We were elated to welcome Jason Cooper, drummer for The Cure, through our doors for an exclusive masterclass in November.
Covering his career and all the tips and tricks he’s learned along the way, the class was a chance for our students to learn from a legend of the industry.
Hosted by Ace, our Head of Creative Industry Development and the guitarist in Skunk Anansie, the class kicked off with an energetic performance of ‘Jupiter Crash’, which Jason revealed was the first song he auditioned with when joining The Cure. He went on to explain that he first found out about the audition for The Cure via an advert in NME and Melody Maker magazine. He was invited to join the band on his 28th birthday, making him their 4th drummer.
First picking up the sticks at the age of 19, Jason started out playing alongside the bassist for The Stranglers on his solo music, before joining 90s Britpop band My Life Story. When commenting on what inspired him to take up drumming, he told the students that he ‘loved Captain Beefheart’ and Chad Wackerman’s playing on Frank Zappa’s material. Asked if The Cure has shaped his style as a drummer, Jason replied “oh yeah totally!” commenting that frontman Robert Smith doesn’t like it when there’s a drum fill introducing a chorus; he thinks it makes more of an impact when you don’t know it’s coming.
After demonstrating his practice routine using different rudiments and shuffles, Jason then delivered a hard-hitting performance of ‘Blood Flowers’.
When speaking about analysing one’s own performances, Jason explained that it’s something he does do, but warned students not to over-analyse. He then spoke about criticism, advising them “don’t be too thick-skinned that you can’t take criticism, but don’t let it get to you either.”
The class then moved on to Jason’s other passion – music for film. Sharing that he actually did the score for a plasticine animation before joining The Cure, he talked about his most recent gig, working alongside Vic Scharmer and Graham Coxon for a wrestling film directed by Stephen Merchant. Jason advised the students “it’s about building your reputation and getting there by word of mouth – working with young directors is a great thing to do.”
Wrapping up with a performance of ‘Underneath the Stars’, Jason stayed back to ensure that all the students’ questions were answered before closing the masterclass.
If you’d like to study at ACM and learn from incredible musicians like Jason Cooper, 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.