Photo by Charlie Meister

On His Mental Approach, Process, and Gear

Hello MD! Josh Roossin here and I play drums in the LA-based rock n’ roll band the Jacks. I’m writing this “OTB” in Columbus, Ohio after playing the DWP festival Sonic Temple. We recently signed with Universal Music’s new partnership label Edgeout Records this past January and are beyond thrilled to release our upcoming EP on June 28. We recorded at Sunset Sound with legendary producer Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5, the Replacements), and it was mixed by the incredible Andrew Scheps (Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele).

While we are a fairly new band on the scene, my experience playing and performing throughout the years has greatly transformed my mental approach to music, drumming, and performing. When I first started drumming I was concerned with playing everything perfectly. This was a blessing and a curse for me. It fueled me to practice constantly but also made the instrument a symbol of frustration at times. After the passing of my drum teacher/mentor of the past eleven years, Johnny Byrne (touring drummer for KC and the Sunshine Band), in July 2018, drumming didn’t feel quite the same. I found myself hitting a plateau in my abilities and passion for the instrument.

After a handful of months of feeling stuck and uninspired, I contacted drummer Ryland Steen (America, Reel Big Fish, Maroon 5) to study under him. He told me he’s never given a drum lesson but was willing to give it a shot. We started from scratch going back to the basic building blocks of drumming such as stick grippings, strengthening and conditioning both hands, and various warm-ups before getting behind the kit. This process felt like a Rocky Balboa/Karate Kid training experience, but it impacted my perspective, passion, and abilities tremendously. I noticed my hands becoming more equal, my endurance increasing, and most of all, my love for the instrument.

Now I no longer view the instrument with tension and frustration but with fluidity and excitement. I realized how important your mental state is when drumming and performing. I’ve found when I approach the drums with a positive mental attitude, not only do I feel more relaxed and fluid while playing, but perform and enjoy the instrument tremendously more. If something is holding back your playing or passion, I suggest re-visiting your technique, your mentality behind the kit, and the drummers who inspire you.

I’ve realized I can learn and be inspired from a wide variety of drummers. So many of their unique musical approaches (on and off stage) have greatly contributed to the drummer I am today. I find constant inspiration from my favorite jazz and classic rock drummers (Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, Steve Gadd, Johnny Byrne, Todd Sucherman, Dave Weckl, Levon Helm, John Bonham) as well as some more “modern drummers” (Ilan Rubin, Conor Dennis, Ronnie Vanucci Jr., Chad Smith, Ryland Steen, Evan Snyder, and Nolan Levine).

I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to pursue my passion each day. It would not be possible without the love, support, and inspiration from my family and friends.

For my go-to gear, I play a black sparkle Ludwig Classic Maple kit (14×24, 9×13, 16×16) with a Ludwig Supraphonic LM400 (5×14) snare. I play Zildjian (K/K Custom and A/Avedis series) cymbals. I use a DW 9000 bass drum pedal with a classic Danmar beater. My favorite drumsticks right now are the Vater 5A stretch model. I’d like to give a huge shout out to Aquarian drumheads for endorsing me as an artist and always hooking it up! I play Modern Vintage II’s on my toms, Response 2/Hi-Velocity on my snare, and a Force I for my bass drum batter head.

To stay up to date with the Jacks, check out some links below to our socials. Thanks for reading!

Watch the Jacks VEVO video station here: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCyLA_kxKnJurVsWeSya5-fQ

The Jacks YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9-phg8TZkzEkjAfBMA31gg

For more, visit thejacksbandla.com and Instagram @thejacks.