Drum Expo 2013: "Any drummer could agree that choosing drums as the instrument to learn has its advantages and disadvantages no matter how much you love to play. I have been doing this for over half my life, and have heard tons of colleagues and fans complaining about the same things.
"While it's the greatest instrument in the world, showing up first and leaving last out of band rehearsal, lugging several hundred pounds of bulky gear around, or always being in the back of the stage presents a few challenges other musicians don't have.
"Being the rhythm backbone of Black Veil Brides, I have to keep up with the dudes in front so I definitely had my work cut out for me inhabiting the back of the stage every night. Everyone else in my band is at the top of their game from Jake and Jinxx shredding it up, to Ashley getting female undergarments tossed at him, to Andy engaging the crowd and jumping off of balconies, I am left stuck stationary in a seat to 'bring it'.
"My creativity to keep things entertaining behind the kit has definitely increased the past few years and having shows as long as 90 minutes, I started doing things to entertain the crowd as well as myself. When playing difficult songs flawlessly is not enough, I added showmanship things like twirling my sticks or doing drum solos blindfolded with a bra thrown on stage to keep on par with such a visual band.
"A great drummer I admire once said to me, "Nobody came here to see ME tonightâ¦but I made sure they saw ME!". That really struck a chord and it was about that time I started incorporating more tricks in our set. I have sprinted around the stage during a drum break, had shots poured down my throat, jumped on top of the kit and head banged until I saw stars, thrown my stick as high as I can just to see if I could catch it, and even danced with a girlfriend side stage all while still rocking the songs and never missing a beat.
"I give it my all every performance and as a drummer I am constantly challenged to entertain not only audibly, but also visually.
"Anyone who knows me knows I love to have fun and all of these things started coming together to just be another ordinary night 'at work'. I absolutely love what I do, and to any drummer starting out I can assure you all the complaints you have will be worth it if you dedicate your life to your passion. Heavy gear? Get a cart. Spending too much time setting up? Find a lock out studio. Being in the back of the stage? That should never be a complaint. Kick yourself in the ass and put out some energy!
"Whether you need to drink an energy drink and pound your kit into smithereens or learn a couple stick tricks to stimulate someone in the crowd with their arms crossed, constantly set the bar higher for yourself.
"Every band needs a solid foundation and in my particular instance it is a foundation of twirling sticks, energy, mayhem, and most of all FUN! Being a kid at heart I have always made sure to have fun because in the end it's rock 'n' roll!"
To discover more about Black Veil Brides, please visit their official website.