Hello MD! Shad here and I have been fascinated with drums as far back as I can remember. When I was two years old, my parents got tired of continually picking up pots and pans and wooden spoons off the floor. I think they understood my determination even then.
My father, a kind of musical polymath, plays acoustic guitar, piano, fiddle, and sings. I play multiple instruments as well, but drums have long overshadowed them all. In 1986, my father recorded my heartbeat while I was in my mother’s womb. It was used in a record providing a backbeat for one of his songs.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, the land of hip-hop and R&B. And while I appreciate all types of music, I don’t feel I fit into just one particular mold. My first heroes/mentors were Mike Portnoy, Carter Beauford, and the late, great Neil Peart. Portnoy taught me technicality and how to write drum parts. From Carter Beauford I learned finesse and groove, and how to be a pocket player with just the right amount of dazzle. And, of course, Neil, need I say more?
I have lived in Nashville since 2002. While there is a variety of music in this town for all tastes, and while I appreciate and can learn from them all, including country music, I need thunder. I need that synthesis of chaos and magic. That’s what drives me. Because of that, my band Framing Hanley has been a perfect fit, with thunder of its own, and keeps me moving forward, evolutionary state by evolutionary state as a drummer. I love what we create together. Three years in the making, Framing Hanley has just released a new album called ENVY (from Thermal Entertainment).
The best advice I can give a drummer (I learned this from Jay Baumgardner at NRG studios) is to listen to what your singer is singing. With the drummer and the lead singer being in sync and punching the high points together, the rest of the band will naturally find its groove within. Make your kick complement the vocal and that magic will happen. And vice versa. Sometimes I play to our singer Nixon. Sometimes he plays to me. Over time, we’ve developed a mutual respect that helps us create the best music that can exist between us.
This year marks twenty years of playing drums. I’ve used my current kit, an ’80s Pearl Birch Studio, since the beginning. It hits hard, like I do. I’ve always used Zildjian cymbals, but love my twenty-dollar Wuhan China that most drummers have bought at some point (the best secret in the drum world). My hardware is all Pearl and DW. I absolutely love 3rd & 4th Drums’ snares and TnR’s Booty Shakers that make my drums sound much bigger.
My wife Robin and our two boys are the loves of my life. After them, playing drums and creating music has been and will remain my vessel.
Please follow me on social media @fhshadteems and thanks for reading!
Watch a drum play-through video of “Misery” by Framing Hanley here:
For more on Framing Hanley, visit https://www.facebook.com/FramingHanley/.
Photos courtesy of Tanner Roman