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Drummers always get a bum rap. Why is that? Ever seen a good band with a shitty drummer? No. Know why? BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST. 

Drummers rule! We hit stuff, get peoples’ butts shaking, and ultimately determine whether or not the band is going to perform well. You CANNOT have a solid band without a solid drummer, so this column is for the hitters.

Following their brief East Coast run, I caught up with OWL drummer Dan Dinsmore to get an introduction to his performance career, gear, and what albums he thinks every drummer should have in their catalogue.  And for you left coasters, maker sure to catch the band when they hit your area later this month! Dates listed below.

Interview:

G- How long have you been playing drums and when did you get started?

D- I have been playing drums since I was 12 years old. I got started by playing on sofas, chairs and a flipped over Yankees garbage can as a stool.

G- Which drummers and/or albums inspired your drum performance? Give us (3) must have albums for drummers to listen to for technique, touch, or taste.

D- 1. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

2. The Jackson Five – Going Back to Indiana

3. Fleetwood Mac – Rumors

G- How long have you been playing professionally and what was your first project?? Do you remember the moment that you really felt that drum performance was your calling?

D- I have been playing professionally since exiting high school. My first touring project was a band called East Wall. We toured quite a bit and it was a thrilling experience. I felt it was my calling as far back as I can remember, I just felt very comfortable playing and communicating through the drums. 

G- Let’s talk gear for a second… What is your current rig looking like? What kind of drums and cymbals are you using primarily, what configurations, and what companies are backing you up at this time?

D- My current rig changes in size from time to time. I am playing Spaun Drums and SCYMTEK cymbals.

I am backing both of those companies at this time. My configuration live is typically 22, 10,16, 14 inch snare, 14 inch hihats, 16, 18, 19 crash, 22 ride 18 china boy. For studio I vary but typically use 22, 10,12, 14, 16, 18 14 inch snare, 14 inch hihats, 16, 18, 19 crash, 22 ride 18 china boy.

G- How often do you find yourself practicing independent from your performances? Any warm up tips or advice you can offer for our readers?

D- I practice randomly sometimes every day and sometimes not at all. I warm up by doing wrist exercises and stretches. 

G- What is the worst drum-related injury you’ve sustained from playing? What happened and what was the injury?

D- I split my hand open once by smashing cymbals with my hands but that was kind of silly. I had some knee issues such as a torn meniscus from playing all these years. 

G- How does international performance compare with your performances stateside, both in terms of how you play and the audience reaction?

D- It does not change my performance or how I approach playing at all. 

G- What is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?

D- The craziest show I played was a big radio show where the crowd was so insane the police surrounded the stage and the crowd was kicking up so much dirt all I could see was dirt flying and police lights.   It was an amazing experience.

G- Lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming drummers everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional drummer?

D- My advice is to just believe in yourself and follow your dreams. Anything you will do is going to be hard work.  There are not many things in life that are easy. 

OWL Tour Dates (West Coast)

6/21 Santa Barbara, Ca. – Whiskey Richards

6/22 Los Angeles, Ca. – Viper Room