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The Drummer KC

Interview by Sean Mitchell // August 02 2007
The Drummer KC

I think there is definitely a hybrid of players who have adapted all the technology of today, and incorporated into a new style and sound. But nothing will ever beat a badass super tight 14" Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum sound!

The Drummer KC is somewhat inimitable; even beneath the shroud of neon madness and the what-happens-here-stays-here culture that Las Vegas has come to be famous for. His one man drumming show mixes the infectious hypnotic trance of house music with the kind of unadulterated showmanship that would render Tommy Lee speechless. Many a drummer has come forth and pushed the boundaries of the traditional role of the timekeeper position, but very few (if any) have taken the kit to center stage and made it the spectacle that K@$E has created. He is truly a musician of the new millennium, utilizing the information highway with stops everywhere between YouTube and Myspace. Armed only with his desire to bring drum music to the masses and his indispensable drumtech “Dragon,” the drummer KC has molded a new reality in the percussive arts.



What were the challenges in developing a one-man drumming show?

It has been an on going work in progress ever since its inception. I have to give much of my inspiration to the London/UK DJ electronic music/club scene. That is where this journey started. I wanted to have my own voice and niche in the scene doing something based around live performing and drumming. It has been developing, and ever changing. It is been an amazing ride thus far!

Take me through the gear you use on stage. What goes into programming the perfect live KC drumkit?

Most people freak on my gear, because it is really stripped apart and pretty old by today's electronic standards, I have no endorsements from any of the electronic companies or from any of the drum companies for that matter. I have taken apart a Yamaha DTX-Express and made it the midi master to a Roland TD-10 midi slave to create all the drum module sounds, and samples. Using and old Roland Sequencer to run the tracks and samples. A 6-Channel Mackie Mixer...a mixture of Roland and Yamaha pads and triggers. The kicks are Hart Dynamics. The foot pedals are Tama Iron Cobra's. The rack is by Gibraltar, and the sticks are whatever is on sale at Guitar Center (laughs). 

How important has Myspace and YouTube been in marketing yourself?

Vital! It has been an amazing tool to reach an ever-growing base of supporters and followers. My approach has been completely underground. I don’t spam people's profiles with "THANX 4 THE ADD" or "VOTE 4 ME 2 PLAY" etc. I want people to find me, and I want them to be interested in my music and what I am all about—before I bombard them with non-sense! It has been life changing and very rewarding to see so many at the shows just from a blog or bulletin post. It is truly an amazing phenomenon. Thank you to all my friends. 

How do you keep yourself and your chops in shape for the show?

I have a ritual before every show that I practice. It's a rudiment exercise that one of my teachers Phil Stanger showed me. I practice as much as possible. I play as much acoustic kit as I can. I have a workout were I play "Tom Sawyer" by Rush in every tempo, and every style and way I possibly know. It really works. Try it. I try to workout and stay in shape as much as possible as well.

What would you say is your favorite aspect of playing live?

Playing live is the greatest privilege ever! I love every aspect of performing live. The energy, the vibe, the feel, the sound, the crowd, the true moment where you connect with your audience and just blow the roof off. It's an insane feeling. I know every drummer/musician out there can attest too this.

You obviously utilize Myspace and YouTube to their full potential. Where would you like to see internet marketing go from here? 

I would love to see every artist maximize their full potential by using every aspect of the internet to its fullest to reach a new audience and continue to push the envelope of what is considered the norm. I would love to see more collaborations of artist and performers. I would love to see more relationships between music companies and sponsors promoting new and unique artists.

With all the technology in drumming on the market, is there a chance that we are going to depend less on tuning techniques and more on triggers?

I don't think so. There is always going to be the "real" sound, the "real" player," so to speak. I think there is definitely a hybrid of players who have adapted all the technology of today and incorporated into a new style and sound. But nothing will ever beat a badass super tight 14" Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum sound.

What is the musical process for you in creating a show?

Wow, I could talk for hours about this process! I'm pretty selfish. I take all my favorite songs, artists, tracks, styles, and mix in my own original material and mix. Let it bake in a 375-degree oven and, voila; there you have it.  

The one-man drumming thing really does a world of good for an instrument that is primarily part of the background. What is the response from the drumming community to your show?

Oddly enough it had been kind of weird. No support or real involvement from any one in particular from the drumming community. At trade shows a lot of the companies or players always say, "Why didn't I think of that, or do this?" So, it has been real underground with no coverage til now. Thank You, Sean. 
It has been a true underground movement of drummers who have supported and been vocal in their support as well. I would love the chance to challenge or just have the chance to perform my show in front of today's top players. 

You must play some unique places. What venues are booking your show?

I am based in Las Vegas. So, I make the rounds at all the killer clubs in town. I perform a lot on the west coast. San Francisco has been a great market for me. True music fans and true supporters have followed me in the Bay and made it a stronghold and favorite place to perform. I hope to take my show all over the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, and the UK in the next year or three. 

Tell me your best road story.

Whew! That's a hard one. I have so many amazing moments and memories of performing on the road. I'd say one of my all-time favs was having Ace Frehley at a show. That was awesome! Touring with my tech, Dragon, who had been with me since the beginning has been an incredible experience. We just keep going, and going!

Where do you feel you can take this act in the next few years?

I feel if it is given the right opportunity, it can be an amazing musical show featuring the drums/drummer as the main component. It isn't crazy to think that it won't become the next new thing or concept. It just needs the right people behind it—that have the vision to make something good, great! Pretty simple (laughs). 

What do you have coming up?

Just finished filming my first music video for a new original track "$in City $uperstarz." It's a rock/dance anthem about Vegas. We set up a stage outside on the 51st floor of the Voodoo Lounge at the Rio. Played on a flat bed down the Strip on a Friday Night, Had planes, trains, and automobiles follow us around town. It was an incredible shoot. The video will be done in a couple of weeks, along with a new full length original CD.

Visit The Drummer KC online: http://www.thedrummerkc.com/



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About the Author
Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.

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