|Friday, 01 August 2008 11:26|
Brett Duncan Interview:
Brett: I was about 12 when i started drumming. My brother's friend had this 4 piece kit that was made of high end cardboard and came with one shitty cracked crash cymbal and a ludwig kick pedal. I couldn't play worth shit....but by brothers and i would jam on old metallica songs and "are you gonna go my way" by lenny kravitz. Badass.....
SD.com: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Brett: I played in a band called ENTROPY when i was 15-16. Just a few friends and I playing cover songs and a few originals....I thought for sure we'd get signed and tour the world....but we soon found out that Dodsland, Saskatchewan wasn't the place of opportunity for aspiring musicians.
SD.com: Who are your top 5 influences?
Brett: Being that i started playing when i was in about grade 6, Lars Ulrich from metallica and Dave Lombardo of Slayer were the 2 coolest guys in the world. I remember seeing the videos for "one" and "raining blood" on headbangers ball....and it was from that point on i knew i needed a double bass tama drum kit. And i've bought two of them since. Other early influences would be Peter Criss, Igor Cavalera, and Raymond Herrera.
SD.com: Assuming that influences doesn't mean favorites, who are your favorites?
Brett: Now days I'm listening to a lot of different drummers than when i was 12. Tomas Haake of Meshuggah and Mike Mangini are two of my favorites. I really enjoy listening to guys that have something different to offer, guys that don't play ordinary beats. Virgil Donati and Gene Hoglan are also amazing.
SD.com: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation.
Brett: Being that we're heading out on summer slaughter in a few weeks, I've been listening to lots of death metal and tech metal, like Bloodbath and Textures. Obzen from Meshuggah has been played quite a few times lately. Old Anthrax hits the cd player pretty often too. Dead Heart in a Dead >World by Nevermore is a kick ass record i listen to a lot. Van Williams is the shit.
SD.com: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Brett: I'll sit back stage and work on both the hands and feet at the same time. Mainly just paradiddles and separating left and right side single strokes. For anything over 180 or so I use double strokes for my double bass, so I also work on heel toe strokes. Then a few minutes before we get our gear on stage i'll do a few stretches, especially in my wrists and arms, being that they seem to be the first muscles to give me problems during a set.
SD.com: Can you remember a night you think was your best playing ever? If yes, when and where?
Brett: I can! Because it only happened once. We were on our Canadian tour last year and playing a tiny pub in Trois Rivieres in Quebec. The show wasn't really promoted, so there were only about 20-30 people there, including the other bands. We had about 3 shows before this that were all very small and were weren't really feeling that great about our first time in eastern Canada. The first song Nick's bass head fell off the cab and smashed on the floor as we were playing. The sound guy couldn't speak english. And for some reason i nailed the set. Everything was easy and I played better than i ever had. I guess when everything seems to be going to shit i play well. It also took the soundguy about 10 minutes to tell James that he had a toothache. Interesting!
SD.com: Do you have a favorite brand of drums or cymbals?
Brett: I've been playing Tama drums for about 6-7 years, and I love 'em. I'm playing starclassic bubingas right now, and they sound amazing. I've also used Sabian cymbals for a few years, and i really like how they have a wide variety of cymbals that all work for metal. But in the end, I'd play most gear. The sound comes out of the drummer.
SD.com: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be...
Brett: SLOW DOWN!!!! Everyone in metal wants to go faster and faster. Put the click on at a tempo that hurts your ego and practice. Also try to find different styles of drumming and music to influence you. Metal is saturated with drummers that can blast at 490 bpm. Try doing something different. And learn to spin your sticks too. It just might get you laid.
SD.com: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Brett: There have been a few shows that blew me away. Seeing Mike Mangini's drum clinic was insane. At that point i never knew that people could play on both sides of the kit. He's been a big influence on my current style of playing. Also Patrice Hamelin of Martyr was really good. So solid and nailed everything. The whole band was really cool to watch.
SD.com: If you had to stop drumming, what would you want to do with your life?
Brett: Sell everything i have and travel. It's human nature to get caught up with your own life and what you want to do. But I'm hoping that divinity will get a chance to travel a bit now that we're on a major label. I suppose selling cd's would help??