Hello, everyone! This is Steve Julian with Colourslide out of Gainesville, FL. I have to start off with a huge thanks to Modern Drummer for letting me be a part of the blogs. It’s an honor to be amongst the amazing musicians who make up these pages.
Rather than give any sort of advice or words of wisdom, I thought it appropriate to share a little bit about myself, my sound, and my band, considering many people who browse these pages will have no idea who I am and could just as easily read tips, tricks, and insights from the icons of the trade.
My life on drums started eighteen years ago, and, like most professional drummers, got its kick-start in drum line. I marched all through high school, spending summers in drum corps. The line is where I have my fondest drumming memories. Aching and bloody hands in the hot Florida sun gave me the chops to experiment at the kit, and it’s that technique that is the foundation of my sound.
Growing up listening to a lot of ’80s metal, I would always mimic Tommy Lee and Steven Adler, though it was Chad Sexton who showed me that my corps experience could translate to the kit. He was a tremendous inspiration and influenced me heavily as I began to delve into drumset with various garage bands and weekend cover bands–experiences I try not to bring up too often.
After my tenure on the line ended, I assumed I would end up playing in a back room of my house after my 9-to-5, but in late 2001, I got a phone call to audition for an up & coming local band. The next five years of touring and studio work dramatically evolved my sound and exposed me to music and rhythms I had never taken the time to notice. With the direction the band’s music was taking, I learned that tight and clean wasn’t always the right path and that it was more important to ride the groove and sit back in the pocket. As with most bands, the sound began to evolve, things started to pick up, and then lineup changes sent things into chaos. From the remnants of that band, though, Colourslide was conceived, and thus the next two years of my drumming life took shape.
Being born and raised in Gainesville, I am proud to be a part of a successful band from my hometown. Since Colourslide’s inception in May of 2006, the band has made strong progress completely independently. We did some short-run East Coast tours for the first few months while working on our debut studio album. (It was produced by Ted Comerford, mixed by Ken Andrews, Paul Hager, Mike Plotnikoff, and Mark Trombino, and mastered by Tom Baker—those guys deserved major shout-outs for all their hard work and dedication to a band with little track record.) Shortly after the album’s release in February’07, the disc was licensed in its entirety to major television networks ESPN, MTV, E!, and Oxygen for placement in a variety of programs. The band continued to tour in support of the album, sharing the stage with bands that were on each of our lists of idols, through club shows and festivals like Summerfest and the Florida leg of the ’08 Warped Tour.
Most recently, the band won the Maxell Song Of The Year award in the international John Lennon Song Writing Contest (www.jlsc.com), an amazing group of people who are as generous as they are kind. Some truly exciting things have happened by their endorsement alone, which landed us on the back cover of Billboard magazine (August 2, ’08), yet another unbelievable honor in this amazing year for the band and myself as an artist. We are currently working on our full-length follow-up and have once again been fortunate to work with an unbelievable name in the industry, Jack Joseph Puig. With four songs tracked, two of which are already mixed by Puig, we couldn’t be more motivated to pump out our best songs to date.
I’ve been playing Orange County Drum and Percussion for about five years now. (Check out these awesome drums from some pretty rad guys at www.ocdrum.com). OCPDs are another Chad Sexton influence, and they are the best drums I have ever touched (though there are plenty of kits I have yet to touch, ha). My current setup is a four-piece, with a 20×22 kick, a 16×16 floor tom, an 8×12 rack tom, and a 61/2×14 snare. I use Zildjian A Custom 20″ rides and an A Custom 22″ ride for my crashes. My sticks of choice are Zildjian Travis Barker artist series. I found that the size and ease of use are perfect for the live and studio sound that I’m trying to sustain, which translates into loud and consistent tone. My heads are Remo coated or clear Emperors, depending on the scenario, with a Remo Black X Emperor on my snare. (I just found these and am shocked at how they make my snare sound.) I firmly stand by Pearl hardware, with the exception of my DW 9000 kick pedals.
If you get a chance, check out Colourslide and listen to what I’m up to. Feel free to shoot me a message as well at [email protected]. There are a ton of more deserving people than me, so I couldn’t be more grateful for all these opportunities and hope for more in the future. I love music, love drumming, and love you all for taking the time to find out more about me.