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Ben’s gear: 18x16-inch floor tom (x2); 14x7-inch DW maple snare; 16-inch Zildjian A Custom EFX stacked with a 14-inch Trashformer; shaker, tambourine
Ben Homola pulls double duty as Brian Lane’s tech and as percussionist, adding parts on stage when Brand New’s music calls for that extra rhythmic dimension. He has been touring with the band since 2006 and was the natural choice to handle the double-drumming duties.
“When there were more drum parts Ben was the dude who was on the tour and Ben’s a great drummer and that’s how it worked out,” says Brian.
“We used to do two kits facing each other but that’s when he used to follow me a little more and we could play off each other because we could see each other. We did that because it looked cooler but none of the parts required two drumsets.
“Now he has two big floor toms and a snare and we layered some effects cymbals together to get another cool accent out of it.”
Ben just jumped straight into the role, there was never any lengthy rehearsal period with Brian and the rest of Brand New to figure out individual parts. They quickly found their groove.
“I think that it was a trial and error thing,” says Ben. “It was pretty smooth. When I play with Brian I don’t have to focus on him because it’s so natural.”
“I think it just worked out. There was never a learning curve,” adds Brian.
“We were just able to click which was fortunate because I’m sure that doesn’t happen that often. We were able to work it out pretty easily. At this point when you’re playing with the same people so often for so long - as with any band that plays together for a long time - you feed off each other and you know that person’s next move before they even do it.”
“For me it is the best of both worlds,” enthuses Ben. “I get to tech and to play. Anytime that I’m out there playing along with them on anything, that’s my favourite moment.
“It’s a lot of fun. From playing in a band as the only drummer on stage to playing with another drummer, they are two completely different worlds.”
Now check out Rhythm’s current Issue 204 for a world exclusive interview with the legendary Vinnie Colaiuta. Or subscribe to Rhythm here for a monthly dose of new gear reviews, kit buying guides, pro drum lessons and all-star interviews.
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