Instrumental rock from Dallas
C lay Aeschliman joined the four-piece Polyphia, which adds a more melodic twist to their progressive sound, in 2016. The band’s third album NewLevelsNew Devils is just out on Equal Vision.
What was your introduction to drumming?
“I got my start drumming in middle school band, of all places. I was in percussion, where I learned to play a myriad of instruments such as marimba, timpani, the triangle, etc... Then in high school, I joined the drumline, where I marched quads.
“Although I had played drums occasionally, I never really took it seriously or thought it would be a career. However, years later (2014) after quitting my corporate job, I decided I would try to make it one, and began actually drumming.”
Who are your drumming heroes?
“I have many drumming heroes. My favourite would have to be Eric Moore. His style, flow and chops are unreal. Some of my other favourites include Chris Coleman, Devon Taylor and Gergo Borlai.”
Polyphia takes influence from multiple genres outside of traditional rock. Where do you draw inspiration for your parts from?
“I draw most of my inspiration from watching my favourite drummers. Also, we work with a lot of really awesome producers who make amazing electronic beats. Then I interpret them and translate them to the kit, adding my own style.”
What was the first kit you ever owned?
“A silver Tama Rockstar.”
How would you describe your playing?
“Trap drums with gospel chops. I take my influences from my favourite drummers and beats from the EDM world, then fuse them together.”
You’re a very technical player; how did you develop your speed and precision?
“Years and years of rigorous practice in drumline. I was fortunate enough to go to a very competitive school, where it was taken very seriously, so that’s where I developed my hands. The feet came way later when I quit my job to drum. I spent a lot of hours just working on my feet because they were so far behind my hands in terms of development. It is still very much a work in progress, and I strive to be better every day #markwahlberg.”
Which Polyphia song perfectly captures your sound and style?
“I would say ‘OD’ is a perfect example of my style. It has intricate trap hats along with some choppy fills, and it’s very fun to play.”
What has been the proudest moment of your career to date?
“When we toured with Cohered and Cambria in 2016. They have been my all-time favourite band since 2005, and are practically all I listen to. Touring with them was a dream come true.”
What gear are you using?
“My current set up is: Tama Starclassic Performer B/B 10” & 12” rack toms, 16” floor tom, 22” kick. 6x14” Tama Starphonic Brass snare. All Tama Hardware. Tama Iron Cobra 900 Power Glide double kick pedal. All Meinl Cymbals: 14” Pure Alloy Hi Hats, 10” Pure Alloy Splash, 8”/10” Generation X Stack, 12” Classic Custom Trash Stack, 18” Byzance Fat Stack, 18” Byzance Dual Crash, 18” Pure Alloy Crash, 20” Byzance Medium Crash, 21” Byzance Dark Ride, 18” Byzance Equilibrium China, Meinl Medium Percussion Block. I do not use any electronics live. I try to emulate electronic sounds on acoustic kit by utilising different stacks.”
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t live without?
“My favourite piece of gear is my Iron Cobra pedals. Nothing beats a great pedal!”