Will Benger – Throne-man for Tom Eno – Exclusive InterviewLauren Fearon
O.L.D. recently had the opportunity to check in with WILL BENGER, drummer for Tom Eno, to ask about how to get the best out of yourself and put it into your drumming. Tom Eno is a jazz infused musician, influenced by greats such as Charlie Byrd and Django Reinhardt. With this he blends classical Spanish guitar, and composers such as Segovia and Villa-Lobos. He has also gained recognition from the BBC Radio 1′s Rob Da Bank and Hôtel Costes, who featured in Tijuana.
Tom’s most recent projects include: Mountain Folk with Danish producer René Kirkegaard, a collaboration with Tickler Tea & Magic Fuzz on a track called The Shakedown, and DJing at Glastonbury this year.
His single Country is out now and available on iTunes, for a very reasonable price!
Here’s what WILL BENGER had to say regarding working with Tom Eno and drumming in general.
OLD: When did you know you wanted to be a drummer? Where did it all begin?
WILL: At primary school during a morning assembly a drum teacher came in and offered lessons to anyone already learning to play the recorder. I hated my recorder lessons but I would probably never have got into drumming if my mum hadn’t insisted I keep at it (thanks Mum!). Playing snare drum quickly became my favourite pastime until I got behind a drum kit about 4 years later, by which time I was addicted…
OLD: What is it like playing for Tom Eno ?
WILL: Tom is a really cool guy and everyone in the band gets on well. The majority of drum parts on this album are low key and not at all physically demanding. It’s one of those gigs where you can really just enjoy the music as a whole.
OLD: What are a few steps you would advise drummers to take, when aiming to break out professionally?
WILL: I think networking is important – be sociable and reliable and you’ll always be busy. Go for music you enjoy and feel comfortable playing to get the best out of yourself and find your niche.
OLD: Do you have any tips for audition situations?
WILL: I haven’t done many but I recommend playing the best part for the song rather than being tempted to wow people with your chops!
OLD: How do you warm up for gigs? What do you do to keep your nerves in check?
WILL: If the gig starts with something fast and demanding then some pad work and stretches normally helps. I don’t tend to get nervous about gigs, as there are few things I’d rather be doing!
OLD: What is the worst drumming experience you’ve ever had to date?
WILL: Breaking my favourite Paiste 2002 (vintage Black Label) crash on an Owen Tromans session for Hope is a Magnet.
OLD: And your best?
WILL: I used to live with Danny Gee (Incredible Weapons) and our flat was pretty much dominated by music gear. The whole two years was a non-stop jam session and recording fest.
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. Do you think you could get that many out of your cymbal?
WILL: This just confirms my suspicion there is something wrong with me.
OLD: Rudiments are core to every drummer’s skills, what do you think about this statement?
WILL: For jazz this is probably true. For most other styles I think groove is more important, but rudiments offer a fun way of being creative.
OLD: Tuning Drums, What do you think about that?
WILL: Start with good heads on good drums in a good room and they’ll tune themselves. I think it is important to know what you like and how to get it, but you don’t need to be an expert unless you’re a drum tech.
OLD: If you could sum up your drumming style in 5 words, what would they be?
WILL: Impossible to answer myself! Here’s 5 values I aspire to: control, expression, dynamics, groove and passion.
Thanks to Will Benger for giving some of his time!
Follow TOM ENO
Official Website – http://tomeno.co.uk/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tom-Eno-Music
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/tomenomusic
MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/thomaseno
SoundCloud – http://soundcloud.com/tom-eno