Sarab Singh of Harper Blynn
Greetings, fellow MD readers! My name is Sarab Singh, and this is my first-ever blog post for MD. I am truly honored and grateful to be doing this!
A bit about myself: I live in Brooklyn, New York, got my music degree from the University of Miami, and am a first-generation Indian from Philadelphia. I play in a band called Harper Blynn based out of Brooklyn, and often squeeze in some other gigs and recordings when I can. In addition to the recently released Harper Blynn record, Loneliest Generation, I am on albums by Wakey! Wakey!, Mieka Pauley, and Sami Akbari.
I am finishing up a seven-week national tour with Harper Blynn (I’m writing this in the van on the way from Portland to San Francisco), where we are both opening for and playing as the band for singer/songwriters Cary Brothers and Greg Laswell. This means we are traveling together (which is way too much fun), doing three sets a night and switching musical gears as we go. Each show is a long one, but I feel very lucky to have sticks in my hands for three hours a night, as most opening slots are just thirty to forty minutes (usually leaving my hands and feet craving more). I also get to use my own kit, which is not always the case as an opening act.
The Harper Blynn set is heavy on loping grooves, and I get to lay into things quite a bit, although I always have to be conscious of the layered harmonies that are often happening. Playing with Greg and Cary is truly a privilege, as they are both amazing singers, writers, and performers, and both of their sets require feel-based grooves and some hard hitting. As much bashing as I get to do, I always have to be conscious of the dynamics going on around me.
For feel and groove, some of the drummers I try to reference are Bernard Purdie, David Garibaldi, Elvin Jones, Shawn Pelton, and Matt Chamberlain. For part writing and vibe/attitude, I like to think of Ringo Starr, Jason McGerr, Ronnie Vannucci, and Dominic Howard.
As far as gear goes, I use the same setup for all three sets, which is: Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute drums, a mixed Zildjian K cymbal setup, Evans drumheads, and Vic Firth sticks. I like a warm, fat, and dry drum sound, and this generally works well for me all night.
Thanks so much to MD for having me, and to you for reading my first blog post! Happy drumming, and hope to see you out there.
For more on Sarab Singh and Harper Blynn, go to www.harperblynn.com.