Drummer Gabriel Serbian of the LocustAfter over a decade of service as a rapid-fire hardcore punk outfit, The Locust has finally written its ultimate opus–well, relatively speaking. Last year’s New Erections is the longest album the band has released, and features some of their most involved songwriting. The heady effort clocks in at just over twenty minutes over eleven tracks. That might not seem like much on paper–but in practice, it’s a whole ’nother beast.

Pummeling this high-speed affair with super-human dexterity is drummer Gabriel Serbian. The drummer’s blistering attentiveness fuses the incredibly intricate performances together on stage–and all the while he’s wearing a mask that covers most of his face. But before these songs even reach audiences’ ears, there are songwriting and recording sessions to tackle.

“It usually takes a very long time for us to write a song,” Serbian admits. “Even when the songs were under a minute, it would take a tremendous amount of time for us to be satisfied with them and consider them completed. We’ll work out different movements and then we’ll figure out how to tie them together.”

Where Serbian especially gains attention is on stage. The set list is orchestrated around Serbian’s drumming (which is accomplished via an alarmingly simple four-piece Ludwig kit), something that he takes very seriously, both on the road and off.

So what gave Serbian the itch to slam with blazing speed? “I just did it–I never had a plan on how to play like I play,” he says. “It’s just what came natural to me, and I think it just evolved. I don’t sit down and try to figure out something that I’ve never played before. It just naturally evolves.”

Videos of Gabe Serbian’s performances with The Locust can be viewed here.

Waleed Rashidi