Zac h Cole­man Khem­mis

Beer-brew­ing drum­mer hops to it with the Den­ver doom­sters’ lat­est al­bum

Rhythm - - BEAT! -

Den­ver, Colorado’s Khem­mis have been mak­ing, sludgy, doomy metal for a cou­ple of al­bums now (2015’s Ab­so­lu­tion and 2016 fol­low-up Hunted) but we’re par­tic­u­larly im­pressed with the skilled beats beer-brew­ing drum­mer Zach Cole­man lays down on their lat­est record Deso­la­tion. Check out the track ‘Iso­la­tion’ to hear Zach, who is head brewer at Den­ver’s heavy metal brew­ers TRVE, sum­mon up a heady mix of pro­gres­sive metal beats and hard-hit­ting metal power.

What was your in­tro­duc­tion to drum­ming?

”I first got a kit whenI was 13, I started tak­ing lessons, and then formed a band shortly af­ter.”

Who are your drum­ming heroes?

”Brian Downey, Frank Beard, Bernard Pur­die and Gylve Nag­ell.”

Which Khem­mis song per­fectly cap­tures your sound and style?

”Well, there’s one on the new al­bum, Deso­la­tion, called ‘The Seer’ that has a bit of every­thing and is a to­tal blast to play… that and ‘Hunted’ (from Hunted). ‘Hunted’ is rooted in a rock’n’roll frame­work with a good bit of swing, but it also ven­tures into some heavy metal and death metal licks.I try to blend every­thing, so it feels seam­less. ‘The Seer’ is the op­po­site: it’s rooted in heavy metal and ven­tures into rock’n’roll.”

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

”Writ­ing Deso­la­tion, and tour­ing with Enslaved and Wolves In The Throne Room in the US; it was sur­real to share the stage with bandsI ad­mire so much.”

What gear are you us­ing?

“Cus­tom kit from C&C Drum Co: Glad­stone shells 7-play maple): 24" kick, 14" snare, 14" rack tom, 18" floor tom. Paiste cymbals: 24" 2002 Ride, 14" 2002 hats (sound edge for bot­tom hat), 19" 900 Crash, 20" 900 crash, Pearl Elim­i­na­tor Red­line Sin­gle Bass Drum Chain Drive kick pedal.”

How do you ap­proach play­ing live with Khem­mis?

”I pour my­self into the per­for­mance and give it every­thing I have. I know that our mu­sic means a lot to some peo­ple, and, gen­er­ally, peo­ple paid money to come see us. I take that very se­ri­ously. I don’t re­ally drink or do any­thing that would take away from my play­ing – and try to give as much of my­self back to the au­di­ence as I can while play­ing as tight as pos­si­ble.”

Do you work off the gui­tar or bass in cre­at­ing parts and grooves?

”It’s a mix of both, butI mostly play off of the gui­tar parts and try to work with the rhythms un­der what they are do­ing, with diver­sions that fol­low bass here and there. In this way, the drum­ming is prob­a­bly closer to tra­di­tional rock’n’roll or heavy metal than, say, funk.”

What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t live with­out?

”It’s not sexy, but I fi­nally got a nice drum throne with plenty of cush­ion (a Roc-N-Soc). That thing has lit­er­ally saved my ass.”

What’s the key to a great live per­for­mance?

”Be au­then­ti­cally your­self and give every­thing you have to the set (no feather dust­ing… you should be ex­hausted af­ter play­ing).”

What was the first kit you ever owned?

”It was a Pearl Ex­port – five-piece, all black – andI thought it was the best kit in the world.”

You’re also a brewer of beer… tell us about your heavy metal beers!

”I’ve been a pro­fes­sional brewer for seven years now. I’ve spent the last five years build­ing the beer pro­gram at TRVE Brew­ing, which is themed around heavy metal. I brew a wide range of beers, though a lot of them are sai­son or mixed-cul­ture sour ales. It’s not very metal, but I pre­fer sub­tle com­plex­ity in the beers that I make.”

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