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Kevin Joseph Sawka

Interview by Donn Garrett // November 29 2014
Kevin Joseph Sawka

For the first two years I learned on my own, drumming along to tapes and CDs. Then I started teaching my fellow school bandmates.

This week Donn Garrett's Drummers of the Pacific Northwest features Kevin Joseph Sawka, a Seattle based Drum n Bass guru. 

How long have you been playing?

25 years 

Are you self taught?

For the first two years I learned on my own, drumming along to tapes and CDs. Then I started teaching my fellow school bandmates. When I moved closer to the city I got lessons for about three years.  

How do you strike a balance between business and music?

In my life I have plenty of time for both. I sometimes struggle between time producing and drumming if I have a deadline. 

What made you decide to play drums?

When I was 11 years old my brother got a guitar. I wanted to play something as well. My uncle had a drum kit in his closet and I bought it. 

Do you sing or play other instruments?

I sing, play keyboards, bass, and guitar enough to produce music in the studio.

What was your first kit and do you still have it or anything from it?

My first kit I bought from my uncle for $250. A '70s-something blue sparkle Pearl and a 70s-something Ludwig. I put them together to make a double bass kit. 

Who did you most want to be or play like?

Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Carter Beauford, and Tim Herb Alexander were my biggest idols at the time. 

Name the venue you dream of playing-- or that you've already played.

Seattle's Showbox at the Market was a big one when I was growing up. I played there many times over the years. Red Rocks was another one; I played that this year. 

Who would you love jam with?

Square Pusher would be tight. 

What kind of set do you play now and why?

I play a Tama Bubinga kit: 20" kick, two snares and Roland Vpad toms. Bunch of cymbals and electronic cymbals. Since I heard DnB and electric music at age 18, I have played on an acoustic and electronic hybrid kit. My other band, I have a double kick all electronic kit. Endorsements: Tama, Meinl, Hammerax, Evans, Vater, Roland, Protection Racket, Ableton, and iZotope.








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About the Author
Donn  Garrett

Donn Garrett is an accomplished drummer, songwriter and producer. He has performed with Alan White, Liberty DeVitto, Reek Havok, Shelley Tomberg, Steve Fossen, Chris Slade and many other talents. Visit Donn online at http://www.donngarrett.net/

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