What’s up, everyone. Mike Rosswog of Complete Failure here, checking in from Austin Enterprise Recording & Mastering in Nashville, Tennessee. We’re getting ready to kick off the Total Resistance Tour 2008 featuring Today Is The Day. We’ll be out supporting our new releases on Supernova Records (Today Is The Day and SuperNova reissues, as well as ComFail’s debut, Perversions Of Guilt).
I guess I should mention that I’ll be playing drums in both bands for over 90 shows this year–an undertaking that has most people concerned about my mental health. It’s definitely going to be a lot of hard work, but anyone who knows me knows that I don’t play grindcore and noise metal because I think it sounds cool; I play because I have a chip on my shoulder and I’m out to push my body and mind to the absolute extreme while accomplishing something positive and creative. Fast and aggressive drumming is an artistic and emotional expression, a therapeutic release that helps me cope with the pain and frustration that I and many, many other people face every day. It’s the soundtrack to a hopeless life that so many humans experience. I hope that by getting on the stage twice every night, I will inspire others to take on huge challenges and explore the limits of their capabilities.
Along the way, we’re going to play a lot of great songs that utilize blast beats, double bass, and 16th-note tom fills to make a point. I like to use these different elements as tools in structuring a song because of the powerful message they convey. Many of Complete Failure’s songs were written by me on guitar, from a drummer’s perspective. Very rhythmic and designed for maximum impact.
Just like a rock or jazz drummer, I’ve got a “play book” of tricks that help me put together a cohesive song with simple phrasing and flow. Getting your limbs “locked in” for solid alternating 16th notes is essential, but so is remembering to loosen up and groove while playing fast. Believe it or not, there’s a definite groove in the 200 BPM blast beats that are all over our new album. Fills should be evenly distributed and placed as segues into the next riff, or to break up a section that repeats several times.
There’s a science behind “death metal” drumming, and I’ve been a student of the likes of Pete Sandoval and Dave Lombardo for about six years now. One thing I’m looking forward to on this tour is just becoming an overall better drummer with better endurance, more precision, and the ability to play better on our next record. After all, I’m going to get A LOT of practice this spring.