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ACM Drum Degree Alumni (2012) Alex Torjussen has spent the last nine years honing his drum skills to the likes of Average White Band, George Benson, Bill Withers and Steely Dan and now finds himself drumming for up and coming singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan.
Having been influenced by his dad’s playlist of 70s groove musical icons, Alex first attended ACM’s Part Time School before studying under drum tutor Stu Roberts, which all helped to shape his early experiences and introduced Alex to a range of different music and styles.
ACM caught up with Alex to talk about his experience of ACM and what he’s been up to since graduating from the Drum Degree course in 2012 including his involvement with Lucy Spraggan.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to since leaving ACM?
After I left ACM I spent a lot of time practicing and getting out to see gigs and trying to absorb as much music as possible. I think the turning point for me was when I met Ash Soan. He had a big influence on me musically, especially in terms of sound and feel – this is something that I think is often overlooked by a lot of younger guys whose focus is often on how many and how fast they can play chops. To be able to just hang out and talk about music with him has been very inspiring and I’m grateful for his support!
Who have you been working with?
I’m currently on tour with Lucy Spraggan on a sold out headline tour which has been great! I did a bit of work with a singer called Molly Smitten-Downes doing a lot of gigs around London as well as playing for an artist called Eleanore. When I’m not busy with other live commitments I’ve been playing a lot of functions, teaching and practising.
What’s been your proudest moment/career highlights so far?
I think playing Oxford O2 Academy with Lucy has been a definite highlight. Incredible crowd and vibe and just a great gig!
What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
Definitely the people there. Having done the part time courses and meeting people like Roger Davis, Stu Roberts, Richard Brook and Joe Yoshida it was an obvious decision to come and study full time.
What was the best part about studying at ACM?
Again, definitely the teachers! Having the chance to study with guys like Mike Sturgis, Jon Duff and Pete Riley was amazing. The facilities are also brilliant!!
So what’s on the horizon for 2013?
For now I’ll be keeping busy with Lucy. She’s signed with Columbia and has a record coming out later in the year. We’re doing quite a few festivals this year including V, T in the Park and Cornbury so it will be a good summer! There is also a UK theatre tour planned for the autumn which has just been announced.
Do you have any advice or tips for our current students?
I’m just starting out in this industry myself, so any advice I could give would be to just work hard, keep at it and keep focused on the music. Networking and meeting people is important yes, but your playing needs to be on point first – that is what ultimately will get you hired. Say yes to every playing opportunity you get early on as you never know what might come from it.
ACM would like to thank Alex Torjussen for taking time out to update us on his recent projects and we wish him well for his future commitments.