Mick once wrote down some thoughts about drumming. This is a long and very thoughtful piece of text, for those of who have the energy to read it. Really hope to see some comments on this folks!
Mick’s very own thoughts about drumming and drummers
Well……Hello all you crazy musiclovers!!! Now someone of you might say something like…NOW WHAT??? A DRUMMER that actually can talk!!!! And communicate as an living creature , walking on earth….Yes, of course we can..even though were not actually musicians…….Tell me then…how come that the world stops spinning as soon as the drummer needs to go to the job instead of rehearsing, or maybe is a bit sick or something like that…i mean,if another “musician” are sick or just needs to help his poor granny with the moving of a refrigiator,then its no big deal….think we might need a union for drummers….United Drummers maybe??? What would happen if the strange specimen called drummers were going out to strike??? I know!!! Of course the world would be full of paralized stringbenders running around in total confusion…..I think (guess what roll i`ve got in the band)….if no one ever introduced the drums into music….what kind of music could we then expect???? Slayer unplugged..Manowar unplugged..,Judas unplugged…FUN???? Think NOT!!!!! Ever heard “the prisoner”, or”Fireball” unplugged?….Or even worse,”the man with the golden arm” without drums????
……..COMPLETE DISASTER!!!!!!!eeehh!! But at the other side..maybe i should not express my thoughts about such thing…i`ll might be fired,or locked in together with the other skinbeaters……… Actually this page is a way to describe my certain thoughts about drumming…or maybe just anything…i will write about a lot of stuff during this year and next,and next,and….. Well,well! Have you ever felt that your fills doesnt fit with the vocals,or a bridge…Then youre not the only one…Probably its because youre the last one in the the band to hear the new song..maybe thats why Neil Peart writes all the lyrics in the band..Hmmm!! Perhaps i`ll start to write the lyrics in VII GATES…or maybe not!!! Its allways nice to have someone to put the blame on when things dont seems to be on the right place…Or maybe i`ll start practise more…i mean , it could be cool to say to the band,..im just as good as Deen Castronovo and got the feeling for this…but you(the rest of the band) haven`t!!! Does anyone know what im talking about…Dont worry!!..Neither do i! Does it sound like were having troubles with friendship in the band….Nooopsss!!! Think were “bro`s yo”…eehhhh!!!
Over to something else…the actuall “this months brainsurgery”…….`bout what?- he asked….. Well….oldschool or modern type of drumming…….let me give you some info first..I`ve never learned about defintions of drumming, such as special kinds of terms or certain words to describe a fill or so….i cant read notes, exept from snare/bass drum notes, wich gives me problems sometimes… JJ often tries to explain to me when it suits better with a…let`s say a 7/16 beat….What is that??? I have no problems playing it,but i cant tell when its played in a Rush song for example…… Lets start this conversation now……….Modern drumming, is that when someone takes a beat, dismantel it to small pieces and then anylize it ,then put it back together…but this time with double basses and triplets on the snare drum every now `n then..of course with two hi-hats,were the second is a cable hat??? OR is it when a drummer dare`s to play some really old stuff in a modern world, simply with half time beat on the hi-hat , or maybe even change the hats to a floor-tom???
Okey,here is an example…Mick Tucker was (R.I.P) a great,great drummer..in fact one of the most talented Hardrock/Pop/Jazz drummers in the 60ies,70ies and even in the 80ies…but also one of the most missunderstood…at least thats my oppinion!!!! did`nt he often play in a way that was a bit oldschool…absolutely! But he did not try to do something new with it, he just played them..with a intensity greater than the most at that time….obviously because he had that great feeling to what he was doing……Let me give you an example again…the legendary “Blitz” beat with snare/bass..aint that a variation of rockabilly..he uses it like its perfectly normal…How many uses that today…rockabilly was not that “hip” at the time for Ballroom blitz…and he played it in a lot of tracks…Be`t not many dares to use it today…-I would!! And again, using the floor tom instead of hi-hat, is a typical “Mick” beat…..But im not saying that these grooves were extremely old when they were played..its just that he did not try to do something extreme with e`m, and just played it with a very limited amount of “New thinking”…and still made it feel so perfect! – Thats what made him the “all time KING of hardrock drumming”.
I just wonder how many drummers there are today that wishes that they could play like him…cause its nothing that you can learn!! Probably a lot more than them few that doesnt feel bad about admitting it…i mean,hey… no matter how technially insane you are , you cant be better as long as you cant play simple rock`roll beat with that perfect “hanging”…Whitout clictrac…….oouups!! sensitive discussion,maybe?? But…WHY is it so fuckin important today with 100% tightness…okay, i cant say im as much as 90% tight myself…but i do think i`ve got some kind of feeling for ol` kind of drumming ……c`mon..were are the “live feeling among” bands today???? HipHipHooray for Nicko,hes got it all right…can anyone tell that they`ve been using clic on Brave new…..NOOOPS!! Last time we were in the studio to record “Fire,walk with me” I were told that if i practice to clic i could play ,for example the snaredrum just outside the beat..just to get a nice touch of a punching or hangi`n beat……..HAHA!! I can do that anyway..without any technical equipment….. Thats for shure,eeh!!
Actually i think that producers,the musicworld, but most important the Listeners must start listen with both ears and heart,,cause otherwise we soon have heavy metal that sound like Kraftwerk,and that is a direction we already can hear in a lot of productions today….So were are the “live feeling”?? Next time VII GATES records an album there will be a lot more of that…(Heey..guess what im listening to now??? Hardrockin80s ,an american netradio station,and guess what they`re playing right now?……Badlands…High wire…thats rock`n roll for shure!!!) Back to the Gates again..well,not use trigg microphones,no clic…a lot more beers!!! probably its just thoughts,but it would be fun to use white drumheads,single skin tom-toms and a 24 or 26 inch bassdrum…just like in the 70ies/80ies..if ya know what i mean. I have a friend that thinks a bit like me…that Helloween-Ingo was a greater drummer than Uli because as soon as he took over after Ingo ,he started something that sounded like an extacy eating Deen Castronovo, but with six bassdrums,and arms like Mike tyson after drinking 2 litres of whiskey…But thats my friends oppinion..hmmm! Maybe mine too!!!!!
Thats why i hope there will be another “Masterplan” cd…cause i think hes a bit back on track there…a lot better drumming than in a certain band he used to be a part of!!! So what im trying to tell ya…dont play the drums over your capability..( i`m not saying that people like Uli does).I do it very often my self..or used to do it…but today i im not playing something that does`nt fit like a glove…at least not when playing live!!! After all ,im not a big drummer,but ill try to do my best as a rock drummer..To be really honest..the only reason it would be philty funny to be a really big drummer…..is the sponsorship!!!!Probably i think that i would still be playing the way i do today even i were more like Neil Peart or Deen Castronovo…I think that a lot of drummers/beginners today are trying to play like they`ve been playing their whole life, allready after ..lets say 2-3 years, and because of that they forget the classic rock thing .Thats what i think everyone should start with. Its just like when you cook for your girlie the first time…its not that simple to do the “Peking dunk”, or a three piece dinner the first time…. So, take it easy & dont loose the feeling in your work…Hmmmmm! Maybe this is a bit warned out now,,,this discussion!!! Wassup now then…nothing really…( there is a lot more,but JJ are going to ski on saturday,so there will be no more time to write it down before he`s putting it on the misc section…..and i really want it to be put out until saturday) Hope that you found this funny and not as somekind of bullshit about the way of drumming today…cause its not…its just a tribute to drummers like Mick Tucker,Cozy Powell(R.I.P),Vinnie Appice&brother Carmine,Ingo Swicht..hrumf ,something(R.I.P… Etc,Etc, But mostly to the king of all time….
MICK TUCKER (R.I.P) 1947- 14/2 2002
See you again….
Mick van Slowfoot