It’s been a while since ACM have caught up with Alex Torjussen, ACM Drum alumnus. After graduating in 2012, we checked in with Alex in mid 2013 as he toured the UK with Lucy Spraggan and Molly Smitten-Downes. We heard through the grapevine that he was up to a BUNCH of impressive stuff, so, we wondered…
What have you been up to since the last time we spoke?
I’ve just tried to keep my head down and focus on playing drums! I did some work with an an artist signed to Atlantic called Jacob Banks. He had a single out at the time so there was quite a bit of promo and we ended up playing Radio 1’s Live Lounge which was great! I did some stuff with Max Milner (The Voice), recording his live EP at Dean St Studios in Soho. I loved doing that, it’s a great band too; Scott Mckeon on guitar, Rocco Palladino on bass and Dan Bingham on keys. I toured with Rumer at the beginning of this year, we did a UK & Europe stint as well as doing some gigs in Japan. Currently I’m working with Will Young on his UK tour in November and also have some gigs coming up with James Morrison.
How did these opportunities come about?
I have been very lucky with some of the gigs I’ve ended up doing. The Rumer and Will Young gigs came from a recommendation from Ash Soan. He recorded Rumer‘s last record but couldn’t tour due to other commitments so gave me a call and invited me down to rehearsals. I played with the band and luckily it all worked out! I did a few auditions last year and the Jacob gig came from one of those. I’ve done quite a few auditions for things and even if you don’t get the gig you might impress the MD or Label enough for them to keep you in mind for further things that come up. I’ve just tried to work as hard as I can and go for every opportunity that has come my way.
How do you prepare for playing live with these major artists?
I don’t have any routines to prepare for a gig really. On bigger artists gigs you’ll usually have an extensive rehearsal period prior to whatever the event is so everyone has the arrangements nailed down. I get nervous sometimes… But I think everyone does to some degree. No special rituals or anything, just turn up and play!
What’s been your biggest gig to date?
I did a festival the other week actually with Will and that was about 30,000 people. I guess so far thats one of the biggest!
What was your best piece of advice that you received whilst at ACM?
I think the best piece of advice from my time at ACM was to be prepared. No matter what the gig is; whether its a function, session, whatever, just know the music!
How can current / future students best prepare themselves for a career in the industry?
Tricky question… I think focusing on your playing is key. All the other stuff is important too but it all comes down to playing the instrument at the end of the day. Try and play with as many musicians as you can. Also, be on time for EVERYTHING!
We’d would like to thank Alex for taking the time to speak with ACM. If you want to keep up to date with everything he’s up to, make sure you keep an eye on his Website.