Drummer for Miley Cyrus on her most recent tour and part of the band KILLER BE KILLED, Dave was happy to give a little insight to his world of drumming, as well as a little inspiration to the rest of us who are on the same journey.
1) A huge part of drumming is obviously the daily practice, how do your keep your practice fresh and exciting, while also making sure you’re always improving as a drummer?
One of the most important things that my teacher Jason Gianni told me when I was about 16 was “ Make sure that you practice as much as you can NOW, because as soon as you turn 18 and move out, you have to get a job and pay the bills, you won’t have time anymore. Life gets in the way”
So, with that said – I don’t have a lot of free time to practice between touring, recording sessions, clinics and my own teaching practice in LA. When I do have time, I have friends over like Michael Iveson or Tony Royster so we can bounce ideas off of each other and push each other. I also spend my time working on more conceptual ideas versus technical issues.
2) As a recording drummer, how do you get yourself ready for those studio sessions, I imagine in some cases you don’t know what you’re going to play before you turn up, how do you prepare for these?
I rarely get the chance to hear the tunes before I get to a session, so all that you can do is show up early with great gear and a great attitude. Do whatever the music needs to make a great song. It’s not about you. You have to mentally prepare yourself, because it can get a bit taxing sometimes. Just stay calm and make sure you’re on the same page as the artist/producer.
3) If you could give a beginning drummer, who dreams of one day being a session drummer, any piece of advice or a tip, what would it be?
You have to do this because you love it. Don’t think that you’re going to be making millions of dollars or driving an Aston Martin. If you choose to do this for a living, put in the work and be the best that you can at your craft. Make good art. Be yourself, because no one else can.
4) What has been your favourite place to play a gig? Does a venue or Country stick out to you as somewhere you’d look forward to playing in the future?
I had a total blast doing the Big Day Out tour with The Mars Volta back in 2010. We went all over Australia and New Zealand. I met a lot of good friends on that tour and Australia oddly enough has the best coffee in the world. Playing for 20-30K people everyday doesn’t hurt either.
5) If you had the chance to record drums for any track in the world, past or present, what would you pick?
I just want to play good music with good people.
I’m currently on tour with Miley Cyrus, in the middle of a clinic tour all over Italy and getting ready to release a record with my new band KILLER BE KILLED next year on Nuclear Blast. I also teach locally in LA and offer Skype lessons for international students.
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