New bands and drummers you need on your radar
Eight-legged rock machine from Sweden
Gothenburg quartet Spiders make heavy riffing rock fronted by the seductive vocals of Ann-Sofie Hoyles and backed by the pounding hard rock rhythms of drummer Ricard Harryson. The band are now on their third album after 2012 debut FlashPoint and 2014’s Shake
Electric but after earning their touring stripes supporting everyone from Kvelertak and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats to Graveyard and Metallica, their time is definitely now with the release of fantastic new album KillerMachine. ‘Shock And Awe’, ‘So Easy’ and the briliantly catchy ‘Dead Or Alive’ have a tasty ’70s hard rock vibe with a modern rock sound that makes them vital listening in 2018.
What was your introduction to drumming?
“I’m from the countryside and as a childI had one friend, and his bigger sister was the coolest person I’ve ever seen! This was in the mid-’80s and her room was full of posters with bands like The Runaways, Kiss, Blondie and Wasp. She also played the drums and had a nice Tama kit in their basement. It was like a nine piece kit, with very deep toms – I think it was an Artstar. I thought it looked awesome and I used to dream about playing on them. She would kill anyone who came near it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that cool looking kit. One day, when she wasn’t around, I sneaked down to the basement and sat down behind the kit and just looked at it for like 10 minutes. I decided to defy my fear of my friend’s sister and began to search for the drumsticks. Then I felt a strong hand around my neck, dragging me off the drum stool. Luckily I got away, even though I peed my pants. But that didn’t matter because I was in love! Both with my friend’s sister and her drum kit!”
Who are your drumming heroes?
“When I first started I went to the public music school, a one-hour drive from where we lived. The lesson was 20 minutes short and we mostly practised drum notes on a practice pad. It was SO BORING! The last five minutes I got to sit behind a kit and play a pattern, and that was it. I wanted to quit after two weeks but my father pushed me to keep playing and practise. He bought me a kit and was very encouraging. Both my parents were my heroes – and still are! If it wasn’t for them I’d never be in a band today. I have a few other drum heroes as well: Jonna Karlsson from Night Viper, Dave Lombardo and Iron Maiden’s Clive Burr.”
Which Spiders song perfectly captures your sound and style?
“‘Burn Away’ has a punky feeling to it, which I love playing. I steal a lot from other drummers (mostly Peter Criss). KillerMachine is my own poor version of how Criss would’ve played it if he was in Spiders!”
What has been the proudest moment of your career to date?
“I’m very proud of KillerMachine! How we managed to put everything together despite everything we went through during the recording period. It made us stronger, both individually and as a group. Ain’t nothing can stop us now!”
What’s the best drumming advice you have been given?
“Don’t sell those drums!”
What was the first kit you ever owned?
“My first kit was a five-piece Wesper I got when I was like 12. The finish was very psychedelic I remember! Unfortunately I threw the drum kit over the balcony one day, because I couldn’t nail ‘Red Red Wine’ by UB40… I actually still having trouble nailing it, haha!”
What gear are you using now?
“Right before we started recording KillerMachine I bought a six-piece Tama Imperialstar from the ’80s. It has four concert toms: 10", 12", 13", 14" and 16" floor tom. Kick is 24" and sounds amazing! Whole kit sounds incredibly good I think. I got a tip from the drummer in Weird Al Yankovic’s band to use Remo Emperor Coateds on the concert toms and it sounds really warm, fat and deep! The whole album is recorded with those drums. My favourite snare is a 1981 Tama Mastercraft Artwood Superstar snare. I have a variety of cymbals from Paiste, Meinl and undefined brands.”
How do you approach playing live with Spiders?
“I approach it by being insanely nervous so I have to run to the bathroom all the time! When I’m on stage playing the first three songs the nervousness switches to panic because my arms are already dog tired and I don’t know how I’m gonna manage a whole set! But after five songs it’s all good and I can enjoy the party.”
Do you work off the guitar or bass in creating parts and grooves?
“The guitar! I always have and always will build my drumming in Spiders from John’s guitar playing.”
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t live without?
“Ear plugs and a toilet backstage!”
What have you got coming up that you’re most excited about?
“I’m REALLY looking forward to coming out and playing the songs from KillerMachine live in front of an audience! I became a father two years ago and there hasn’t been that much touring during the last years – the band also took a bit of a break while writing KillerMachine. But now it’s time to come out and play again!”
What’s the key to a great live performance?
“When the connection within the band is clicking, and when the connection between the band and the audience is magnetic. If you manage to sync those two phenomena at the same time you have made something unique. When everyone on the stage and in front of the stage feels like one. That’s when the magic happens! That’s the key right there.”