The 'Drummer Spotlight' provides a platform for us to feature drumming talents from around the world, we have the chance to discover some of the very best drumming talents and can gain an insight into the drummer’s achievements, their drumming style and advice they’d like to pass onto fellow drummers. More than anything this is a chance for one drummer every month to shine.
This month’s ‘Drummer Spotlight’ has been placed on Michael Mather, Michael's interest in drumming started when he was very young, in fact around the age of 2/3 years old. Michael reminisces on the times he used to bang away on his grandma's pots and pans and after some time this lead to her getting him a children's sized drum kit as a Christmas gift and the rest they say is history!
Fast forward to 2018 and you can find Michael performing drums and percussion in a variety of situations, ranging from original rock music through to orchestral music. After studying and gaining both a 2:1 classification in BMus (Hons) in Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music at University of Sunderland, Michael is now furthering his musical knowledge by studying a Postgraduate MMus Masters Degree at Newcastle University. This bank of musical knowledge has allowed Michael to coach and teach drums on a regular basis as well as occasionally leading drumming workshops in schools.
Michael's describes his drumming style as a hybrid of jazz and rock, a very animated and dynamic style. His versatile style is also echoed into his current workload, Michael is currently performing for a variety of musicals over the coming months but he notes his biggest upcoming drum performance to be when he heads into the studio with local live force Ten Eighty Trees. Michael is the drummer/percussionist for a couple of original up and coming bands, one of which being Ten Eighty Trees and together they are gearing up for their first big release (keep your eyes peeled on social media over the next few months). Another one of Michael's originals bands is Sauvage, they've got some cool shows coming up soon, check out their video for Chameleon below.
Michael shared his proudest drumming moment with us and it really does echo the fact that persistence and perseverance is key to becoming a successful drummer. Check out Michael's proudest drumming moment below:
"My proudest drumming moment was arguably the first time I played Sage 2 at the age of 14. I was playing in a concert band for the first time and was tasked with performing Weather Report's Birdland in front of a packed audience. I had been struggling to play it for weeks and had just managed to learn it on the day of the gig. I somehow managed to pull it off much to the delight (and relief) of me and the conductor. "
We asked Michael what advice he would give to new drummers and here's what he had to say:
"The two most important things are technique and sound. Both go hand in hand and can easily take you from sounding like you are starting out to sounding like a good drummer in no time at all. Your technique does not have to be perfect but it should allow you to achieve the sound you want. I see so many drummers gripping their sticks way too tight and bashing the skins without thinking about the sound they are producing. Extreme dynamics can also really help create a good sound behind the kit. If you are going to play loud then play that little bit louder and if you are going to play quiet then play that little bit quieter. It shows the listener/audience member that you know what you are doing and can really help take your playing to the next level. Some great drummers to check out that have a clear and distinct sound would be Matt Tong of Bloc Party (check out the tune Positive Tension), JoJo Mayer of Nerve (check out the tune Everything Can Change) and Dave Grohl of Nirvana (check out the tune Milk It)."
A very sound piece of advice that really shows Michael's wealth of drumming experience! We're all for looking to the future here at Drum Shop and love to find out what our drummers are wanting to achieve in the coming year, so this is what Michael had to say when we asked him what his drumming goals for next year were:
"Ultimately the goal is to do more shows and expand my music network. I'd also love to take one of my originals bands, Ten Eighty Trees on the road. It would be nice to destroy some ear drums for some unsuspecting people haha!"
With his obvious work ethic and versatility Michael's dream gig of playing Wembley Stadium or even The Colosseum, Rome we're sure his hard work will certainly take him places.
We asked Michael what his favourite product would be if was asked to choose one from our huge range of percussion products here at Newcastle Drum Centre and Michael was absolutely certain he'd choose from our range of Mapex snare drums and not just any snare, his favourite would have to be the Mapex Black Panther snares, as Michael says "they just have a certain sound that is unbeatable for the price!"
Do you want to get involved in our monthly Drummer Spotlight? Click here to apply and you could be in the spotlight next month!