The bands and drummers you need to have on your radar this month
Control The Storm / Magic Kingdom Heavy metal drumming is in safe hands…
With Control The Storm and Magic Kingdom, Michael Brush is forging a rather impressive path as one of the UK’s top up-and-coming metal drummers. With an ability to play with stunning speed, dazzling technique and plenty of reassuring power, Brush has all the hallmarks of becoming a modern great…
Michael, how did you get into drumming?
“It was a combination of two moments in my life. The first was seeing a fellow pupil at school playing drums at an end-of-year talent show. Everyone was clapping along with him and it really opened my eyes to how musical drums could actually be. The second moment was when I went to my first rock concert with my dad. In December 1993 we saw Status Quo at the NEC in Birmingham. Jeff Rich was behind the throne. I was so captivated by his playing and was lucky enough to get one of his broken sticks after the show. From that moment I knew all I wanted to do was play drums.”
What is the key to developing double bass technique?
“A positive mindset and a clear defined practice routine. I made the mistake of running before I could walk, which in the end hindered my double-kick work. I decided to take a step back and really think about what I was doing. I thought about the height of the throne, what muscles I should be using, spring tension and where on the footboard I should be playing to get the most out of the pedal.I sit quite low and keep my back straight so that I feel well balanced when playing faster. All of my double-kick work comes from my hips and thighs. I would describe my spring tension as medium so that I’m in complete control. For slower kick patterns I play closer to the top of the pedal board and the faster I get I play further down the board. I really have to credit Dani Loeble from Helloween for helping me with my double kick technique, he helped me a lot.”
How would you describe your playing style… and your band’s sound?
“I have a powerful style but I play with an understanding as to what the song needs to make it work. I like to add some nice flavours to songs with paradiddle runs etc. Power metal is definitely the style of music I’m supposed to be playing. Magic Kingdom are neo-classical power metal. We use classical music throughout our songs. One in particular is ‘Ship Of Ghosts’ from our latest album SavageRequiem where we incorporate [Beethoven’s] ‘An Ode To Joy’. The drumming is very speed driven with plenty of double kicks. Control The Storm are symphonic power metal. The drumming for me is very groove-based but still has plenty of double kicks and intricate fills.”
What kit/set-up are you using?
“I’m playing a Premier Elite kit. I’m fortunate to have a great relationship with the team at Premier. They are building me a new kit for the tours with Control The Storm. My cymbals are all Paiste. Sticks are Balbex 2B and pedals are Custom Czarcie Kopyto.”
New UK metal drumming star Michael Brush