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Jen Ledger is the Coventry-born stickswoman for Grammy-nominated, kerjillion-selling US rockers Skillet. We caught up with her at Download earlier this month, where the band continued their campaign to win over the Brits with a storming set in which Jen’s energetic drumming, and beautiful singing, backed up Skillet’s anthemic hard rock with considerable flair.
“The biggest thing that I’ve learnt, which I feel like I stress all the time to people, is not panicking about playing like other people – which just sounds so simple and cheesy but I used to get really locked up because my sound isn’t really flashy with the drums.
“I finally realised I really enjoy playing the way I play and I’m not going to try to play like Travis Barker because it’s not the way I want to play. Maybe it won’t impress the drummers in the crowd, but I’ve realised that I really enjoy performing and it inspires people way more when you’re true to who you want to be and how you want to express yourself. There can be the drummer nerds standing side-stage going, ‘She missed the last 32nd… duh, duh duh,’ and you’re like well maybe I did but I had a //great// time on stage and I think a lot more people really enjoyed the way I played because I’m just being true to myself and having fun.
“My advice to people who are nervous is take that pressure off yourself and try and enjoy yourself up there and play the things you know how to play well rather than stretching yourself to play things you can’t do well, and you’ll sound way better and people will enjoy your feel a lot more.”