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Manuel Lotter

Interview by Nicole Wille // April 23 2013
Manuel Lotter

I always realize that this is my dream. That's why I work so hard. Seeing that the people have a good time with you while playing the songs is indescribable—sharing one thing. That's what I live for.

For many young German drummers, Manuel Lotter is a great role model and the best example where hard work, a strong will and daily practicing can bring you to. He is the drummer of the young and aspiring modern thrash metal band Farewell to Arms (MASSACRE RECORDS), STICKS “Drummer of the month” and the latest addition to the Zildjian family. It was a pleasure and very inspiring meeting with him and talking about his playing, style and practice routine. 

How long have you been playing drums?

I got my first drum kit when I was about two years old. I started jamming around and began taking lessons at the age of six. I played drums for several cover bands, school bands and a marching band first. Great experiences and especially the marching band was a very important part of my learning process. 

How would you define your band’s genre?

It's a big mix out of tons of different metal genres. We are all very open-minded musicians and we don't see us as "metal heads" or so, but we see us as musicians. We have styles like metal, thrash, hardcore, progressive and many more in our mix, so it's a pretty technical, metal-core thing. 

What kind of kit are you using?

I play Tama Drums. Right now, I've got the Starclassic Bubinga series. Love the punch and the sound of these drums. Awesome. 

Why do you use Zildjian cymbals?

Just because they are the best. If you play these cymbals, you can hear the heart and the soul that's in these instruments. Zildjian is one big tradition and you can hear that in the sound. For me, they're not only the best-sounding cymbals, but also Zildjian stands for tradition, dedication, soul and professional sound. 

What type of sticks do you use?

I only play Vic Firth—best choice you can make! 5Bs are mine! 

Tell us about your first gig. Do you remember where you played?

Oh, yes. It was at that time when I played the snare drum for the local marching band. Very exciting day and they even mentioned my name when they announced the band. I felt very honored. 

Who are some of your drumming influences?

Too many, if you ask me (laughs). But definitely Thomas Lang, Marco Minnemann, Blake Richardson, Gavin Harrison, Dennis Chambers, David Garibaldi, Matt Greiner, Sebastian Lanser, and many, many more. 

What other kinds of music do you listen to for inspiration? Who are some of the "sickest" drummers you dig?

I listen to almost everything that's out there—metal, jazz, funk, hip hop, rock, R&B, etc. It's not about one particular genre. Music itself is awesome. Music is music, and that's what I love. 

How often do you practice? What does your daily practice schedule entail?

I practice every day. I always have to play my band's song because I have to stay in shape. I also have different practice routines for my hand technique, foot technique, etc., and I practice a lot of interdependence stuff, soloing over odd time meters and so on. Too many things to list here. 

How do you write drum parts? What's the process from “perceiving the rhythm” to a finished song?

I always write my drum parts with a software called Guitar Pro. Because our sound is so technically, it's the best way for me to write the parts down and develop the ideas I got when I jammed on my kit. 

Do you do any warm-up routines before you go on stage or in the studio?

Yes, I do. I think it is a very important thing. Getting the blood flowing is very important for me. 

When you're not drumming, what do you do?

Hobbies besides drumming? Not really… (laughs). But I love good food! 

Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?

Sebastian Lanser. Nothing to add.

Describe your feelings, walking on stage and looking at an audience of screaming fans.

I always realize that this is my dream. That's why I work so hard, seeing that the people have a good time with you while playing the songs is indescribable—sharing one thing. That's what I live for. 

Do you have any advice for the young drummers with aspirations of someday playing in a musical situation similar to your own?

Work and practice very hard. Always practice with a metronome and always listen to every kind of music! 

What do you have coming up in the next few months? Are you working on any new material with Farewell To Arms?

We have some festival and club shows coming up in the next few months and we'll shoot another music video. This time it's one of those live music videos. I am super excited and I'm really looking forward to it. And yes, I think we'll write some new stuff very soon. 

Anything else to share with us? Other projects, endorsements, plans for touring?

Yeah, I have a new side project coming up. We're working on the first songs right now and we'll release an EP by end of the year, I think. I always hope to get on a new tour soon. But the business is so f****d up, you cannot plan with tons of detail. And there is a lot of endorsement news coming up. So keep in touch with me for all the latest news. 



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About the Author
Nicole  Wille

Nicole Wille is a freelance promoter, journalist, and agent from Nuremberg, Germany. She is a major supporter of the German music scene and an active drummer in Nuremberg. 

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