It didn’t take me too long to learn the key to a good band is the drummer.
I’ve recorded hundreds of bands over the years, and within a second you know how good, bad or ugly the band will be live or in the studio from when the drummer kicks and smashes.
For me, I had a landmark recording session in 1997 with a band called Kookaburra. They recorded an EP called ‘London’. It remains, I think, my proudest moment: 3 tracks of absolute beauty : astounding songs, solid as a rock bass-lines, but the drums were incredible. Recording to clicks is an art. Kookaburra’s drummer nailed it: a barrage of noise but delicate as ladybird when needed.
I engineered them live a few times, too: the Charlotte in Leicester was never a forgiving venue unless full, but when you’ve got a drummer that loud, it’s a struggle: I remember just having the Kick through the PA and having it so loud to balance the natural volume of the kit.
This drummer was a man called Jim Disney. One of the most amazing drummers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
He passed away a couple of weeks ago: can’t have been older than me. I hadn’t seen him for a long long time, but have many happy memories of being around him for a really happy period of time working with a band who were, and remain really special to me
Respect and love to his family and friends.
Here’s Jim from the ‘London’ EP
Cherish your drummers