Keep up with Dan here:
Well, I discovered the majesty of drumming at the age of 13yrs,Â I won't bore you with how i got into metal which was 3 yrs previous. Listening to bands such as slayer, megadeth, forbbiden, corosion of conformity, napalm death, carcass, sepultura opened me up to a new way of drumming, I wanted to be those guys, nick menza, gene hoglan, dave lombardo (who didnt).Â I went straight into the band thing along with a couple of friends who were just as bad as me, from the offset we were about doing OUR songs, no covers ( I had air drumming at home to "angel of death" for that). We did our first demo in an attic when i was just 15yrs old & I still look back with pride when I hear it......hey,Â I made mistakes, yetÂ I learned from them.
That pretty much has been the formula for the last 15yrs - Record, Play to anyone who would hear it, practice, write, air drum, record, play live.......eventually i thought the more i do it the better i would get. I started & still do my rudiments to this day, you have to have em` however on an approach level, it has to be about how good the song sounds not look at me (whichÂ I used to do many a year ago for a time).
I have done various albums with bands, also appeared alongside some cool
bands, all of which have taught me lessons about playing for good or bad.
Various demos with my first band Epithaph: 1994 - 97`
2 demos with THINE 96` & 97`
X1 Album with BROKEN (old epitaph lot): skytorn: 98`
X2 albums with THINE: atown like this (98) & in therapy (2002)
X2 demos with SERMON OF HYPOCRISY (2002 - 2004)
X1 Ep with THE RAVEN THEORY: gone is the fragile (2006)
X1 album with BAL-SAGOTH: the chthonic chronicles (2006)
X1 album with WARBAS**RD (2007 due out)
X1 album with MINETHORN (2007 due out)
Currently I am in the middle of recording songs for BLACK MILLENIUM (heavy black, death, industrial metal) & starting work on the new AXIS OF PERDITION album in a month or so. I do not know when the work will be begin however I will be handling the recording duties for the next MY DYING BRIDE record. LiveÂ I have played with all the above (except warbas**rd) everytime is an experience & most often a learning oneÂ I have had the honour of playing the wacken festival in Germany, metalmanin festivals in Ploand / Hungary. The amount of bands is maddening after constant playing over 15yrs: Sepultura, paradise lost, iron monkey, earthtone 9, lost prophets, cannibal corpse, zyklon, my dying bride (whilst in broken), cradle of filth, nevermore, satyricon, helloween, strain, bloodstream, solstice, kryokill, anal nathrak, testament.......& most reccently the Uk`s DOWNLOAD festival & in July, I wil be supporting MASTADON & METALLICA.
Dan Mullins Interview:
SD.com: When did you start playing drums?
DM: at the age of 13yrs......my dad had a snare drum rudiments book by buddy rich & a practice pad from his closet drumming days......some friends & i wanted to form a band as we had reccently discovered megadeth & slayer. He gave me my first lessons.
SD.com: Do you play in a school band or any drum corps?
DM: I didnt do any classical / corps stuff in school, i did have a kinda band with school mates.......we would learn black sabbath, cream, iron maiden, deep purple covers & play em on a lunch time, as well as do our own thing......i was into kieth moon & would regularly go off on one...... we became an atraction & people started to come see us & watch, which made us a little more popular with the other kids, (laughs) no more beatings for this metal freak, phew!
SD.com: Have you ever taken any lessons?
DM: a few private lessons & some in college, the college course i learnt about grooves & ghosting notes, i have always kept up with my rudiments, not in a chop miester way though, just as a matter of warm up & routine, my instructor taugh me how to break things down & how to read / write.Â My 1st instructor was a jazz guy, as i was a metal kid we conflicted in style a little......he tried to teach me how to swing on my 3rd lesson, showed me some good groove bits wgich i lapped up, got some jazz fusion fills out of
him & then i lost interest, i was too much into what i wanted to do, play metal.Â the only other 2 guys whom have helped me have been bill law a guy from canada whom attended berkly & was in a group here in britain.....we became friends & he showed me groove to clicks, salsa`s, ostinatos, introduced me to terry bozzio, dave weckl, i already knew of dennis chambers, greg bissonette, mike portnoy, gene hoglan, dave lombardo & loved to air drum along with phil rudd, ian paice, as well as the previous
drummers stated.Â the last guy to sit down & teach me anything really was mosse of paradise lost (ex-now) he gave me more confidence with the kick and showed me how to use it in the studio for writting, when to & NOT to listen to it.
SD.com: Who are your top 5 influences?
DM: My Dad, Buddy Rich (the one & only), Mike portnoy (dream theater), sean rienert (death, cynic), paul mazerkeiweiz (cannibal
corpse)...........these guys started me off, & pushed me the direction, my philosophy being ( i have to play to the level of these guys or i should quit)
SD.com: Assuming that influences doesn't mean favorites, who are your favorites?
DM:my most enjoyables are - lars ulrich ( whom i met reccently in greece at the rockwave fest`, he cool), gene hoglan (another cool guy), Mike portnoy (i love his paying so much it rules), nick barker (blaster barker kicks major ass), dave lombardo, steve ashiem, vinnie paul, ian paice, john bonham, greg bissonette.
i must admit it is a little difficult to go between favourites & influences, i love anything that inspires me, even if it is rain drops falling on the window, train track rythms, drilling in the street.......if i get in the zone, i am there. alot of my drumming goes off in the mind, that & my instruments are always with me so a tap here there whilst on a train or bus..........
SD.com: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
DM: Well you have pick ed a time as i am going through my cds, actively changing what i listen to shaking up the mood so to speak, i go through phases......
1. Metallica - And justice for all
2. Dream theater - systematic chaos
3. opeth - orchid
4. Mudvayne - Ld50
5. Porcupine tree - Deadwig
SD.com: Do you practice any specific rudiments or combo's regularly?
DM: I do, basic rudiments, paradiddles ( varients), double stroke rolls, flams, marching rhythms, also note values going from whole notes to 32nd notes & down again to a click & free form, the down up pull technique grooving to a click in a rock beat 4/4.
also regular double bass playing, straight, flicks, rolls, fills between toms n` snare combo`s......2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ect
i also practice beats & fills i love by my fav bands / drummers......it is an advantage of having a kit in ones house & been able to play it.
SD.com: What is your favorite part of your drum kit?
DM: My snare, it has been with me for years, Â£120 for my 13 x 5 maple piccolo snare. sounds punchy & deap on record & thwacks a belter live!
SD.com: If you could give one piece of advice to younger drummers, it would be...
DM: practice your rudiments, they may seem boring at first however they open up doors for your playing later on, listen to your favs & work out on your own, play like you want it to sound not how others tell you it should sound, there in lies the path to your own sound, if it feels write do it, if it doesnt, make it yours, nothing has to sound like anything......be yourself.
SD.com: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
DM: wow, how fair is that.......i know i am gonna offend some of my buddys now, (laughs)..........ok, best i have seen live - Danny Carey from TOOL, awe inspiring, AWE & then SOME inspiring
SD.com: Aside from drumming, what else do you do with your life?
DM: i am an engineer / producer, i have started out only a few years back however i have been doing the demo recording for local bands, helping them along, giving them advice when needed, i also wrote & record my own stuff. besides researching ancient cultures & the unexplained weird world we live on the internet........i reccently discovered the majesty of a PS2.....yeah i know slow to catch on, was busy practicing (hint hint)