For a lot of my childhood I would say I was fairly musically isolated. I didn’t really love anything I heard on radio or that was played in my house. I had no interest in the music of my parents’ generation and as far as I could tell, the artists that frequented the pop radio stations during the 90’s were far from my cup of tea. It wasn’t until my introduction to the drum set that I really started to pay attention to music. I must’ve been in 4th grade at the time. My cousin Chris was a couple years older than I, and had been a percussionist in school long enough obtain a Ludwig 5 piece kit. He would show me bands that inspired him to play drums, and so, my curiosity in music was peaked by the art of drumming. I have now been drumming for 10 years and have had the privilege of playing music with several talented musicians and touring with the last group I was part of in my hometown called Little Giants.
As far as music itself is concerned, it was out of necessity that I started exploring recorded music. My family traveled almost every weekend during the spring and summer months and I occupied the long drives by listening to music. I didn’t really know what I liked at first but was bored by all but a few tracks on most albums so I knew I hadn’t found what I was looking for. I finally found my niche in metal and hardcore music that was up and coming. Bands like Underoath, August Burns Red, and Sky Eats Airplane entertained me like none before and it inspired me to be like them. The musicianship was unlike anything I had ever heard and I loved it. I wanted to know everything about the bands and thus began researching them online. The online research led me media like music videos, interviews, and studio videos. The studio videos were my favorite and I became intrigued by audio technology. After my sophomore year of high school I began collecting equipment to record my own band and learning to record from other musicians. By the time I graduated high school, a friend and I had recorded an EP for our band and released it on iTunes. High school also got me into wood working which lead me to believe I could build my own drums. I started out building a snare that sounded alright but looked kind of terrible. During my senior year I built a kick that looked much better:
Ironically, after building this, my high school graduation award was a custom drum kit from a company called Truth Drums based out of Portland, OR. I made sure it featured specs that I was incapable of executing with my own woodworking skills such as a “hybrid chamber snare.” The “hybrid” means a combination of different woods or materials make up the shell. In my case the shell was 2/3 maple and 1/3 acrylic. The “chamber” means that there are actually two drum shells, an outer and an inner, with a variable gap between the two. The total ply count of my snare (ply is the measurement of individual layers of thin wood strips) is 22. 6 ply outer shell, 6 ply inner shell, with a 10 ply gap between. Sorry for the rant, I just really love my drums, and they inspire me to keep playing. Have a look!
For any drum enthusiasts who may be interested the sizes are:
Snare: 14×7, kick: 22×18, tom 1: 12×9, tom 2: 14×14, tom 3: 18×14
After high school the bands died way down which was discouraging but I still had my computer and my preamp so I kept recording whatever music I could. For two years after high school I participated in as many musical projects as possible and working a minimum wage job while I tried to decide what to go to college for. I guess it was right in front of me the whole time. To this day, drumming and recording are the only things I’ve invested so much time and energy in. On some subconscious level, I suppose I feel like I owe it to myself to learn as much about music as possible to keep from wasting my prior dedication.