Watch part 1 of this video featuring Darren King of Mutemath’s special performance at Guitar Center’s 2012 Drum-Off Grand Finals at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, on January 19th, 2013. Darren was joined on stage by fellow Mutemath members Paul Meany and Roy Mitchell.
“Growing up,” King told Modern Drummer magazine in 2008, “I played in church and was free to be horrible on the drums. The things I learned came from playing lots of bad shows. The pressures of playing live–there are things you otherwise would never confront. You can practice all you want, but you have to play lots of bad shows first. The more bad notes, the quicker you’ll get to the good ones. That’s my theory.”
King’s galvanic, deeply improvisational drumming sounds like the result of a New Orleans groove fascination and an intense rudimental regimen. But like the best things in life, it’s really just an accident. Similarly, King’s practice sessions follow a freeform approach.
“Whenever I find something that I can’t do,” he said, “something that my brain wants to do, that’s when I slow it down and work it out. But because we’ve toured [so much], whenever I have the opportunity to play, I enjoy playing freeform. I will imagine myself in front of a crowd and I’ll just play, messing with ideas for the songs we’re writing, and focusing on creative beats.”