BEAST DOMINATOR (Finntroll) - Must have technique

Av Rune Grande
(Century Media)

(...this article is in English...)

Samuel (Samu) Ruotsalainen aka Beast Dominator is a Finnish drummer in the polka metal band Finntroll (started in 1998) and the funeral doom band Shape of Despair (started in 1999). He has also played in other Finnish bands like Barathrum and Korpiklaani. Here is his contribution to The Beast Blast Series.


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

The energy and feel of control you get out of playing live and succeeding in it. You can bust your balls in the studio and rehearsal room but if there´s no-one to hear it; it´s all for nothing.

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?

Technique. Must have technique to go fast while maintaining The Groove.

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?

Gene Hoglan. `What´s up with them Camco´s?
Which is best while rehearsing alone: systematic progress or full improvisation?

Start with impro for warming up, set a goal for the day and systematically rehearse, award yourself with another impro.


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

Star everything from sloooow and build up speed gradually. if you cannot control it slow, it´s gonna suck fast. Also, don´t exceed your limit´s in speed. There´s no point breaking yourself.

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

Clicktrack ;-) Trying to find air for groove and a spot´s for gentle tricks here and there.

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

The everchanging weird setups you end up playing around the world. It´s never like home unless you´ve got the budget to get your shit over. Then again it cannot stop you from delivering the goods so put on your goggles and blast hat on. Proceed to kill with precision.

Wrists or fingers? Heel up or down? Why?

Both and Both. Different technique for different stuff....


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?

It´s worth it for sure. Though I managed to destroy nerve-ends from my right foot with bad technique when starting out. Never ever will stop playing and never thought about it.

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?

You get energy from a good crowd and try to block out a bad one :D

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?

It is expensive to start of course. You will need a certain mind set and any set of pots and pans to become a good drummer. Never thought of myself as being clever. Good physical health is a bonus!


And then some about your equipment:

Pearl Masters Premium Custom MMP, Paiste cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, NO ELECTRONICS

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

14x4,5 brass

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

Pearl Demon Drives w/ woodbeaters. Maximum spring tension.

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.

The fabulous Ms. Justine Ethier of Blackguard (CAN) She rocks the house!





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