Hey guys, I’m Ben Jolliffe from Young Guns. We’re currently touring in support of our new album, Bones, which will be released in the U.S. on September 4.
My dad bought me my first kit when I was five. It was a Pearl Export, and I could barely reach the pedals. He knew I wanted to be a drummer because apparently I’d tap on everything, even turning saucepans upside down to play. I guess he thought buying me a kit would save money on broken kitchen appliances.
I come from a very musical family, and since I can remember I knew I’d have a life in music. My dad used to take me to rock shows from a young age, and I’ve seen the likes of Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and AC/DC. My best mate’s dad is Malcolm Young, so I’ve been lucky to see AC/DC my whole life all around the world. I knew I wanted to take up drums properly when I’d see Phil Rudd play. I love how hard he hit the drums, and how cool he looked playing whilst smoking a cigarette.
I played my first-ever gig with my dad’s band at the age of nine and started playing in my own bands at about thirteen. There was a beautiful venue in my hometown where we’d always play. It was a strip club in the day then a grotty venue at night. I always made sure I’d get there nice and early “to set up.” There was a great music scene in my town when I was growing up, and it meant we got to play live music to a crowd most weeks.
When I turned sixteen my parents gave me the choice of going to university or getting the kit of my dreams. I chose a seven-piece Drum Workshop Collectors series kit. I still have it and will for the rest of my life.
I’d put on my favorite bands like the Foo Fighters, Blink-182, and Green Day and play along. I really think doing that has made me the drummer I am today. I will always play a show with as much passion and energy as possible. I hate seeing drummers that look like they don’t want to be there.
I’m lucky to be supported by Yamaha, Zildjian, Pro-Mark, and Remo. I’ve been playing a Yamaha Rock Tour kit for the last couple of years and just ordered a white Absolute Custom Birch kit with the fast 12″ rack and 16″ and 18″ floors.
If I was to give advice to any drummers starting out, it would be to make or join a band and try to play live as much as you can. It doesn’t matter if you suck, girls will still think you’re cool and you’ll only get better. You’ll also soon adapt the confidence that is so crucial in a drummer’s career. I’d also recommend listening to Young Guns, because the drumming is just great! : )
For more on Ben Jolliffe and Young Guns, go to facebook.com/younggunsuk.