Biog + Gear
I earn my living from music and have done for some time now. My parents played all kinds of music around the house when I was a kid; military marching band, orchestral, jazz, pop, metal…. You name it. I didn’t really know the difference between the genres and I see that as a big bonus.
After learning to play the trumpet and playing in various wind bands, orchestras and jazz bands, I realised that one of the biggest reasons I enjoyed playing music was the team effort, the feeling of being a tiny part one big thing. The sound of the band as a whole, really. It’s a great buzz!
When I was 14, I realised that the drummers in the bands were having a lot more fun then I was. I decided it was time to have a bit of that myself. I heard of a band that needed a drummer for a gig. It was in 3 weeks and I had no drums or no clue how to play them, but in those 3 weeks, I scraped a kit together, learned as much as I could. I’ve never been without a gig since.
I’ve worked really hard since then, studying, working, practicing, gigging… I’ve recorded sessions for Zane Lowe, Giles Peterson and Annie Mack at the world famous Maide Vale studios, played live on BBC TV and radio for Lily Allen and Tom Robinson, toured around the UK (with Mr Hudson, Groove Armada and Doves) and played some of the biggest venues, including sell out nights at Brixton Academy, Manchester Apollo, Lincoln Engine Shed, Brighton International Arena etc and . I’ve had 2 interviews in Drummer Magazine (see the Press page) and have since joined the magazine as the Technical Editor, editing the tuition section and writing my own column. In 2008 I played at the Remo Drummer Night, raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and was lucky enough to play alongside my teacher, mentor and friend Steve White, Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith, Über drummer Jo Jo Mayer, super session player Neal Wilkinson and fellow Bristol gig swapper, Kasabians Ian Matthews, among a load of other drumming legends (see the video/ audio page for the video from the night). I’ve been lucky enough to work with Geoff Barrow from Portishead, a man who twisted my own concepts of how to record drums and also members of Robert Plants band – The Strange Sensation, Massive Attack, Portishead, Cast and Groove Armada.
In Sept 2008 I started in another direction as Head of Drums at Bristol’s British Institute of Modern Music – www.bimm.co.uk -. I love teaching and I really enjoy the opportunity to help and assist, as well as pass on knowledge to help other determined musicians achieve their goal, the same way I have. The team at BIMM Bristol is amazing and teaching alongside Jason Bowld (Pitchshifter/ This is Menace) and killer jazz player Mark Whitlam, Reefs Dom Greensmith, Prodigys Kieron Pepper and CSS/Cooper Temple Clause drummer Jon Harper is both an honour and a pleasure.
I spent many years with Malakai (now Malacahai) touring around the place, TV, radio, festivals – you name it – www.myspace.com/malakaibristol – I had so many amazing experiences since joining the band in August 2007 and working with the guys in the band taught me so much. Sean and Billy are two of the finest musicians on the planet and Scott and Gee are both insane and genius in equal measure. Working with the both for Island/Universal and Domino records was an experience and massive learning curve!
I’ve worked on a project started by guitarist Skin when he left the band Cast. It was put on hold when he joined Robert Plants band, but has since started recording and writing again at his studio in the depths of North Wales. It’s great fun working with my good mate and favorite bass player Billy Fuller, Skin on guitar and John Baggot on keys. The band has a pretty good track record having not only worked with Plant but also Massive Attack, Cast, Portishead, Malakai and loads of others. The project is being overseen and produced by legend John Leckie (Stone Roses and… well, you name it ,really..), so it’s not only good fun, but it’s shaping up to be pretty great sounding too!!
In March 2010 I depped with my mates Cars On Fire in Dublin for an album launch for a Kerbdog tribute album. Since then I have joined the band, done a few tours and festivals (including Boardmasters, Sonisphere, Hevy and many more). In Dec 2010/Jan 2011 we went into the studio to record a new album (the first one – Dig Your Own Grave was critically acclaimed with KKKK and 4/5 in Kerrang, Rock Sound, Big Cheese etc) with Jason Wilcocks at Stakeout Studios. Jason has worked with Fightstar, Blakfish and Reuben to name a few so I knew I would be ut through my paces. I didn’t know that Jason used to be a drummer. Pre Production and recording the album saw me facing physical and mental challenges like I never have before and consequently the new album is my pride and joy.
Whilst at the studio in January 2011 (I had just finished my P.G. Cert. (Ed)) I decided to start writing a drum book with all of the ideas I had formulated at BIMM and in my own practice, coupled with the work I had set myself to improve the left/right side recording ideas of Jason Wilcocks. ‘Mind Over Meter’ was finished by Feb 2011 and by the end of that month I had copies in my hand. You can buy it from the front page of this site.
So, I have a few things on the go, I love playing and I’m always up for a new challenge. In 2008 I took up the role as Technical Editor for Drummer magazine, overseeing all things tuition oriented, then in 2012 I left that role and now write freelance for Rhythm Magazine – the first three articles based around remote recording and have had a great response.
I’ve always been proud to endorse the following companies and I’d like to thank them very much indeed for their support – with special mentions to Martin Potts (Mapex, Paiste and Vic Firth) and Dean Bowdery (Protection Racket) for their utter professionalism and their fantastic friendship!
Mapex Saturn (Black Cherry Sparkle) – 22, 10, 12, 14, 16
Mapex Saturn (Root Beer Burst – Custom Die Cast Hoops) – 20, 10,12, 14
Black Panther – Retrosonic
Black Panther – Panther
MY MAPEX ARTIST PAGE
Paiste 2002′s – 14 Soundedge hats, 22 Ride, 19 and 20 Power Crashes, 18 and 20 Novo Chinas
Paiste Twenty Series – 13 Hats, 21 Ride, 20 Crash
Paiste Signature Dark Energies – 24 Mark I Ride, 14 Mark I Hats, 19 and 20 Crashes
Various splashes, bells and other items!
Vic Firth 2B and F1′s – Brushes, mallets and other
VIC FIRTH – SONISPHERE ARTIST FEATURE
Coated Vintage Ambassadors (batter)/Coated Ambassadors (reso) – TOMS Coated PS3 (batter)/Fibreskin PS3 (Reso) – BASS DRUM: on Root Beer Burst Mapex Saturn
Clear Emperors (batter)/Clear Ambassadors (reso) – TOMS Clear PS3 (batter)/Fibreskin PS3 (Reso) on Black Cherry Sparkle Mapex Saturn
AAA Cases, standard cases, stick bags, luggage – you name it!