This time, O.L.D. talks to Karl Brazil about drumming and about how to break out professionally.
Welcome to the second installment of OLD’s interview with Karl Brazil. Just to refresh you guys, check out some of Karl’s previous work:
James Blunt -
Karl Playing Live With James Blunt – “You’re Beautiful”
OLD: What are a few steps you would advise drummers to take, when aiming to break out professionally?
Karl: This is the million dollar question. I honestly don’t think there is a guaranteed strategy. Throw yourself into situations that will make you learn, and play better. The ones that make you feel a little nervous will help you develop as a drummer.
It is all about the music and the reputation that you build for yourself. It is all about playing with lots of different people. Keep active, you will eventually meet people in your life that will help you take steps onto the ladder and then it takes off from there.
OLD: Coming from such a diverse background of music, What music has influenced your life?
Karl:Well my childhood was all about country music. It had a massive impact on my playing as a drummer. It was a foundation for the type of drumming that I do. It taught me how to arrange parts around the vocals and so forth. It was very much about band drumming. This was anything from Little River Band to the Eagles. It was solid band drumming and it is a good education for teaching discipline, finding a pocket and a groove.
Then there was also anything from Journey to Level 42. I like variety and turn my head to different things all the time. Slade, ACDC, the Beatles. As a session drummer it is really important to listen to diverse stykes. I think I was also really lucky too in that music played a big part in my family, so I constantly had music around me from a young age.
OLD: You’ve gone through many auditions in the past; do you have any words of wisdom to impart?
1) Put the homework in, prep, and learn in advance.
2) Turn up early
3) Presentation – the way you conduct yourself and how you present yourself away from the kit and behind it, is important. Managers, will be looking for other things as well as musical ability.
Then after that just relax and play to your best ability, don’t show off, just feel it and play what you have been required to play. If you don’t get the part, it can hurt, but it gives you valuable experience for the future.
OLD: Did you have to get an agent?
Karl: My first auditions were through friends of friends. Where they probably needed to get the numbers up, so you could turn up and find 50 odd drummers trying out. Once I got on the circuit I did get on the books of a few agents who got me the odd TV commercial. But word of mouth helped a lot for me. Keep your ear to the ground and always go to opportunities even if you have other plans. Music is a small world and it’s about who you know.
OLD: What is the worst drumming experience you’ve ever had to date?
Karl: My worst was when I was relying on tech at the Birmingham AC, it was a click track against sampled noises, and the click track got accidentally muted. It was sampled noises so I couldn’t tell where the beat was. My stomach dropped, I didn’t know what was going to happen. But I had a stroke of luck when the loops came back in with everyone else, I came in on time. So it worked out well in the end, but my heart was in my mouth.
OLD: Do you think Rudiments are the most important aspect of developing your drumming skills?
Karl:I think a drummer can get by without them in a band that is geared towards songs, and vocals. However, rudiments can give you the confidence to do other things. Rudiments are a great essential part of drums, but boring to practice. Rudiments helps your hands in terms of speed and strokes. To step up, you have to learn them.
Karl: Very important. Expecially for studio players. The mics will pick up unknown tones, that can make the whole thing sound bad. Live – you will probably get away with a lot more. You do need it – it seems a waste if you buy an expensive kit that has all the potential to sound great.
OLD: If you could sum up your drumming style in five words, what would they be?
Karl: I would like to think I am -
Ambidextrous, groovy, tasteful, disciplined, and unique.
A big thank you to Karl for the interview!
Karl Brazil Links:
Upcoming SABIAN ARTISAN TOUR – http://sabian.ws/artisan-tour/
05/09/2011 Rattle & Drum, Derby - Conact: 01332 341414
06/09/2011 ADC Drums, Liverpool – Contact: 0151 227 3271
07/09/2011 PMT House of Drums, Birmingham – Contact: 0121 333 3220
08/09/2011 Drumnutt, Swansea - Contact: 01792 301010
09/09/2011 Poole Percussion, Poole – Contact: 01202 675111
12/09/2011 GAK Drum Cavern, Brighton - Contact: 01273 691678
13/09/2011 London Drum Company, Croydon – Contact: 020 8662 9119
14/09/2011 Anglia Drum Centre, Norwich – Contact: 01493 440112
15/09/2011 Sound Attak, Colchester – Contact: 01206 368999
16/09/2011 PMT House of Drums, Southend – Contact: 01702 332743