Drums…gymnastics…everything I picked, I got really obsessive with. So now that I’m writing and I’m a bandleader, I’m obsessive with that.

Antonio Sanchez Cover
Antonio Sanchez

That obsessiveness helped me a lot when I was getting my stuff together. And, you know, back then there was no YouTube, and in Mexico we were isolated in terms of material you could get your hands on in order to improve. If a friend had the Weckl video, everybody would be like, “Please, just let me have it for a day….”

So I obsessed about a few little videos and worked on my technique. When I got to the States, I had a fair amount. With technique, you don’t need that much guidance—by imitation I think you can get to a pretty decent level. [Musicality], that’s a different thing altogether. When I got to Berklee, my technique would impress a lot of people; my musicality, not so much. [laughs] Those experiences were a catalyst for me to change my way of making music, my ego too.

Antonio Sánchez
Modern Drummer, August 2015