Well, it’s already March! Where has the time gone? That’s an expression we always use, but I do actually know.
After the Christmas gig onslaught, it would have been nice to chill out for a while and reflect on last year. I’m always impressed with how people manage to get the time to write their own personal view of the past year, maybe I just have to concentrate more on this blog thing. 2013 was a great year for music and I dipped my toe into the water with many different experiences. If you see my last blog in August 2013, (yep it’s been that long…) you’ll know I embarked on my first ever clinic tour.
This is something I want to do more of, but why is it that I get excited about doing them? Let’s face it, standing up in front of a bunch of drummers can’t be the most exciting thing. What I mean is, I’m already playing all over the UK, I go to Ireland every year to play the Jazz festival and in Edmonton, Canada every summer. Why would I want to play in front of other drummers and why does this mean so much to me?
Just in case you are not a drummer, a drum clinic is an event where an artist (Drummer) gives demonstrations of his ability to play certain things. He would usually specialise in one particlar style and the audience has the chance to discuss/ask questions at the end. Think Master class…
My question is, how does this make me more than a drummer than I already am? Few months ago I met Claus Hessler when he was invited to perform at a clinic/master class at MLC Academy in Nottingham. After swapping pleasantries before we sat down for a meal, he said: “Paul tells me you’re in the industry?” To be honest I didn’t know what to say. May I just point out that Claus Hessler is a fantastic guy and a brilliant clinician and educator, but am I in the same industry as he is?
I often find myself watching other professionals on YouTube and reading about their travels as a gigging drummer. As mentioned previously, I do get to travel and play some great gigs abroad and at home, but when watching our heroes on the internet, we imagine that that is happening all the time. This, of course, is only one part of a drummer’s life and not the only income they have. Recently I met up with Mike Dolbear and Thomas Lang and over a beer they both explained how many other projects they are involved in. Teaching, marketing, gigging etc… Wow, I thought to myself, I’m not so different, just on a different level.
So next time you watch your favourite drummer on the Internet, remember, he or she is possibly only doing the same things as you. Looking for new projects in the future, marketing their next band tour, planning their teaching schedule and just generally trying to provide an income for their family.
On the note of drum clinics, I will be back on the road in May with Paul Hose, Massimo Russo and Sergio Bellotti. I’m super excited to be playing with Paul and Massimo again after the success of the Nottingham drum festival, but I’m also excited to be playing with Sergio as he is an educator at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have also written a Rock & Roll drum App which should be out this year together with a play- along book for Cruisin’, an album I recorded with the fantastic Pete Turland.
On the gigging front, I have already travelled from one end of the country to the other over the last few months. Weddings and private parties are a big part of my drumming career and are a lot of fun to do. I’m due to travel to Northern Ireland at the beginning of May and also in talks with other professionals to do a clinic tour in Europe.
So, am I in the industry…?
Thanks for reading, happy drumming.