Pete Rock
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 18:05

Keep up with Pete here:

 
 
 
 
 
Pete Rock is a member of The Vile Impurity and is also a drum instructor at The Rock Shop in Springfield, Illinois. Pete currently averages 45 students a week and has taken part in clinics around the area. His other works include; Vivesect, After the Burning, and Novaseason. He has done session work for The Dogs Divine and was also a member of Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky. Pete’s passion for music flows forth through every performance, practice, thought, and vision. His focus and determination is what fuels his desire to achieve greatness and continuously strive for perfection. This young man works hard and puts his heart into everything that he sets his mind on. His future is bright and will show the results of what hard work can accomplish. His legacy will speak for itself through performances, albums, or the very students that will one day carry on his methods.
 
 
Pete Rock Interview:
 
 
SDM: How old were you when you started playing?
 
Pete: I was 10 years old when I got my first set. It was a Pearl Export Series 5-piece kit that I still have and actually use to teach on now. I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I turned 13 years old, though. My mother passed away around that time and I used drums to help cope with that. From the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed, I would practice as much as I could. Drumming became an escape for me, allowing me a way to communicate how I felt through music, rather than words. It still allows me that opportunity, which makes me feel fortunate in finding such ways to express myself entirely. It’s such a beautiful form of art that has been essential to my development over the years. It’s as important to me as the air I breathe or the food I eat.
 
 
SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
 
Pete: I joined the school band in 4th grade. Through my years in the program, I took part in every available opportunity presented. Jazz ensemble, pep band, marching/drum corps, orchestra pit, and whatever other opening there was that I could fill. I loved having the chance to learn something new through these outlets and showcasing the pieces in front of audiences. I stayed in the music program from then until my sophomore year of high school. I would have continued, but my band director presented me with an ultimatum, either choosing the school band or the band I had joined outside of school. It was an easy choice. Every weekend we were playing shows in surrounding towns and I loved the thrill of being on stage. Plus, how could you pass up the bar scene while being only 15 years old? haha
 
 
SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?
 
Pete: Can I say Derek Roddy and his limbs as the remaining four influences? Haha. The dude is insane and deserves everything he has worked so hard for. Every time I watch him play, I’m inspired to go sit behind my drum set for hours on in. His ability to execute such flawless precision and accuracy through every note played is simply remarkable and something to be admired. I mean to think of the time and patience he has put into developing such great technique and vast overall knowledge of the instrument, is motivation within itself. He is a legend, in my eyes, and continues to impress me each time I hear him play.  I would have to say, besides Roddy, it would have to be John Longstreth, George Kollias, Gene Hoglan, and Kevin Talley. All these guys, in one way or the other, have inspired me to continue pursuing my dreams of being a professional musician. Seeing the great strides that each one has made in developing such a technical style of drumming is amazing. They continuously push the envelope and raise the bar for the rest of us to compare our own playing to. They are the guys that have really put their hearts into everything they’ve done and inspire so many others to do the same.
 
 
 
 
SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?
 
Pete: Danny Carey, Josh Freese, Vinnie Paul, Sean Kinney, Brann Dailor, Shannon Lucas, Paul Mazurkiewicz, Marco Pitruzzella, Samus Paulicelli, Danny Walker, Blake Richardson, Dave Mann, Chris Adler, Joey Jordison, Thomas Haake, Mario Duplantier, Mike Heller, Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka, Chris Pennie, Brad Wilk, Dave McClean, Igor Cavalera, Tim Yeung, Nick Barker, Steven Bache, Francesco Paoli, and many great others whom I have probably forgotten to mention. Whatever genre they exist within, they are exciting to watch and are admirable for many different reasons. They have all had a major impact on my playing and continue to inspire me to better myself.
 
 
SDM: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
 
Pete:
 
Glass Casket – We Are Gathered Here Today
Decapitated – The Negation
Hate Eternal – I, Monarch
Mastodon – Crack the Skye
Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill
 
 
SDM: What do you do to warm up before a show?
 
Pete: I make sure to stretch as much as possible and keep my muscles loose. Afterwards, I usually take my throne and use it as a practice pad to warm up with. I mainly run paradiddle exercises, alternating between singles, doubles, and triples. I then do short bursts with each hand doing single strokes for durations of 4 to 8 measures before switching. I follow that with a double stroke roll burn out and then usually hit the paradiddles up again. Right before we play, I stretch one last time and then it’s off to the races.
 
 
SDM: Do you read music? Regardless of answering yes or no, please tell us how it might have effected your playing?
 
Pete: I learned to read notation through the school program I was enrolled in. Before getting my drum set, I was confined to my snare drum and practice pad to learn the essential rudiments required to progress. I showed my dedication and determination early on in hopes of obtaining a drum set later. I continued studying throughout the years and thought it would be important to retain the knowledge later down the road. To this day, I purchase new books that allow me to approach the set with a broader understanding, and then incorporate new methods that I have learned. Since I also teach, this has become a fundamental part of my lessons. I make sure each of my students are well versed in their understanding of music comprehension and can discover the many opportunities that present themselves through doing so. On their first lesson, I teach them, “If you can say it, you can play it.” If ever there is a situation in reading music that you don’t understand or can’t identify, count it out loud and decipher the timing behind the notes. If you can verbally count this notation out loud, then executing it should be no problem. This has become a staple in my development and to each of theirs. In my opinion, being able to read and understand music is essential to your growth as a musician.
 
 
 
 
SDM: Can you tell us about the gear you use?
 
Pete: I have a Gretsch Maple Renown drum kit and use a variety of cymbals at the moment. My shell sizes include an 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16”, and 18” tom selection with two 22” bass drums. I have two snares that I cycle between; 14”x3.5” Pearl free floating maple piccolo and a 14”x6” Orange County Drum and Percussion vented maple. I use Zildjian A Custom Crashes, Z Custom and K Custom Hi-Hats, Oriental Chinas, a Sabian Hand Hammered Dark Ride, and a Sabian auxiliary bell. I proudly use Axis longboards and trigger my bass drums using an Alesis DM5 module. My rack is Pacific Drum and Percussion with Pearl cymbal and tom mounts. I use DW hi-hat and remote hi-hat hardware stands. Evans heads and Pro-Mark 747 Shira Kashi Oak sticks.    
 
 
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be...
 
Pete: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
 
 
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
 
Pete: Tool/Danny Carey. My buddy called me and said he had a few extra tickets to go see them in St. Charles, Missouri. I quickly got in my truck and headed there to find out that the tickets were to a private seating area where they brought us buckets of beer, mounds of food, and tucked away in perfect viewing of the stage. They performed for around 3 hours without missing a single note, accompanied by a terrific stage and light show. They included every song you would want to hear and even renditions of their own work. The crowd was entranced, enthralled, and captivated by the atmosphere created by these unearthly musicians. It was a show I had been waiting my whole life to see and left me fulfilled by the privilege of getting to share such a terrific experience. It was a show that I will never forget for all the right reasons. To be honest, you just had to be there…  
 
 
SDM: Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?
 
Pete: I love to read. I have a stockpile of books and graphic novels. There’s nothing like losing yourself in some elaborate world that the author has fabricated out of his very words, allowing you to explore these endless possibilities through the art of literature. I play a lot of guitar and record music in my free time away from drumming. It gives me an outlet to express myself and produce what I am hearing within my head. I love spending time with my beautiful girlfriend, no matter what it is that we are doing. Just being around her fills me with more joy than I could ask for. I love cooking food, especially cheeseburgers. I love drinking beer, especially Pabst. I just try to do whatever puts a smile on my face and keeps me happy. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time and you just got to make the most out of every situation. Enjoy every breath like it’s your last. That’s the American Dream, right?
 

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