Nick Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter; photo by Daniel FaraoneI’ve been playing drums for about fifteen years. I remember asking my dad for a drumset in middle school and getting an assortment of electronic odds and ends, which I put together to make a kit. He said if I showed a genuine interest in drumming and practicing, he would buy me a real kit. I played that little “Frankenkit” as often as I could, and I had it set up so I could play along to CDs. I started playing to Aerosmith and Joe Satriani. After a while, I got into the Dave Matthews Band, then Weather Report, then Dave Weckl with Chick Corea. I just kept buying CDs and learning how to play to them. Looking back, they were mostly jazz-fusion, but I found those to be the most challenging and rewarding rhythms and patterns to learn.

My first kit had 12″, 13″, and 16″ toms. I thought the two rack toms were much too close together in pitch, and since purchasing my Yamaha Beech Custom set, I’ve tried to keep all the toms in 2″ intervals or more, and I’m much happier with the tonal response. When recording the new Dear Hunter album, Act III: Life And Death, we experimented with different snares, mics, mic positions, and EQs song by song. I was very happy with the Tama and Pork Pie snares we used on the album. It was a lot of fun designing different kits for different songs. I’m more used to the rushed recording style that uses the same sounds on every song, and it was refreshing being able to take our time and think out our approach for each song.

I’m really happy with how the drums came out on Act III. Mike Watts did and incredible job mixing the album, and he made my drums sound amazing. To hear it for yourself, check out, and pick up the new album on June 23 on Triple Crown Records!

Photo by Daniel Faraone,