Drummer Mike Marsh of Dashboard Confessional“As a drummer, I truly feel that what you want to play and what you should play can be the same thing if the goal is right,” says Mike Marsh, drummer for emo rock trio Dashboard Confessional. Speaking about Dusk And Summer, the first Dashboard CD since 2003’s A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, he explains, “My goal on this record was to show that I’m not a kid anymore who wants a drum fill in every bar. Because of the nature of the melodies and the structure of the songs, the recording process gave me a great opportunity to create space.”

Dusk And Summer also showcases Marsh’s warm drum tones and his musical approach to the kit. Mike offered some insight on how he gets such natural-sounding recorded performances. “A lot of rock drummers revert back to John Bonham and the way he made his drums sound larger than life with the use of room mics,” Marsh says. “Some drummers think that you have to beat the hell out of your drums to get that to happen. But there’s only so hard you can hit a drum before it compresses. It’s important to understand that it doesn’t take muscle to make your drums sound huge.”

For Marsh, getting the best sound from his drums is also about knowing how to read a room–a talent he feels has come with experience. “I’ve played in enough rooms to know how hard or soft I should be playing,” Mike offers. “Often, I’ve found that the softer I play, the more accentuated the nuances become. If you can really lay back and create a mellow atmosphere for yourself in the studio, ghost notes and phrasings become so much larger. I’ve really tried to keep that warmth on the records and to keep the tones of my drums consistent and as beautiful as I can make them.”

Gail Worley