Q Drum Co., copper shells with maple reinforcement hoops: 13x9-inch (or 14x10-inch) rack tom, 16x16-inch and 18x16-inch floor toms, 24x16-inch bass drum (usually 26x16-inch), 14x6 1⁄2-inch brass snare
You’ve done a few auditions in your time. What’s your process in the run-up?
“Learning the songs backwards and forwards. When I say that I truly mean it, because you can’t rely on anything other than your knowledge of the song.
“There have been instances where I’m going in to audition with a band, and they haven’t played the song I’m going in to play since the last tour - that’s been with quite a few bands, so you almost have to know the songs better than they know them at that given time.
“You can’t depend on vocals or guitar parts or any sort of crutches, because you really should be able to break down the structure in your head: ‘how does the song go - verse, chorus, pre-chorus, chorus? Is there a second pre-chorus?’, etc.
“When I’m learning these songs by myself, I’m almost quizzing myself while I learn the song. When I’m playing verse one I’m thinking, what’s the bridge like and how does this song end?
“You don’t want to get to a part and have to worry about what’s next; it’s a terrible feeling, and who wants that? You have to confidently steer the ship. You can know the song but if you’re not owning your performance, you’re not instilling that in the rest of the people you’re playing with.
“Nobody wants to be worrying about the drummer. When you give off that confidence, you instil that in everybody else and allow them to focus on themselves.
“On the flipside, I’ve auditioned drummers where you’ll be playing a song and the first verse is going well, the chorus is going well, then going into the bridge the drummer doesn’t know what’s going on.
“We get halfway through the song only to make a trainwreck of a mistake. It really does seem like common sense, but there are levels of knowing something.
“Of course different bands also like to do breaks or accents. You need to know they’re coming and anticipate it to really give it its true push or dynamic. Quiz yourself on every aspect of that song, especially before you get in a room to play with anybody.”