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We chat drumming and drummers to three of our esteemed drum tutors, who have all been featured in Rhythm Magazine recently; Joe Yoshida, Danny Mullowney and Toby Drummond.
All three tutors have been rolling out advice as part of a regular feature in Rhythm Magazine this year (with Toby being a fixture in the magazine for much longer), giving industry insights for readers of the legendary drumming magazine.
We spoke to them about what being featured in the magazine means to them, to get their tips for drum-spiration, and to find out their favourite grooves!
What does being featured in Rhythm Magazine mean to you?
Joe: As a reader from a young age, I’m very proud to be featured in Rhythm Magazine! I’ve worked intensively for years as an Educator and Musician and I take this opportunity as a representation of hard work paying off, and it’s amazing to gain greater outreach to aspiring drummers.
— Joe Yoshida (@joeyoshidadrum) October 3, 2017
Toby: I’ve been privileged to be featured in Rhythm magazine since 1997 so it’s always been lovely to be part of the drum community.
Danny: Growing up and living in Canada meant Rhythm was not on my radar. But since moving to the UK I have made Rhythm my go-to resource for reading about everything drum related: articles, reviews, and general gawking at gear. It’s an honour to be published in this informative magazine, as it allows me to feel an acceptance into the community, and the articles enable me to contribute to the education of UK drummers. As a Rhythm reader, it’s really important to know what’s happening on the UK drum scene, and what is influencing its readers.
Name a drummer that was inspiring to you when you first started drumming.
Danny: It may sound crazy, but aside from listening to John Bonham, Tommy Lee from Motley Crue was truly inspiring. He made it seem like so much fun to be smacking the drums. It was an image, an attitude and an overall sound that excited me at a young age. It wasn’t a ride cymbal that was heavily swinging, a linear groove being precisely executed, or a mathematically difficult odd-time catching my ear. I was revved-up by the overall power, image and sound of the drums. It wasn’t until my middle teens that I really started listening to different drummers outside of the rock genre, and then began emulating different styles and a multitude of drummers.
Joe: Dave Grohl has always been my biggest hero. He represents everything that I wanted to have and be as a drummer, and I naturally gravitate towards drummers that share very similar qualities – solid, meat-and-potato drummers that always aspire to make the simplest things sound best. Generally guys that hit the heck out of the drums!
Toby: Paul Goodman – my uncle, a 60’s pop drummer with Peter Frampton.
Favourite drummer at the moment?
Toby: Ian Thomas.
Joe: I recently played a few shows supporting Last In Line, and was totally blown away by Vinny Appice (Dio). It would be lazy to sum up his style as ‘Old School’, but he was a true authentication of the aggression we now recognise with Heavy Metal. I adored his beastly, bottom-heavy sound. He had amazing finesse, considering the fact that he’s also a total bruiser! On the last show of the tour, he knuckle-dapped me and said: “hey man!” to me, and I was literally made!
Danny: I’m listening to a lot of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters recently, so I would have to say Mike Clark. It’s not necessarily always what Mike Clark is playing, but it’s the overall groove and sound of the music, and the freedom to explore ideas within certain parameters.
Joe: For me, it has to be the ‘four-to-the floor’ – it’s so simple and yet it works for so many different styles. It’s a groove that really taught me the importance of stripping your options down to its bare bones and forcing yourself to concentrate on making every single note count. If you have ten drummers play this groove at the same tempo, everyone will inject a different nuance to it. I find a lot of attraction in thinking about ‘how’ a pattern could be played, and this groove really facilitates this approach.
Toby: Anything recorded by Steve Jordan & Ricky Lawson.
Danny: When The Levee Breaks (John Bonham) – Led Zeppelin.
Top 3 songs for ‘drum-spiration’…
1. Prince’s Shhh with John Blackwell. A video clip of a performance has been making the rounds on social media since John Blackwell’s passing. It makes me giddy every time I see it and it’s truly inspirational.
2. Grace Too from the Canadian band The Tragically Hip with drummer Johnny Fay. Drum-spiration from this song is not based on drumming virtuosity, but rather an emotional connection with the music which inspires me to either air drum, or get behind a kit at the soonest possibility. I played Hip songs in bars when I was 17, and a couple of their early albums punch my ‘drumming energy’ button.
3. Loft Funk by The Headhunters with Mike Clark on drums. Clark’s drumming is funky and infectious.
1. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – Nirvana (Dave Grohl)
2. ‘Judith’ – A Perfect Circle (Josh Freese)
3. ‘I Feel So’ – Box Car Racer (Travis Barker)
1. Queen Bee (Barbara Streisand)
2. Baby Face Live MTV Awards 1997 (Ricky Lawson on drums)
3. Carribe (Michel Camilo album – One More Once)
What have you got coming up?
Joe: I’m currently in the middle of writing another album with my band, Toseland – our third, which is set for release in March ’18. We set high precedence with our second album – which peaked in the top 40 in the album charts – so we’re excited about what prospects the next one could bring. We also have a UK tour supporting Skid Row to look forward to. Please check us out!
Toby: All my usual freelance work as featured in Rhythm.
Danny: Over the next several months, I have an abundance of gigs in which I’ll be performing. These include playing with The Definitive Ratpack, gigging with a Dusty Springfield tribute act, a Disco and Latin show tribute, and a month of performances at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.
At ACM, our students are taught by professionals from the very highest levels of the music industry. This ensures that they bring the most up-to-date knowledge and rarest of insights into the classroom. We’re very proud to see three of our own continue to reach such great heights in their careers, reflected by their features in Rhythm Magazine.
If you’d like to study at ACM and learn first-hand from world-class musicians like Joe, Toby and Danny, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.