Forum Member Profile - Andy Perfect
Forum Member Profile
Name: Andy Perfect
Tell us about yourself
I’m 42 (just), married to the amazing Rachel, and we have a two-and-a-bit year old son, Harry. We live in Stalybridge, in the hills about 15 miles to the east of Manchester.
Mild-mannered Area Manager for a motor manufacturer by day, wig-wearing Bonzo/ Frank Gallagher impersonator at weekends.
How and when did you get into drumming?
Like most people who have been featured in this before, I developed a percussive streak as a nipper. By the time I’d reached about four years old I had been given my first ‘real’ pair of drumsticks and was frantically and indiscriminately beating the daylights out of anything round my parent’s house that sounded vaguely like a drum.
My Dad was a big music fan, and he played plenty of jazz stuff around the house when I was very young; but it was his fondness for 10cc that really got me into music. I really loved that band, though it’s only as I got older that I realised how phenomenally clever they were as songwriters.
I took up the guitar at school, starting lessons when I was 11. There was a brand new drum kit in the music room ( I remember it well – a powder blue Premier Royale, with Paiste 101 cymbals) and we all used to ‘mess around’ on it. I probably spent more time messing with that than practising guitar, so when the schools drummer didn’t turn up for the Christmas Concert, I was drafted in as a last-chance replacement. I loved it.
Shortly after that I joined a trio of school friends, and we gigged all the working-men’s clubs in Yorkshire and Lancashire for years – a good grounding I think.
My Dad really helped develop my fascination with music as a youngster, and he was always massively supportive and helpful when I took up the drums ‘proper’ – he scrimped and saved to buy me gear and ferried me around the North to gigs. A real hero.
What are you doing musically at present?
I’m writing and recording for an AOR band, Dante Fox. They’ve been around for about 20 years but I joined them about three years ago. The fourth album is due out this summer, with some great gigs (including this year’s ‘FireFest’ festival) and support tours coming up.
I’ve also joined a really good Led Zep tribute (Led Into Zeppelin), and I am really enjoying this – all the classics including an acoustic section, with costumes and wigs (my wig does make me look more like Frank Gallagher off Shameless, rather than Bonzo). I had never realised how intricate some of Bonham’s drumming was until I started learning the tracks. My opinion of him really changed when I dissected his playing – awesome drummer.
I also do dep work for all sorts of bands, so I’m busier now than I’ve ever been.
Most memorable drumming experience?
The obvious answer is being involved with the Stick It To M.S. event in Birmingham. I was so proud to be involved with that, particularly as I lost my father to M.S. in 1995, when he was just 55 years old.
I was really lucky to support Robben Ford on his UK tour back in 2006, when I was with The Samuel C Lees Band, having replaced Steve Washington. Robben’s drummer for that tour was Gary Novak, and having him with us and being able to watch and learn from him close-up was great. As the support band / road crew / chauffeurs / general dogsbodies to Robben Ford and his band, we worked really hard on that tour, got paid two parts of nowt, but I’d do it all again tomorrow.
Kit set up?
I have two HighWood kits, one VG Birch custom in Vintage Marine Pearl, and an Exotic Ply kit with wooden hoops.
For the Zep gigs, I use the VMP kit with a 24x18 BD, 12 tom and 14 and 16 FTs.
For the Dante Fox stuff, I use the VMP kit with my 22x20BD, 10, 12 rack toms and 14&16 FTs.
Occasionally, I get chance to show off and use both bass drums!
Favourite drummers and why?
Kevin Godley – great songwriter, and my real first influence;
Ian Paice – I grew up listening to Deep Purple and Whitesnake. I’ve always loved Ian Paice’s groove and feel
Mike Portnoy – though I think he’s become a bit of a parody of himself, he was the guy who got me back into progressive music and odd time-signature stuff.
Nick D’Virgilio – his drumming with Spock’s Beard just makes me shudder – he is an incredible player, and a very talented guitarist, singer and songwriter too
Craig Blundell – I love Craig’s ability to dissect time to any degree, and make it sound completely effortless. His playing is incredible. For me, when Andy Edwards left Frost*, Craig was the only replacement candidate.
Favourite drum DVD?
I think my favourite is actually an old VHS, the Buddy Rich tribute with Gregg Bissonette, Dennis Chambers and Louis Bellson – always makes me smile
Favourite bit of kit?
I absolutely love my 22x20 HighWood bass drum – it sounds like a cannon going off!
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks to Mike Dolbear for hosting this ‘ere forum, and to all the members– I’ve found loads of advice, opinion, help, assistance and info on here over the years since I joined. More importantly, I’ve met and become good friends with some absolutely top-notch people from the forum, and for that I am very grateful.
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