Danny Craig – 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.
Danny: I was always musical growing up and played in various school bands and such since elementary. When I was 11, I constructed a “drum set like” contraption out of ice cream buckets and coffee cans, and I would jam with a pair of Chinese food chopsticks along with Def Leppard and Twisted Sister. Shortly after that I got my first kit from my cousin who no longer played hers. It was a late 60’s, 3 piece Ludwig with one cymbal stand sticking straight up out of the kick drum. Then, I remember the rest like good dogs you’ve owned throughout your life. The red Yamahas, the baby blue Canwood 7-piece, ahh the sparkly silver DW who is still alive and kicking! And of course my current favourite, my Tama Starclassics with a Birch 24″ kick. I do a fair amount of producing on the side now as well, and the Tama is almost always the kit I record with.
OLD: What do you consider as the most important drumming skill to you?
Danny: Definitely timing, groove, meter, they all go hand in hand. Everything else is style more or less. If you don’t have a solid groove though, then you don’t have anything.
OLD: Do you have any good warm-up techniques to share?
Danny: A friend of mine, Greg Williamson got me doing this warm-up where I put my forearms against each other and clap 8th notes for 100 bars. So that and stretching. Stretching I think is the most important thing to do.
OLD: Can you give us any advice for playing live? Anything we should focus on or pay attention to?
Danny: Do lots of fills and random drum solos, and don’t let those other jerks tell you what to do! They’ll never understand you like I do.
OLD: Can you give us any advice as far as recording in the studio? What do we need to know?
Danny: It’s very important that you can play along with a click track. It’s also very important that your hits are consistent. Try to hit the same spot on the drum and at the same velocity every time during a groove. Also, be well prepared before you go to the studio, you should have your beats and fills all worked out to the point where you would be able to play them with or without the band.
OLD: What do you consider your most memorable moment as a drummer?
Danny: Standing in a circle, passing a bottle of Makers Mark around with Morgan Rose, Tommy Lee, and Chris Wojtal just shooting the shit backstage at a festival.
OLD: Do you have any other good drumming stories that you like to share?
Danny: Well, my drum-tech was fooling around with this girl once and at one point she chuckled. He asked her what was up and she said, “I just think its funny that I’m making out with the drummer from Default”. So he said to her, “ah baby don’t laugh, it makes me uncomfortable”. She acknowledged and returned to what she was doing. Two weeks later he gets an email and the subject reads, “Who the *@#* is Danny Craig?”
OLD: If you could only pass along one piece of advice (drumming related) to the next generation, what would it be?
Danny: Don’t ignore proper technique. If you get in a situation where you have to perform regularly and you aren’t using proper technique, you will most likely have problems with your wrists. So take a few lessons, learn how to properly hold your sticks and you’ll be rockin!
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