Rob Bujak of Nova : Modern DrummerHello to all my fellow drummers! My name is Rob Bujak and I am currently drumming for the band Nova, out of San Francisco. I’m gonna have to admit that I have an obsession with drums; all I do is think about drumming. I mean this is it, I love what I do and I could never be happier with anything else. I just turned twenty-four, so my career is still pretty young. I just got off a full U.S. tour in April, so it’s definitely been a learning experience for me and the band. We’ve only been together for a year, but what we have accomplished in that year is pretty amazing.

After playing South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, we managed to rack up some endorsements that have helped us so much and made our tour so much easier to make happen. Gibson, Peavey, Ampeg, EMG, and GHS have all been very generous to us, and we couldn’t thank them enough. I still don’t see any drum companies in that list, though; having a plethora of drumsticks would be very helpful on the road.

Drumming for me started at the age of ten. I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner, since my dad is a drummer. But I remember when I was very young, I would be at my grandmother’s house and I would play my dad’s drumset (a 1968 Gretsch round-badge). I would beat the crap out of that thing. I really wish I didn’t, though–he added all these drums to it because he was a big fan of Carl Palmer–but I didn’t know any better and I ended up breaking two of his drums. I found out later that he made them in shop class in high school.

There was a moment when I was ten years old and I was driving with my parents somewhere. This was definitely the day that changed my life. I kept on trying to convince my parents to buy me a guitar that day. I only have Metallica to blame for that; I just couldn’t get over the way their guitars sounded. After hours of bugging my parents, my dad finally said, “Hey, you have a full drumset downstairs, why don’t you play that instead”? So then it started. I wanted to learn all of my music library on drums–that was my goal. I played in all sorts of bands and managed to stay pretty busy since there were only three set drummers in my school.

I thought drumming was going to be my life when I was young, but then the government stepped in. I was brainwashed and recruited into the United States Marine Corps. Soon I couldn’t stop thinking about what a horrible decision I’d made, though. I was told I was going to see the world, which sounded incredible considering all I ever saw was the state of Connecticut. Luckily–I don’t even know how–right before almost being shipped to Iraq I found out I had a hernia. They kicked me out and never heard from me again. So I went back to my old love, the drums, and never looked back. It took me a couple of years to get situated, but I took the time to practice and recorded a bunch of albums during my time back.

Finally I decided to make the big move to California and landed in San Francisco at the age of twenty. I founded the band Nova with the singer from my previous band, and we’ve been busy ever since. We recorded our debut album called, Nepenthe, and are going to be hitting the road in August for another U.S. tour.

I currently play a Tama Starclassic set with some Zildjian and Sabian cymbals. I’ve always looked up to all the jazz greats like Papa Jo Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and so on. (I’ve probably watched more drum footage than Hollywood movies.) I just can’t stop admiring everything these guys accomplished. I wish Papa Jo would get some more credit, though, as he is easily my favorite drummer of all time.

To sum up my blog, I have to say, think about the decisions you make and make sure they’re the ones you’re happy with and not something that someone else is forcing down your throat. People always think they have the best answer for you, and it’s not true. If you want to be successful, you have to take chances, and that’s not going to happen if you fall into the trap. This trap is called “routine,” which is going to work from 9 to 5 and not having anything to show for it except a paycheck. That does not sound like fun to me; I think every great band understands this and that’s why everyone remembers their names.


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