Carling Schatzman – Exclusive OnlineDrummer.com InterviewNate Brown
OLD: Tell us a little about yourself. Why and when did you start drumming? When did you get your first kit? etc.
Carling: I began a passion for music at a young age, but it wasn’t until my teenage years that drums caught my attention. I was into the punk rock scene, and was amazed at the speed in which these guys were playing. I began playing my friends drums and quickly discovered my natural talent. My parents surprised me with a kit for my 14th birthday and the rest is history.
OLD: What do you consider as the most important drumming skill to you?
Carling: Timing is the most important thing you can learn if you want to “get the gig”. Solid drummers get the most compliments. Another important skill for any musician is good people skills. No matter what you do in the industry, you will always be interacting with others.
OLD: Do you have any good warm-up techniques to share?
Carling: I like to stretch my arms and wrists, then find a drum stool seat or a pillow to warm up on. The softer the surface and the heavier the sticks, the better. Once you sit down behind your kit and play, your stick will rebound off the drum heads effortlessly.
OLD: Can you give us any advice for playing live? Anything we should focus on or pay attention to?
Carling: “Be sure to relax” and “have a good time” is what I’ve always heard, but i always have a million things going through my head. I’m locking in with the bass guitar, while concentrating on dynamics(hitting the snare consistently, laying back when necessary, and exploding on choruses), and most importantly, keeping the band together. Drummers play arguably the most important role on stage, so stay on your toes (and having a good time IS allowed)!
OLD: Can you give us any advice as far as recording in the studio? What do we need to know?
Carling: Don’t be nervous. That can totally ruin your performance. Don’t let all the mics, cables, stands, or people in the control room intimidate you. Try to be over prepared. Bring a couple of snare drums, a variety of sticks, brushes, and cymbals if possible.
OLD: What do you consider your most memorable moment as a drummer?
Carling: I don’t have just one to share. I think every time I am approached and commended on a job well done is that moment. It can come from band mates at rehearsal, producers in the studio, fans wanting to take a picture with you and get an autograph, and family who’s heard you play TOO many times. All of these moments are most memorable to me.
OLD: Do you have any other good drumming stories that you like to share?
Carling: Getting the gig with Stealing Heather was almost too good to be true. I transferred east coast to west coast knowing only a handful of people in L.A. I was afraid of having to settle with so-so bands and audition for weeks, if not months. Within 10 days of being in Los Angeles, i had an audition set up with the guys. Talk about right place, right time.
OLD: If you could only pass along one piece of advice (drumming related) to the next generation, what would it be?
Carling: We’ve all heard it before, but it’s easier said than done………PRACTICE! My drum instructor couldn’t tell me enough when i was 15. He always said, “The older you get, the less time you will find/have to practice.” And, yes, he’s right.
Learn more about Carling and Stealing Heather by visiting the following links: