What’s up MD party people! I’m Eric W. Brown, and much like a lot of you, I play the drums. I suppose you can say I’ve been doing that for more than twenty years, because I have. But you don’t have to say that if you don’t want to, you can literally say anything you want, nobody will stop you. That’s why life is so great.
I play drums for the Goblin-metal band Nekrogoblikon and over the years have enjoyed touring across the galaxy as a part of that and countless other groups from pirate metal to tech death to pop rock. Sometimes I even paint my face and scream into a microphone with Game Boy backing tracks. Just ask my mom if you don’t believe me.
I took private lessons for seven years when I was first starting out from a crotchety old jazz dude in the DC area by the name of Walter Salb. Ever seen the movie Whiplash? J.K. Simmons plays the sweet, innocent Disney version of my drum teacher. Walter taught me all kinds of stuff, including why I should be afraid for my life if I didn’t practice every day.
Being a drummer is both a blessing and a curse. It requires a lot of time and space, often some extra real estate, and you’ll always have the most gear to load and set up every day at every show. But if you’re dedicated enough to your craft, there’s never any shortage of work for a halfway decent drummer because the ratio of drummers to guitarists is something like 1 in 400,000,000. I’m pretty sure that’s close to a real statistic. (laughs)
I think in this digital age there’s a hell of a lot of pressure to do things a certain way to find success with your music, not to mention there’s always some twelve year old with abilities worlds beyond what you’ve been working towards for the last twelve years at least, and that can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. That will never change, so crying about it is a big waste of time. Everyone is different, so it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to compare yourself to other people. I think the whole point is to enjoy what you do and if it’s something you want to make a living from, it’s as simple as maintaining a clear vision of what you want no matter how inconceivable it might seem. Working towards it and being too stubborn to quit is the only way to make it happen. Learning some recording software, even on a basic level, will give you a huge leg up as well. Things really do have a way of working themselves out as long as you stay true to yourself and do things in your own way, full stop.
As for gear, I currently don’t have any endorsements to speak of so I pledge no allegiance and have to pay full price, but I get down on Yamaha drums and a rotating cast of Sabian, Meinl, Zildjian, Wuhan, and Paiste cymbals. I’ve been using Axis pedals for more than a decade so I’m pretty comfortable with lightweight direct drive pedals, and for ripping some fast double bass I like the EKIT trigger system for being the most accurate kick triggers I’ve used. The Roland TM-2 module is fantastic for its portability and SD card slot. My favorite piece of the kit is my metronome and in-ear monitors.
This was fun getting to do this “On The Beat.” Thank you for the opportunity! Now get off the Internet and go practice!
And check out the band’s FB page at facebook.com/nekrogoblikon.
Watch Nekrogoblikon “The Skin Thief” drum play-through here:
Photo credit: Randy Edwards