Timmy Russell – Exclusive OnlineDrummer.com InterviewNate Brown
Timmy Russell and Burn Halo rocked Rock on the Range 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. We had the opportunity to sit down with him during the festival to learn more about this up and coming drummer.
How long have you been with the band?
Timmy: I’ve been in the band since the beginning of March. It’s been a short time. They’ve been on the road since February, and then I’ve been out with the band since March. We haven’t had a break yet. We go until the end of May and then have about a week off in June. Then, we go right back out. We’re very busy!
How did you meet the guys in the band?
Timmy: It was actually a mutual friend of ours but also a drummer. He called me up one day and said, “Hey, I got a gig for you.”
I said, “cool what is it?”
He said, “A band called Burn Halo.”
I said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”
So it was kind of really that quick. He called me up on Friday with a show on Thursday, and I was on the plane on Wednesday. It worked out great.
Did you have to relocate?
Timmy: Ha ha – I relocated to traveling.
What do you like most about what you do?
Timmy: To be honest, it’s really being behind a drum kit ever night and doing what I love everyday. That’s really the highlight for me. Being behind the drum kit every night is great.
What do you like least about what you do?
Timmy: Well, you know, I can probably safely say there’s really nothing I like the least. I ‘m a road dog, and I’ll always be a road dog. Being out on the road is my job, so I get up every morning and go to work, and I love my job. Some people get up every morning and they hate their job. I get up and love my job. So, there’s really nothing that I like the least.
Is being on the road difficult?
Timmy: I do enjoy it. I think it is difficult from time to time, but at the same time, at the end of the day it’s really not that bad.
What skills do you think are most important to be successful doing what you’re doing?
Timmy: People skills are important because you’re involved with people 24/7 whether it be your band mates or your fans. You’ve got to have patience, absolutely, and you’ve got to go into it with a clear head because it can get frustrating from time to time when you’re surrounded by people. You know, everybody needs their space.
As far as other skills go, it’s being able to take care of your body and health. If you don’t take care of your health on the road, it’s going to get to you really quick.
How important and what role do rudiments play in your drumming?
Timmy: I haven’t done rudiments since I was probably in grade school, and honestly, rudiments are definitely important because you never know when you’re going to incorporate that into a fill or into a song. It’s always kind of like a back up. Sometimes when out on the road my fills will vary to keep it spiced up – spur-of-the-moment type thing.
What equipment are you currently using?
Timmy: I’m currently using Ddrum, and I’m using the ash kit. I decided to go ash this time instead of maple to try something different, and it’s an amazing kit. I went with smaller sizes than what I usually play: 20” kick, 14” snare, 12” tom, 14” floor tom, and 16” floor tom. Cymbal-wise, I use Sabian. I’ve got two 20 inch crashes up front. I use an 18 inch off to the left. I use a 19 inch to the right. I have an 18 inch china and then a 22 inch ride.
Ddrum puts out an excellent product. For drummers out there looking for a kit, I strongly suggest Ddrum.
I use Vater sticks, the 1A, which are very similar to the 5B but they are a little longer. I like to be able to choke up on the stick.
How often do you change your drum heads? And, how often do you tune?
Timmy: I probably get about 3 shows out of a set of heads Tuning-wise, I definitely re-tune for each show because after you beat on them all day and they get thrown back in the cases and travel and all that, the moisture and temperature changes effect them. So, you definitely have to tune.
What has been your greatest experience as a drummer so far?
Timmy: One of the best experiences is being able to go over seas. When I was a kid growing up and learning to play drums I never thought that drums would take me across the world and it has. I’ve been fortunate enough where playing drums has taken me around the world.
And, being able to tour with a lot of the bands that I was influenced by when I was a kid is another one. I thought, man it would be great to open up for these guys one day. And you know what, I can check a lot of people off that list now. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that.
Of course, playing in front of all the people is also a great experience. At a show like this, with thousands of people, just the fact that they’re out there enjoying what I’m doing, it makes it all worth while.
Visit Timmy Russell’s MySpace