KEVIN TALLEY (Daath) – Listen to the riff….

KEVIN TALLEY (Daath) – Listen to the riff….

(…this interview is in English…) 

Kevin Talley har en imponerende CV som death metal trommis. Både Misery Index, Dying Fetus, Chimaira og Decrepit Birth, Black Dahlia Murder, Cattle Decapitation og M.O.D. er band som har hatt gleden av hans tjenester. I dag spiller han i Daath, et relativt ungt band som ble dannet i 2003. Kevin ble bandets fjerde trommis på 3 år da han tok over stikkene etter Matt Ellis i 2006. Igor Cavalera og Dave Culross er 2 trommeslagere som har inspirert han mest opp gjennom årene og han legger ikke skjul på at han er trommeslager på heltid. En skikkelig trommenerd, spør du meg. Les hva Kevin Talley skriver i sitt bidrag av The Blast Beast Series.


What is the force behind you being a drummer, that is, what keeps you going?

I love playing drums. I can literally sit down and play for 6 hours and not even stop for water because I just won’t even want to stop playing for 2 minutes to take a break!!

You are playing in a genre where both technique and speed, together with groove, are important ingredients. What do you think is the most important of these?

They are all equally important if you want to be a musical drummer. If you combine all these elements you can take the music to another level. But of all of these, groove is seriously lacking with drummers these days. 

Which drummer has inspired you the most throughout the years, and what would you have said to him/her if you had the chance to meet him/her in person?

Igor Cavalera’s (Sepultura) groove blended with the death metal influence of Dave Culross (Malevolent Creation, Suffocation). And I usually say to them… "Where’s the beer".

Which is best while rehearsing alone: systematic progress or full improvisation?

Although both are important, systematic progress is much more important during metal drumming rehearsal. The use of a click track, discipline, and patience all can help one play well. And after a systemic rehearsal, then do some improve rehearsal.

Do you have any "core rehearsal tips" that have given you a lot of progress in your drumming?

During systematic rehearsal, be sure so do things for short intervals. For example, practice double bass for 10 minutes, blast beats for 10 minutes, groove for 10 minutes, and then repeat. This way you will stay focused and make more progress. Use a metronome and a timer of possible. Never stay on one thing for too long.

What is important for you while rehearsing new songs/riffs with your band? Is there something in particular you do or listen for?

Listen to the riff and be able to sing it back to your guitar player. Most drummers don’t even know how the riffs go and just play any beat that comes into their mind. If you don’t know what your guitarist is playing how the hell are you going the write the proper beat!!! 


What is, in your opinion, the biggest challenges for extreme drummers (or, generally speaking, drummers), and what can you do to work them out?

Aside from all the technical problems, the biggest problem is that most drummers don’t have a good sense of timing or groove. If your timing is bad the entire band will be a mess. Practice with a metronome and play along to your favorite songs.

Wrists or fingers? Heel up or down? Why?

You must use both fingers and wrist for powerful extreme drumming. If you only use fingers it won’t be loud enough. And you absolutely must use your fingers for any styly of drumming. I always play with my heel up. Heel down is too weak for me.

You must have rehearsed for an insane amount of hours to be as good a drummer as you are. Do you think it is worth it, and have you ever thought about quitting?

Haha, funny question. Of course you have to practice an insane amount of hours. But most importantly the hours practicing must be useful. If you don’t know how to practice, you might never be a good drummer. So be sure that you learn how to practice correctly. Of course it’s worth it and, no, I will never stop drumming.

While playing at a concert: are you 100 % concentrated about what you are doing, or do you notice some of the mood and energy among the audience?

I always notice what’s going on with the crowd. I love looking out and seeing people getting into the music. I thrive off the crowd.

Is it expensive to become a drummer, and what does it take outside all that can be bought for money to become a clever and good drummer in extreme metal?

Drumming can be expensive or cheap. I’ve found it’s best to buy all your drum equipment used until you have endorsements or have extra money on new gear. New gear is way too expensive. And if you live in a country where you can’t get something, make friends with an American online and ask them to buy something on ebay and then ship it to you. Most drummers are willing to help each other. The most important element (after you learn to play well) as a metal drummer is your ability to network. There are tons of great drummers that sit in there basements and never join a band. You have to make videos, network, and join a band. You will probably have to relocate to another city or country. All this stuff sounds difficult but, trust me, it’s not; I did it when I moved from Texas to Maryland to join DYING FETUS at the age of 18. I say go for it!!!


And then some about your equipment:

Which snare drum and configuration do you like the best? 12", 13" or 14"? And which material? Wood, steel, brass or bronze?

I like 13 and 14 inch steel snares. The Joey Jordison is the best and cheapest snare you can buy. And you can always find those used on ebay or craigslist.

What kind of pedal(s) do you use? And which "settings" fits your style the best?

I use the Axis A longboard and I keep the black "throw" setting all the way at the bottom. Shannon Lucas (Black Dahlia Murder) and I have the exact set up and are great friends. We also have the spring tension about in the middle.

As always, we are rounding off with you picking the next drummer in these series. Pick a drummer, and explain why he/she deserves (!) to be one of our Blast Beasts.

Shannon Lucas of The Black Dahlia Murder. He is an incredible drummer.