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Violet The Cannibal

Interview by Sean Mitchell // April 13 2012
Violet The Cannibal

With anything you just have to keep going and believe in it, and what you’re doing. It’s a fulltime thing if you want to succeed.

Hey, Violet, let’s dive right in. Who are you currently playing with and what have you been up to? 

For the last 18 months I have been on tour with Adam Bomb. We play 250 shows a year and we recently spent six weeks recording four albums in New York.  At the moment we are taking a break. Also I have two tracks featured on Rock Band for XBOX, “Sisters” and “Say Sayonara” for all girl band JOANovARC. 

For the uninitiated, tell me about Adam and the Adam Bomb show. 

Well, we have a better light show than KISS. The drums are lit up, the amps are lit, and now Adam has his flying “V” in lights. Adam uses fireworks on his guitar, Paulo breathes fire, and I set my cymbals alight. Even the boas go up smoke some nights! Every night is different. But it is always something to see. 

You have been touted as the UK’s hardest working drummer, having played 850 shows between 2005 and 2008. How do you keep yourself in shape to survive such an exhausting schedule? How cool was that time in your life? 

Well I think my stint with UTE in 2005-2008 definitely prepared me for Adam’s schedule a couple of years down the line. I have seen some great places with both bands, met some great people and played with some brilliant bands as well. This sort of experience is something money can’t buy. You just have to work hard and push yourself, even when you have nothing left to give.

On surviving, eat properly—although that can be difficult sometimes. Rest as much as you can. Take some good books and some good music. Lugging the gear around keeps me fit on tour, plus the drumming as well. I really should do more exercise off tour. I guess that’s my new year’s resolution.

Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you get your start in drumming?

I always liked the look of the drum kit at school. Music in general; I just enjoyed listening to music. The beat always stood out.

You studied under Dragonforce’s Dave Mackingtosh at one time. What was the experience like and how did you end up taking lessons with him?

Well, Dave lives not far from me. This was a few years ago now. At the time, I was put in touch with him at the local music shop. Dave is a lovely guy and hasn’t changed one bit, a fantastic player. Even then he had a massive double bass Tama drum kit!

Tell me about your life outside of touring and the industry. What fuels you outside of drumming? 

Well, at the moment I am getting used to being back home and not having to rush off again. I like to catch up with friends, take my dogs for walks, watch Top Gear, eat chocolate, and get tattoos done, buy shoes and clothes and spend money in general. Music is my life really.

Can you give me your perspective of the indie scene and the effect the internet has on music. What is it like in the UK for the unsigned and indie artist?

Well, I haven’t really been here so I am probably not the best person to ask, but there are some really good bands about. I think the internet is a very useful tool for bands and getting your music to a wider audience, and for finding new places to play. But with anything you just have to keep going and believe in it, and what you’re doing. It’s a fulltime thing if you want to succeed. 

What types of music moves you and what is in your iPod at the moment?

Really does depend on my mood. At the moment though, I am listening to more electronic dancey stuff, such as DJ Fresh, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, and Nero. Also Jill Jackson’s old band, Speedway and Katy Perry. They are playing at the moment.

Of all the bands you have shared the stage with, which drummers stick out in your mind?

There is a great drummer who plays with Marty Friedman; a Japanese guy, I am not sure of his name, but he was a really great player and showman as well. We supported them in France last year. James Kottak was great to watch as too. There have been many.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

My Father: “Nothing worth working for is ever easy.” Dave Mackingtosh: “The time you feel like quitting is the time to keep going, else everything you have done so far has been for nothing (something like that).”

What was the worst job you ever held? 

Pot washer. 

What do you have coming up in the next few months? 

At the moment I am just taking some time out. I have a few projects coming in soon.  More teaching is something I am working on now. Another tour later in the year is planned with Adam.



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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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