Hi to all in MD world. This is my first blog ever, and what an honor to share it with my fellow drumheads on the Web page of the best drum magazine in the world.
I have been a diehard fan of Modern Drummer magazine since I came to New York from Warsaw, Poland in 1989. I was instantly drawn to this publication for two reasons–drums and more drums. I’ve never seen such a cool magazine across the pond, behind the Iron Curtain, and I loved all the articles and advertising of all my favorite drum companies and drummers.
I started playing drums at the ripe age of fifteen (some could say “late starter”) and have been completely hooked ever since. My beginning years were concentrated around rock and metal music, but a visit to the Warsaw Jazz Festival changed my whole perception of what is possible within the music world. You could say I was hooked on jazz and fusion.
When I came to New York, I used to hang out at Manny’s Music and spend countless hours being sort of a pest and a spectator to selling, merchandizing, and running a music store. That led to me getting a job at the famed store, which led me to meeting most of my drumming idols. It was a perfect place to develop lasting relationships with many important people in the business and gather important knowledge of my instrument and gear.
Working at Manny’s allowed me to become friends with a man who eventually built my custom drums. His name is Ilyia Hamovic, and his drums are called Custom Works. I am using an unusual setup, including a 10″ tom, a 14″ floor tom, and a 20x 28 bass drum! Yeah, it’s big and obnoxious, but if you have your friend building you a drumkit, why not make it crazy and original? My sticks of choice are the Vic Firth 5B Extreme model. They’re a perfect tool if you need a little extra reach.
I use my “monster kit” to play in the band called Gwynbleidd. Our debut album is coming out October 27, 2009 on Black Currant Music. We are mainly a metal band, for the lack of a better word, but we tend to use our vast inspirations to create a fusion of music that could be called melodic metal, folk, jazz, etc.
A good example of our folk, metal, and fusion influences could be seen here in this is performance from our 2008 tour of Canada. The footage is from our appearance at the 2008 Paganfest in Montreal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0zmBVZIPG4
What I try to bring to our music is not necessary rhythm and tempo, but melody and colors. This is how I think when I listen to music. It should always be about melody and the song when you play drums. If you make it feel good, they will come and listen. Some of the people are not musicians, and they respond to music differently from us. That’s why it’s important to keep that in mind when you create your drum parts and music. For more on Adam Romanowski, go to www.myspace.com/gwynbleidd.