, so it looks like a conventional double bass kit, is a small,"breakbeat" size kit(20"x16" bass drum, 10"x5.75"snare, 8" rack, 10" and 12" floor toms), set-up as a left handed kit! Identity crisis or what? I've always had set-ups with a view towards ambidexterity, and I wanted to go the Bozzio, Minnemann, Mangini route of getting all limbs involved, however, I also wanted a right kit /left kit configuration, not just to be different, but to afford myself the variety in sound and technique! In my tuition studio in Sheffield, I've got a kit set up for right handed students, and one for left handed students, at all times! When a righty comes in, I'll play the left! When a lefty comes in, I'll play the right! It helps me while I help them!
7) Rock music is very popular with the younger audience at present is there any major changes in the drumming over the years?
There will always be change! Evolution is one of the greatest things in music. Things go in cycles, with fashions and so forth, and strides are made with regard to technique, facility and innovation! But the best change comes from the individual interperetation and emoting of music! From Baby Dodds to Chick Webb and Philly Jo to Ringo, Bonham to Copeland and Dave Grohl to Travis Barker, it's the way each person feels their own way on the kit where the real changes occur! The short answer would be: ah, NO!
8) You are building a good reputation as an educator with your clinics and teaching how did this first come about?
Because I'm Badass on the drums! But seriously folks( ba-dum pssshhh!), it all really started when Billy Evans went back to the States in '97. Strongheart was at a standstill for a good six months, at which point I began to study all of the things, books, videos, concepts in drumming that I had avoided all my drumming life. As a self-taught, unschooled drummer, it was the fear of sounding like a beginner again, or admitting that I didn't know it all that had kept me from studying properly! That and words like "studying", "technique" and "discipline"! Forget it , sounds like work! But as I had the time, I went for it! I also started to say yes to people asking for lessons, which I hadn't before. Because I was "discovering" all this great information, it was a whole new lease on drumming for me. I couldn't wait to share, show and tell! Then a good friend, Phil Oaten, who had been trying to get me to do clinics for years back in his rep days, opened his Repercussion Music in Hull! It was Phil that pretty much started me on the clinic side of things. I still teach there in Hull, as well as Nottingham Drum Centre and my own tuition room in Sheffield!
9) Finally what’s coming up for you in the near future?
Strongheart guitarist Wibur Hess is returning to the U.K.in November, having been back in the States, so we will be playing shows throughout the month, some with Saxon! Metal on! Also, ever more clinics, with Mike Simpson in Scunthorpe(Hey,only the garden spots for us!), and with Derrick McKenzie& the rhythm section from Jamiroqui in Northampton! Then it's to work on completing a book and video(my own insructionals, not something from the library and Blockbuster!!!). There will also be Sex, Food and Rock and Roll( Food, the new Drugs!)! Whack on, Y'all!