Music evidently runs in the family for Sonny Miller Greaves as his father, Dennis Greaves, is the frontman for rhythm and blues veterans Nine Below Zero.
Now the torch has been passed to Sonny who’s flying the flag for the next generation of British blues-rock, touring with teenage guitar prodigy Aaron Keylock.
How did you learn to play?
“My dad’s a musician, so I was brought up with it. My brother got a drum kit for his 10th birthday and I must have been about two at the time. Apparently, as soon as my brother got it, I was the first one on the kit. I’ve never had a drum lesson. I love watching drummers, because that’s how I learned. I used to watch my dad’s drummers from side-stage and just take in what they were doing by ear. I could never read it off a piece of paper. I find it takes the fun out of it.”
How did you meet Aaron Keylock?
“Aaron went to one of my dad’s shows when he was 12 years old. My dad does jams round where I live near Greenwich in south east London. He said, ‘You should come to this jam,’ so I met him when I was 12 or 13. We were still in school and from that time on, we were just waiting to get out of school. I knew I wanted to be in a band and just live the dream like my dad.”
Were there any challenges gigging with Aaron when you were so young?
“His dad used to take us everywhere. We were playing bike rally shows back in the day, pubs. When we played these bike rallies there were some Hell’s Angels, these big, huge guys, really intimidating, but they’re absolutely lovely. We used to chill out with the Hell’s Angels. They’re nuts but they always used to help us out carrying gear. They’d have my traps case on top of their head, ‘S’aright, I’ve got this.’”
What are your drums of choice?
“What I’m using at the moment is a 1975 Sonor kit that I bought from Drumshack for something like £200. It’s nine-ply beech wood. It’s incredible and I’ve never really seen one before. I think it was just sitting in someone’s loft for years and it didn’t really have any sound to it. When we started playing a lot, it really got its sound back. I learned drums on a 1980s Premier kit, which we have up in the loft. That’s the only place I practise. It’s loud, the neighbours hate us!”
Has it been easy for you to adjust to life on the road?
“My dad used to take me on the road from a really young age. He used to take me out of school and say, ‘If you want to learn how life really is, come on the road.’ I used to be his little roadie, I used to carry everybody’s gear, set up the drums. It’s great because I just wanted to be a musician ever since.”