|Friday, 12 September 2008 11:24|
Keep up with Eli here:
During my final year at Temple I began teaching private drum lessons at a number of middle and high schools in the greater Philadelphia area. I graduated with my Bachelors of Music degree in Spring of 2006 (after a 5th year of music technology courses) and was into the real world! Luckily my teaching jobs were already supporting me and I was able to stay concentrated on music. I slowly began joining/starting new bands in Philadelphia as I became a part of the local music scene. *Normal Love*, which formed as I was finishing college, was very exciting for me because in addition to being my first real Philly band, the music was unlike anything I had ever heard and the other guys in the band were all incredibly talented. We released our debut album on High Two Records in Nov of 2007, toured the US and Canada for the past 2 summers, and were recently featured in the Summer issue of Sign To Noise Magazine (a nationally distributed experimental music magazine). I have a number of other groups now as well, all of varying degrees of activity, which I will list below. I have also started doing session work and am currently in full-on "professional drummer" mode.
Eli: I was 9 yrs old, in the 4th grade. I remember very clearly, at the beginning of the school year, my homeroom teacher asking if anyone wanted to play an instrument in the band and I think I immediately knew that I wanted to play the drums.
SD.com: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Eli: I was in the band in middle school, then concert band, jazz band and marching band in high school. Though our marching band percussion section wasn't big enough for us to march with the rest of the band (there was just 1 person for all 4 bass drums), so I got to play drum set on the side line.
SD.com: Who are your top 5 influences?
Eli: 1) *Gene Hoglan* - His playing on Death's "Symbolic" (my #1 favorite metal album ever)completely blew my mind when I first heard it in high school. His amazing cymbal work (l love all the ride/bell and splash accents) and uncompromising groove was a huge influence on the way I play. Also, his more recent playing on the last two Strapping Young Lad albums ("The New Black" and "Alien") is soooo crushing. When I think of his sound, particularly on "Alien" I just think of 2 planets crashing into each other. That's how huge his sound is.
SD.com: Assuming that influences doesn't mean favorites, who are your favorites?
Eli: The above top 4 are definitely my all-time favorites, but I'll say a few more recent favorites.
SD.com: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
SD.com: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Eli: If I have enough time, I like to warm up my hands on a pad with singles, doubles, 16's and various combinations of para's, diddle's and flams. I'll warm up my feet by just bass drumming on the floor, though I should really get a practice bass drum pad. I usually do various stretches that cover arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders as well.
SD.com: Can you remember a night you think was your best playing ever? If yes, when and where?
Eli: I can't think of any one specific night, though I can definitely say that when that feeling of "yes, this is so on and feels f'ing great" comes on for even just a few minutes, it is a really incredible experience and inspires me to reach that point more often. My best playing ever has yet to come.
SD.com: Do you have a favorite brand of drums or cymbals?
Eli: My drumset is a total mutant at this point. I have a Thor drumset which I got way back in 6th grade. They were a no-name drum company in a discount music catalog and no one has ever heard of them. They do, however, have a sweet logo (a hand holding a lightning bolt!) and sound really great when I put Evans EC2's on them, so until I get a bangin' drum endorsement (ehh? *hint*) I'm stickin with the Thors! I more recently bought a deeper Pearl bass drum that I use in some of my heavier bands (namely Knife the Glitter and Gun Muffs). I have a great sounding Tama maple snare that I like very much. As far as cymbals, I used all Zildjian for a long time, though I recently bought a couple Sabian crashes that I like too. Wuhan is great for their really cheap China's. I use the 12" in my stack, on top of a 10" Zildjian splash. I also found this really awesome used 20" Wuhan Medium Ride that I used as a crash (as seen in my drum videos), but I unfortunately cracked it and it'll never be the same. :-( I crack lots of cymbals. Endorsements anybody!? :-)
SD.com: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be...
Eli: Make every effort possible to be a well-rounded drummer. There are too many drummers out there (in the metal scene these days) that have totally ridiculous chops and could blast your face off for hours, but ask them to play a medium to slow paced groove and sound as stiff as a board. Creativity and dynamic playing, along with a great feel, show a much more unique drumming identity and greater musical command.
SD.com: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Eli: The two performances that come to mind immediately when I think of best shows ever are Bjork @ Madison Square Garden on her most recent tour for "Volta" and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum @ The North Star in Philly on their most recent tour for "In Glorious Times." Both performances were incredibly moving and inspirational.
SD.com: If you had to stop drumming, what would you want to do with your life?
Eli: If I really had to stop drumming, like if I was not physically able to anymore, I would still continue writing lots of music and continue teaching drums if possible. I would certainly not be able to quit music all together because it is by far the thing I am most passionate about in life. I definitely don't have any kind of "back up plan" away from music. But, I don't need one cause this plan will do me just fine.