Classic rock is alive and well on these shores thanks to bands like last month’s Introducing stars Stone Broken, and a band who have recently toured with those fellow Midlanders, The Bad Flowers.
The Cannock three-piece have just released their debut album Starting Gun and have a ton of festival appearances lined up over the summer, at which you can catch their hook-heavy, riff-tastic and bombastic rock style, driven from the kit by the estimable drum talents of Karl Selickis.
What was your introduction to drumming?
“Drumming has always been part of the family, starting with my uncle, he played quite a lot and even at the early age of two years old I used to sit behind his kit and just bang and make a noise!
"At the age of 11 I started taking drum lessons at my secondary school which taught me the basics and then I’ve been self-taught ever since.”
Who are your drumming heroes?
“There are so many people I could name but over the years I’ve always found myself talking about the same three drummers who I can easily class as true inspirations and my drumming heroes!
"First, Mike Portnoy for his drumming skill, knowledge and charisma has always stood out amongst the rest for me! Secondly, the legend himself, John Henry Bonham - the man’s groove and feel was phenomenal and I think I speak for millions he has inspired many across the world!
Which Bad Flowers song perfectly captures your sound and style?
“I think all of the songs I play on have my own style, however I think our song ‘City Lights’ shows that style off the most - it shows hard hitting, a variety of tempo changes on which I can throw loads of ghosts notes in, and it lets my animal-like character shine through!”
What has been the proudest moment of your career to date?
“There have been many moments over the years that have made me stand back and think, ‘Wow! Did that just happen?!’ But I honestly think the proudest moment to date has to be the release of our debut album Starting Gun which came out earlier this year. We really have poured our hearts and souls into that album and is definitely something I am extremely proud of!”
What’s the best drumming advice you have been given?
“From Robin Guy: ‘Practise every single day and if you can’t every day, then every single spare moment you get, but most importantly make sure you enjoy every single second of it.’”
What gear are you using?
“I currently use a five-piece Tama superstar Hyperdrive, 10” rack, 14” and 16” floor toms and a Tama Big Black Steel 14”x8” snare drum. I use Sabian cymbals, 18” and 19” crashes, a 21” ride cymbal and 14” hats - all AAX range. I use Evans G2 Coated tom skins, Evans heavyweight bass batter head and a heavyweight snare head too! As for drum sticks I use Promark 2S.”
How do you approach playing live with The Bad Flowers?
“I always approach a live show with a fun professional attitude! I want to get behind my kit and do the best job I can I terms of keep a solid beat behind the guys, but having as much fun as possible!
"I’ve always said, if I could play guitar or sing I would take full advantage of the stage space, but seeing as I’m a drummer and I have to stay in one spot I try to make my performance as entertaining for the crowd as possible.”
Do you work off the guitar or bass in creating parts and grooves?
“The majority of the time I follow Dale’s bass lines and make sure we really lock in throughout the song but on the odd occasion and in some songs I follow Toms’ guitar lines more so, so I guess it really depends on the feel of the song.”
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t live without?
“I suppose my Hardcases, not only do they protect my kit to every bang and knock they take in the back of the van but they make it so easy for me to move and store my kit without me having to worry about them getting damaged!”
What have you got coming up that you’re most excited about?
“We’ve been booked for a fair few festivals this year, the likes of, Steelhouse Festival; Stone Free Festival; Hard Rock Hell Festival; Teddy Rocks Festival and more that haven’t been announced yet.
"I’m really looking forward to getting out on the road playing to loads of new people and making lots of new friends.”
What’s the key to a great live performance?
“I honestly do believe the key to a good performance is having fun and interacting with your audience! As well as of course making sure you keep a solid backbeat for the guys up front.”