I started getting interested in music when i was 10 years old. My dad would put on old AC/DC records and i guess it all came from that. I began air drumming and tapping along, and because i could catch on so quick to AC/DC, it encouraged me to keep going. My dad bought me an instuctional video of how to play a simple rock beat, so i just kept on practicing to that on shoe boxes and phone books until i finally went to a music store and played a real kit. Once i got my own kit, i took private lessons for the following three years.
When it came time to go to highschool, my drum teacher recommended a local fine arts school.Â I applied there and got in and learned most of what i know now. In the summer before nineth grade, i joined a local band who were much older than me. We played around town and such but it wasnt all too serious. We didnt do any touring until much later and then we eventually broke up. In that time i started writing my own songs and gradually took over a lot of the song writing within the band.Â Also within that time i joined another band.
I would consider my playing most consistent and stylized in the last 2 or 3 years since my band, A Textbook Tragedy has gotten more and more serious. I feel i have found my niche in this band. My guitar playing and drumming challenge each other to do new things and to create music that i am happy with. Im no virtuoso on guitar, but i definately drive myself to play more creative things on the drums. In this band we tour quite often and that is when i do most of my playing. I love putting on a show and my personality definately comes across in my playing.
SD.com: How old were you when you started playing?
Nick: 10 years old.
SD.com: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Nick: in highschool i played in the jazz bands, concert bands, and orchestras among other ensembles. good times! helped me a lot musically, not just with percussion.
SD.com: Who are your top 5 influences?
Nick: right now? id say ben koller (converge), alexander litinsky (am overcast), chris pennie (dillinger escape plan), nick steczkiewicz, and buddy rich!
SD.com: Assuming that influences doesn't mean favorites, who are your favorites?
Nick: i suppose those guys are my favorites, but lately ive been listening to Animosity quite a bit and that guy is insane! hes a youngen, too! im a big Abe Cunningham (deftones) fan. he does some tasty stuff in those songs.Â One of my best friends Stefan Tavares is the sickest player ever and i can never get tired of hearing him play. he always stumps me and then i have to try to trick him. Branden Morgan from Misery Signals is definately a huge favorite of mine.Â Loren Legare from Living With Lions always gets me stoked. Oh, and lets not forget Jeff Porcaro!
SD.com: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
Converge - No Heroes Ten Second Epic - Count Yourself In Living With Lions - Dude Manor In Stride - Total Demonstration Misery Signals - Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
SD.com: Do you practice any particular rudiments or combos on a regular basis?
Nick: Usually when i play, its just me writing new material and coming up with new weird things to put into songs. a couple of weeks ago i saw a virgil donati video and he was playing a double paradiddle between his left foot and left hand, and a single paradiddle between his right hand and right foot. its pretty nuts and i have tried it a few times. its my next goal! also, i want to get more confident and consistent with my gravity blasting, so i usually try that when im warming up before a show.
SD.com: Do you have a favorite brand of drums?
Nick: I've been playing OCDP for a couple years now and i love them!Â i have always been a fan of theirs since i got No Doubts Tragic Kingdom album in the fifth grade and heard the snare tone. They are amazing drums and i always get comments on how they sound, and look. my bass drum is kind of over the top.
SD.com: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be...
Nick: dont listen to screamo! and on a more serious note, dont limit yourself and your playing by only listening to a certain genre of music. find your own unique influences and use them accordingly. oh, and take lessons when you start out to avoid delevoping any bad habits.
SD.com: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Nick: probably chris pennie the first time i saw dillinger escape plan in vancouver. i thought he was having a seizure during the first song.
SD.com: If you had to stop drumming, what would you want to do with your life?
Nick: i'd play guitar in a rediculous touring hardcore band! that or become a professional bowler. pretty straight forward