Karl Brazil Interview: Part OneLauren Fearon
Apart from the aforementioned names, Karl has also worked with a great number of celebrated artists. His live work includes that of Leona Lewis, Starsailor and Elton John. His studio credits contain the likes of Take That, James Morrison and Paloma Faith. On top of this Karl has some television work to his name, such as Jay Rule, Lionel Richie, and Shania Twain.
The UK Sabian Artisan Tour kicks of this week, and Karl will be there to give you some valuable tips for playing the drums. Check the dates at the end of this interview to see if he will be at a venue near you!
In the meantime, Karl has shared some great insights with O.L.D. for anyone simply interested in drumming.
OLD: What will happen at your upcoming tour?
Karl: Well it’s about the cymbal range that I use live and in the studio, but obviously I can’t just go in there and play cymbals. So what I aim to do is to try and cover a variety of genres in music. I’m just going to demonstrate what I do for a living if you like, and because it’s a drum show I’ll probably spice it up a little bit, but also play some backing tracks. So, I basically plan to show what I do live and in studio. I hope to just try and let everybody inside my head, and get across how I plan everything in my head – pocket and grooves. I’m just going to keep it simple, answer questions and entertain people. And hopefully we will have a laugh with Ralph (Salmins) and everyone else.
OLD: Elvin Jones has been quoted as saying that if you couldn’t get at least 20 sounds out of your cymbal; there was either something wrong with it, or something wrong with you. Can you get 20 different sounds out of your cymbal?
Karl: Well, I think he is probably right. You can get different sounds using different parts of the cymbal, e.g. the bell and so on. The bigger the cymbal the bigger the chance of getting more sounds. So I’d say I agree.
OLD: Buying drum equipment and especially cymbals, is often viewed as a lengthy experience. Do you have any tips to look out for when buying cymbals?
Karl: If you have a certain budget, I’d buy one decent crash, one decent ride and one decent set of hi-hats. They’ll last a long time. There is nothing worse than hearing a terrible cymbal tone. Cymbals are an important part of the kit; keep it simple with a few good cymbals. And if you can’t afford a separate crash and ride cymbal go for a crash/ride.
OLD: There seems to be a split of opinion over cleaning cymbals, what are your thoughts on this?
Karl: I honestly think I don’t have much of a preference. I think if it sounds good leave it. If you like them to look good for a gig or a photo shoot, then clean them. It’s nice to have good-looking gear. Similarly in a studio situation, if you have a cymbal with good character then leave it as it is. It also depends on the finish of the cymbal.
OLD: Cymbal cracking sometimes seems like an inevitable thing, can you suggest any preventative measures?
Karl: Cymbal technique is important to helping prevent this. You can easily put cracks in a cymbal if you hit it on the edge, combined with being a heavy hitter. I have definitely cracked a lot more cymbals with Feeder than anyone else – but that’s the style of music. If you have spent a lot of money on them, then you should take care of them and be aware of your technique.
OLD: Cymbal sounds age and change, there is a general idea that you should buy a cymbal, that is brighter than you would want. What do you think about this?
Karl: I have never found that myself. Unless I’m going deaf – then I’ve never had that. I don’t think it’s going to change over the amount of time you use them.
Thanks to Karl for giving us some of his time. Look out for part two!
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