Hold on! Why are there two drummers up there?
On the Saturday of Download the drummers in the crowd were treated to a feast of percussion as Kids In Glass Houses drummer Phil Jenkins joined the The Blackout and their drummer Gareth ‘Snoz’ Lawrence, on stage for a spot of double drumming. We caught up with them both after the show to find out more. Take a look through our all-access gallery and see what the guys had to say.
Hi guys, great set today. How did it go for you?
Snoz – “Awesome. I’ve always admired Phil as a drummer and being on stage with him playing was amazing.”
Phil – “We go way back, we’ve known each other for so long, and played tiny clubs together. It’s so amazing to go from that scale to playing so high up at Donington. It was good looking over seeing Gareth playing. The sun was out and it was a good vibe.”
What was the crowd reaction like?
Snoz – “There were some confused faces for sure.”
Phil – “It wasn’t a huge secret, but it wasn’t common knowledge either. We didn’t want to hype it up too much as we didn’t really rehearse too much. The Blackout have been on tour and we’ve been on tour with the Stereophonics. We knew we could do it. It added to the performance because it was quite chaotic, but tight at the same time.”
Snoz – “It had a jam feeling to it.”
Snoz in full flow
Snoz, The Blackout has two singers. Was it case of ‘well, I’m going to have two drummers’?
Snoz – “I like the way you’ve put that. We told Phil the idea and we were all up for it.”
Phil – “It’s all in keeping with Donington and the history. It’s rock’n’roll excess. There’s no need for two drum sets, but it’s entertaining.”
Snoz – “There’s always need for it!”
Phil – “I’m really glad I could be a part of it.”
Was there any other inspiration behind the idea? Bands like The Melvins are notable for having two drummers.
Snoz – “We’ve seen NERD play a few times and they have two drummers. They’re unbelievable, the way they connect with each other. If we’d had enough time we would have worked out more.”
Phil – “I really liked the idea of experimenting with some polyrhythms, but because we didn’t have time to rehearse it we needed to just stay in the pocket. We needed to execute the show as it was a really important one for the guys and I didn’t want to compromise it. Today was a good mix. It was tight, but we managed to do some cool stuff too.”
Snoz – “I had Sean [Blackout singer] at one point playing one of my toms and he was completely out of time!”
Hold on a minute!
Phil, how did you approach the parts?
Phil – “I didn’t want to play the songs exactly the same, I wanted to thicken things up. The Blackout are quite a low, heavy band so I wanted to bring that out. I wanted to go quite tribal with it. With KIGH it’s quite far from what The Blackout do. I wanted to do something I wouldn’t usually get the chance to do. I was thinking Sepultura and Soulfly. I really wanted to play a china cymbal too!"
What gear were you both using up there?
Phil – “I’m currently playing a Gretsch USA kit. I’ve been playing it since the end of last year. It’s a 13”, 16”, 18” set-up with 24” kick. I love those drums. It sounded really great today. I play Zildjian cymbals too.”
Snoz – “I play Yamaha at the moment. The kit is a 22”, 13” and 16” with a 14” snare, I’m looking to get an 18" floor in there at some point too. I met my hero Vinnie Paul today too. I normally play my snare at an angle but I’ve been trying to flatten it out to try and play properly. After seeing him play today I’m going to tilt it back. I won’t let the dream die!”
Is the double drumming something you might do again?
Phil – “If they’d have me!”
Snoz – “I’d love to do it again. Let’s go on tour!”
Phil – “It was totally surreal and different to what I’m used to. I’ve never performed with another drummer before and Donington’s the ideal place to try it!”
Giving his Gretsch some
What plans do you both have for the coming months?
Phil – “We’ve got some festivals coming up. Our new album is out, called Dirt, and we had a single come out on the 13th June called ‘Undercover Lover’, featuring Baywatch drums!”
Snoz – “We’ve started writing our new album and we have some shows here and there. We’re also supporting Paramore in Belfast. Gavin [other Blackout singer] has just bought a house so we’re going to write in his garage. Hopefully the album will be out January or February.”