After meeting Joe at the UK Drum Show 2019, I found out he was an extremely busy musician. He works with four contrasting bands and still finds the time to work on his own solo material inspired by some drumming greats. He is also the proud owner of a lovely one off 13"x7" Sycamore Maple snare drum, (shown left). Read all about his setup, history and ambitions below.
"I could not be happier with my 13” x 7” Sycamore Maple Snare Drum! I have been searching for a 13” snare drum for a while and couldn’t find the one that suited my style of music. However, this one fits perfectly with the music I would like to create. The Sycamore Maple snare drum is very versatile, dynamic, powerful and one of the most easiest drums to tune. Incredible amount of tone ranges and good amount of warmth too."
Tell us about your UK Drum Show experience. How was the weekend? Who did you see? What were you highlights? Was it your first one?
The UK Drum Show was incredible! The line up for the 2019 event included phenomenally talented and very inspiring drummers. From my first experience at The UK Drum Show, I came away with many inspirational and motivational moments. I got to see some of the best drum masters in the world perform their music including Matt Garstka, Chris Coleman, Aaron Spears and Ralph Peterson. The highlight of the UK Drum Show must be watching Matt Garstka, Chris Coleman and Aaron Spears who are three of my most influential drummers. To have the opportunity to meet Aaron Spears was insanely inspiring and his advice motivated me to take my drumming to the next level. Gaining new experiences watching Ralph Peterson for the first time was awesome.
What was your first impression of De Broize Custom Drums? What made you decide not leave without one of our snares?
The first thing, I noticed was the incredible sound of the drums and the quality of them. I always felt I needed a smaller drum to my setup as I only have 14” snare drums. After purchasing, the 13” x 7” Sycamore Maple snare drum new musical possibilities have opened.
How has the snare fit within your current setup? Talk us through your setup?
In my setup, I have a variety of drums and cymbals to choose from, but it all depends on the gig and genre of music. For drums, I am presently using Mapex VXB series (8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, 22”), roto toms (8”, 10” and 12”) and Mapex Black Panther snare drums (14”) with Evans drumheads. I have used this Mapex VXB series drum kit since the beginning of my drumming journey. From rock to pop, funk to jazz, progressive metal to punk, this drum kit has allowed me to perform in various genres. I currently use Sabian HHX Legacy, HHX Paragon, AAX, AA and Xs20 cymbals (12”, 14”, 18”, 18”/16”, 19”, 20” and 22”). From influences by Benny Greb, Thomas Lang, Marco Minnemann and Alex Rudinger, my favourite part regarding my setup is two hi hats (Sabian HHX Legacy 14” and AA 12”) and DW 9000 series double bass pedal. You can do many fascinating rhythms and add unique textural elements by adding two hi hats controlled by pedals.
What is your drumming history? Tell about your musical journey to date?
I began my drumming journey at the age of 7 years old and I knew straight away there was nothing else I would like to do but drum and music. From the age of 14, I had the opportunity to perform at the Newcastle City Hall with the Northumberland Rock School. These early experiences lead me to push myself and perform at other great venues such as Newcastle O2 Academy and The Cluny. Through working as a freelance musician, I got an opportunity to perform at the Coleridge Festival with bands and artists. After years of developing my sound and ability, I started studying at Newcastle University furthering my drumming vocabulary and technique. Previously graduating with a high first in performance, I continued to expand my studies onto Master of Music at Newcastle University. Studying a Master of Music, allowed me to focus on my progressive drumming and improve areas of my playing. Currently, I am drumming in bands and have been performing for artists in the North East of England including styles of progressive rock/metal, jazz, Latin, samba, indie rock, country, alternative rock, punk, blues, pop and folk. With passion, hard work and determination for drumming and music, I am continuously striving to become the best drummer version of myself.
What bands/artists do you play with? Describe the sound and your approach to them.
Whilst performing with various bands and artists, I compose my own original drum solos and compositions containing funk, rock, progressive, instrumental, and metal music. The sound I create for my own original compositions and drum solos is inspired by Animals As Leaders, Plini, Dream Theatre and Periphery. I use these compositional ideas for my original band ‘Wasting Destiny’ to create new and unique arrangements. Decade Divisions - Function Band - Funk, Pop, Rock, Punk, Metal and Jazz - Look our for our new social media pages! Decade Divisions is a function band containing various decades of music and genres. I approach performing covers of various music with Decade Divisions by keeping to the originals but adding alternations to put our own twist on the songs. The Avalons - Indie Rock - look out for our new social media pages! When approaching The Avalon’s music, their material features a lot of powerful guitar riffs and chords which involves different accents to orchestra on the drums. Their compositions have strong verses and choruses to provide solid driving groove and feel to the rhythms. Our overall sound is inspired by Catfish and The Bottlemen, The Stone Roses and Oasis. In Wasting Destiny, our style is progressive rock/metal music which requires powerful and technical drumming. Approaching Wasting Destiny’s music, I tend to copy Aaron Spear’s quote from the UK Drum Show 2019, ‘Play for the music first’. It’s good to have the advanced technical skills involved but you also need the other side of the coin, groove and feel. Our sound is generally powerful and big with influences from Dream Theatre, Animals As Leaders, The Winery Dogs, Sons Of Apollo and Porcupine Tree. The Bold Big Band includes genres of Latin, swing, jazz and samba compositions from Buddy Rich, Weather Report, Gordon Goodwin, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Mark Taylor and Herbie Hancock. Our sound is big and dynamic with a sixteen-member big band, the audience will experience an immense performance.
Following your studies, what are your musical ambitions? What field are you looking at getting in to?
All genres, to include band or solo artists, I am versatile and keen to play and support music for all. Basically, I am just a big fan of music in general with a focus on drums. I like to keep an open mind to new opportunities and building a career being a freelance musician, teaching and session work.
What advise would you give to someone going through what you have and pursuing this field?
Most important advice I would give someone would be have fun, work hard, keep an open mind to any style of music, aim high and believe in yourself to achieve what you desire in the music industry. To communicate through music and drums is my second voice which allows me to help others with any social or personal difficulties.