Foo Fight­ers, The Killers, Arch En­emy and more

Too cool, old-school drum grooves

Rhythm - - CONTENTS -

Bad Sounds don’t make bad sounds at all – in fact, they pride them­selves on mak­ing great sounds, recre­at­ing the sounds of the ’60s and ’70s and then vib­ing them up with old-school hip-hop sam­pling tech­niques. And the re­sults speak for them­selves; just check out ‘Avalanche’, ‘Meat On My Bones’ and ‘Zacharia’ to see why th­ese Bath-based in­die-pop groovers are get­ting plenty of fans, in­clud­ing Ra­dio 1’s An­nie Mac, for whom they re­cently did a ses­sion. Olivia Dimery is be­hind the (vin­tage Premier) kit, pro­vid­ing great pocket grooves and Pur­die-in­spired shuf­fles.

What was your in­tro­duc­tion to drum­ming?

“I grew up around mu­sic: my grandad was a jazz drum­mer in the 1950s/’60s, he taught me how to play para­did­dles and dou­ble stroke rolls – ‘mama dadas’, as he called them – on a small drum pad that he gave me along with some old per­cus­sion in­stru­ments. He was very proud that one of his grand­chil­dren took on his love of drum­ming and tal­ent. My dad has been play­ing in bands ever since I can re­mem­ber. He’s a gui­tarist and singer, and I grew up lis­ten­ing to him play rock mu­sic. My style is more in­spired by rock mu­sic than jazz. I think mu­sic is in my blood.”

How did you come to hook up with Bad Sounds?

“I taught drums in a mu­sic shop that [band­mates] Ewan and Cal­lum work in. Be­fore they met me, they’d de­cided to put a band to­gether and they wanted a girl drum­mer. I think the mo­ment they de­cided to ask me to be in the band was when Ewan heard me teach­ing one of my stu­dents a Grade 1 piece, and as he walked past he heard me say, ‘It’s just kinda like a jun­gle rhythm, make it sound like you’re in the jun­gle’, which made him laugh. He knew from then I was the one for them.”

The band record with vin­tage drums to get the au­then­tic sounds that were go­ing to be sam­pled – what drums and what kinds of mic set-ups did you use for record­ing, and are you an ex­pert in old drum gear and record­ing tech­niques your­self?

“None of us are ex­perts at all in that gear, but we are learn­ing as we go and pick­ing up new tricks. The whole rea­son we do it is be­cause we’re re­ally in­flu­enced by hip-hop pro­duc­tion and us­ing ’60s and ’70s drum breaks is ob­vi­ously a mas­sive part of that. We weren’t in a po­si­tion to clear sam­ples, so we tried to learn how to make drum record­ings that sounded like clas­sic break­beats. We did some re­search (mainly Bea­tles, Mo­town, Dap­tone and Hi Records drum mik­ing tech­niques) and, took a few chances on some old mi­cro­phones on eBay.

“We’re re­ally lucky be­cause our friend Tris­tan runs a vin­tage drum restora­tion busi­ness called Dru­mat­tic just down the road from us in Rad­stock and he’s given us loads of good ad­vice on what to use for which era, but he also lets us just go to his place and ex­per­i­ment with a huge range of amaz­ing-sound­ing vin­tage drums – which is ob­vi­ously ideal for try­ing to record vin­tage-sound­ing drums!

“We al­ways record drums with two mi­cro­phones, a vin­tage rib­bon mic placed roughly be­tween the kick and the snare, fac­ing the drum­mer, and a de­cent con­denser for a room mic. We spend a lot of time get­ting the at­tack and re­lease right on the com­pres­sor to get the groove sound­ing as good as pos­si­ble.”

What do you think real drums bring to the mu­sic that sam­ples can’t?

“The feel, groove and dy­nam­ics are more au­then­tic on a real kit. Pro­grammed drums are good for the hip-hop side of our sound, but au­then­tic kits are good for our ’70s-style groove. I think it’s cool play­ing around with both for the record­ings, as it adds more lay­ers and more range. How­ever, I play on an acous­tic kit live and repli­cate some of the sam­pled sounds.”

The band are go­ing for a real ’70s feel. What drum­mers did you try and chan­nel from those days?

“I al­ways chan­nel Ringo when I play! But I think there is a lit­tle Keith Moon in me when I im­pro­vise some of the fills, too. Bernard Pur­die is a drum­mer Ewan, Cal­lum and I have been in­flu­enced by to get that real groove. He’s so smooth, and I love watch­ing his tu­to­ri­als on­line.”

What gear do you use your­self?

“My grandad used to play a white Premier kit, so I was set on find­ing my own: I have an ’80s Premier kit which I got from our friend Tris­tan at Dru­mat­tic. It’s white with blue stripes, andI like to think of it as my tooth­paste kit. He re­stored this kit, mak­ing it sound ‘tasty’, in his own words. I use a Lud­wig snare – I like my snare to be tuned quite high and tight. We’ve re­cently pur­chased an Is­tan­bul ride and hi-hat for my kit which have a nice warm sound. I have a Sabian crash, which is re­ally sharp and cuts through nicely, for the POW ! mo­ments.”

What has been the proud­est mo­ment of your ca­reer to date?

“I was ap­proached by a group of girls at one of our gigs last year who had told me thatI have in­flu­enced them by be­ing a fe­male drum­mer. I feel proud to in­flu­ence more fe­male drum­mers/mu­si­cians into the mu­sic in­dus­try. Woo, girl power!”

How do you ap­proach play­ing live with Bad Sounds?

“I try to take one gig at a time and not think too far in ad­vance. I like to stay calm and en­joy my­self when per­form­ing so that I don’t get ner­vous, this helps me to fo­cus more and stay in con­trol. How­ever I take a mo­ment in-be­tween the songs in the set to look around at the crowd and laugh with my band­mates and en­joy the mo­ment.”

Olivia’s vin­tage grooves are chopped up and pro­cessed to get Bad Sounds’ early hip-hop sam­pled vibes

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.