Clay Aeschli­man


Rhythm - - BEAT! -

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!”

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