You’ve immersed yourself heavily in education, too?
"One of my first drum clinics I was supposed to be supporting Steve Gadd, but I ended up playing with Peter Erskine. I must have been 18. It was at Blazers in Windsor. Seeing how Peter conducted a clinic was amazing. That's when I worked out not all drummers are good clinicians. I realised it was all about imparting education. I've kept that side of it at the forefront. It's not a gig, hopefully people are coming to learn something. I've got a book in the process that will hopefully be out in the next year or so. I get to teach at colleges and encourage some of the great new talent coming through now. Grant Kershaw is definitely a drummer to watch out for."
What drives you as a drummer?
"I like the phrase ‘if you love your job you'll never have to work’. It's such a privilege to do something you absolutely love and get paid for it. I'm very good at separating the two words ‘music’ and ‘business’. The music never gets jaded by the business. This isn't the greatest run business in the world. It is full of people who don't have a great acumen for running a business, that's why it's in such a state at the moment. Music is in a great place though. I absolutely still love music. Yesterday I was watching YouTube and Philly Joe Jones drum solos and getting an absolute buzz from that. That's something I never could have done 25 years ago.
"Finishing with Paul three years ago was a massive decision and was a massive wrench musically. Since then I've gone on to play with John Lord. I've started my own management company, bringing on new talent. That's what drives me. As a drummer I've really re-discovered the greats of the instrument who play great time, guys like Al Jackson Jr and Mel Lewis."
What lesson would you pass down to young Steve White?
"On a business level it would be to always ask to be cut in. You absolutely never know where a performance is going to end up. When I first started making records CDs were a new concept, let alone downloads, DVDs and the internet. All these things provide income streams. I was a little slow at getting into that. On a musical level I don't regret anything - a few dodgy haircuts and strange tops in the 80s maybe! I've had a great time and I'm still inspired for the next 25 years."
Who are some of your main influences?
"When you first get into drumming you do tend to gravitate towards the people that make that first impact. How many times have you heard people say I got into Ringo from the Ed Sullivan show, or John Bonham, or Dominic play with Muse? That first impact really lasts. For me it was people like Louie and Buddy. Those guys have stuck with me. I'm always listening out for new drummers that inspire me. I love Stanton Moore, I love Keith Carlock. Dom from Muse, Thomas Haake. The music’s not my thing but the drumming is awesome. You see what these guys are doing and it's never been a better time for drummers. My advice for younger drummers is don't get intimidated by it. It can become a bit overwhelming. What you've got to remember is that, talking about moments in time, the public are still talking about Moon and Bonham as the greatest exponents of what they do and the reason they do that is because they were great in bands."
What plans do you have for the near future?
"Apart from the birth of twin boys in September myself and Craig Blundell are writing a performance piece for the London Music Show which involves his influences and my influences, old school and new school. Craig has been a massive influence in the last year in terms of kicking me up the backside to learn new technologies and use the Roland SPD-S in my clinics. I'm really looking forward to that. I'm managing a couple of young artists, Sam Gray being the first. He'll be launching a single soon. I hope to see some success with him. I'm playing with Jon Lord and I also have a solo album with Damon Minchella that will hopefully be out before the end of the year. I couldn't be happier at the moment."