Hello all! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Austin Lane from Bournemouth, England. I am the drummer for the band Seven, and I am a drum department manager and all-round drum geek.
I began playing drums at the age of ten, with the usual route of a practice pad, rudiments, and metronome, before acquiring a secondhand Olympic/Ajax kit. I started gigging at the age of twelve, before acquiring my Ludwig kit at the age of fifteen. That was a happy day in my house!
I left school and went into playing army bases, cabarets, functions, and the usual. At the age of twenty-one, I was in a band that was sponsored by a UK institution called South West Jazz. It allowed me to play some great music with guys a lot older and better than me. In the late ’80s, I played with a band named Dancing in English, and we signed to EMI, recorded one single, and were dropped. I then joined Face to Face, a huge band in South Africa that had migrated to England. Face to Face became Seven.
We toured relentlessly, opening for such acts as the Monkees, Jason Donovan, and Richard Marx. We released two singles through Polydor, both produced by John Parr (St. Elmo’s Fire) before things began to fall apart. So from being hailed “the next big thing,” we were suddenly left with no money, no dreams, and no future. We never fell out as a band, we just had nowhere else to go, legal wrangles had us tied up, and we were exhausted.
I moved into managing a retail drum store, Poole Percussion, before setting up the drum department at Absolute Music four years ago. If you are ever in Bournemouth, England, I’m always glad to talk about round badge Gretsch drums or Radio Kings.
I stayed in touch with Keith (guitar) and Simon (keyboards), who moved back to South Africa, while Mick (vocals), Pat (bass), and myself stayed in Bournemouth. Last year, Pat recorded with a singer named Bobby Hart, and it was discovered that the owner of the record company, a gentleman named Khalil Turk, was a big fan of Seven. Pat promptly contacted us all and the original lineup reformed for the album 7, all thanks to Khalil’s vision. All the songs were recorded in different parts of the world and were masterfully produced in Sweden by Lars Chriss.
The moral here is to never give up chasing the dream. Be honest with yourself. I never had a plan B—it was drums or nothing. So whether you make a living selling or renovating drums, teaching or playing, you are a great success and are one of the chosen few. I am a very lucky man who dreamt as a thirteen year old of playing Hammersmith Odeon and making a record. I’ve since made a few records and played Hammersmith thirteen times!
Hold on to your dreams, and never lose sight. You never know what’s around the corner.
For more on Austin and Seven visit facebook.com/pages/SEVEN-Fanpage, and watch the videos below.