Eric Hernandez may not have the profile of his little bro, Bruno Mars, but it’s safe to say that, in Eric, the Hawaiian pop sensation has a fantastic drummer and pillar of support.
Hailing from a musical Hawaiian family, Eric left the island first to seek his fortune in LA, but ended up in a retail job with drums on the side until brother Bruno followed him to California and needed a drummer for his all-singing, all-dancing high-energy pop band.
“When [Bruno] was looking for his horn section, he wanted guys that can dance,” Eric revealed of Bruno’s act. “He didn’t want horn players that just stand there reading charts. You have nine guys on stage that really love what they’re doing and want to be doing it. Everyone does their part and everyone loves what they’re doing, and it shows.”
Read more about Eric, his inspirations and his gig with Bruno in this month’s Rhythm. Check out his playing with Bruno Mars:
Check out his playing with Bruno Mars:
Christian 'CC' Coma
On the face of it, US metallers Black Veil Brides are all about the big hair and theatrically black make-up. But behind the image and the – actually awesome – stick tricks and showmanship, BVB drummer Christian ‘CC’ Coma is a schooled, jazz-loving sticksman inspired by Louie Bellson.
“I remember I was 12 years old and I met Louie Bellson in LA. I swear I’ll never forget this, he came out and he could barely walk. He had people helping him up on stage and he looked so frail and fragile. I was like, ‘Oh man.’I was 12, everyone else was like 65 so he knew I was there. He gives me this wink and then he just blows the place up, tearing it up. He was so phemomenal.”
Read the rest of CC’s interview in this month’s Rhythm, and check out this bonus interview on Rhythm’s YouTube channel.
Slim Jim Phantom
Back in the early ‘80s, Stray Cats brough their brand of rockabilly to the masses with a vintage look, great videos and catchy music. Jim himself had a unique style – he played (bass as well) standing up.
Jim explains: “We were playing small places and we came up with, ‘What if we put the drums to the front and had the guys like in a line-up?’. We’d done 200 gigs when we were very young around New York. We had time to experiment with everything and we were very good at the same time. It worked really early on. We really knew we were on to something when people started liking it.”
Read more of the interview with Jim – and his drummer son TJ McDonnell – in this month’s Rhythm.
Here’s Jim in action with Stray Cats back in the day:
The Smiths are one of the most important and influential British bands of the 1980s. Their mix of punk, pop and rockabilly defined ‘indie music’, with the guitar and bass virtuosity of Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke respectively backing up the incredible voice and lyrics of Morrissey. They also had a fantastic drummer who more than held his own. Mike Joyce brought his love of punk to bear on The Smiths’ sound, developing with the others as they evolved on the road and in the studio over a hectic and prolific four years.
“It was a constant rollercoaster,” reveals Mike. “What’s the point of having time off when you’re doing something you’ve always wished you could do? It was pretty relentless all the time, but it wasn’t hard work.”
Mike talks about his style, influences and time in the band, plus his successful court case to get a fair share of the band’s royalties, in this month’s Rhythm.
Here’s Mike’s very funky drumming on ‘Barbarism Begins At Home’:
Emily Dolan Davies
Young pop session ace Emily Dolan Davies (Cher Lloyd, Tricky, Bryan Ferry) helps lift the lid on what it takes to become a hot-shot pop sessioneer in Rhythm’s cover feature.
“Learn the parts and listen well,” she advises on the need for drummers to mime for TV appearances. “For me it’s a great exercise in really studying a drummer to see what kinds of rhythms and fills help create a great pop song.”
Emily – alongside many other young drummers whose gigs include Rita Ora, Emeli Sandé, Jessie J, Plan B and more – gives us the benefit of her experience as part of our bumper feature on the New Breed Of British Session Drummers.
Here’s Emily rocking out with a drum cover of the Foo Fighters ‘Best Of You’:
March issue of Rhythm out now!
Find out more about Eric, Mike, CC, Slim Jim and Emily - plus loads of other great drummers - in this month's Rhythm magazine.