Saturday, November 9, 2019

THE BATTERY SERIES : Pauline Silver / The Medea Project

1.What is your name and what band do you play for?

Pauline Silver from The Medea Project

2.Who made you want to play drums and why?

Drums wasn’t my initial instrument of choice.  I’m guessing because it seemed so far- fetched an instrument to play and own (pricey and the obvious neighbour/space issue) when I was dabbling in musical instruments when I was young.  I would say the exact moment the idea of playing drums came to me when Brett (vocalist and guitarist) and I used a drum machine when we were jamming and we had written a track and it just didn’t sound right.  However, it was only when we moved to the UK I was able to learn to play drums and I realised that I had found my instrument.

3.When did you get your first kit? Tell us about it…

I was living in a flat in London so my first kit was an Alesis DM6 electronic kit which I used to practice on.  It was great for learning on and I still have it although it’s currently sitting in a box.  I’m still attached to it though.  The cymbal pads were a nightmare so I got a set of Instanbul Samatya cymbals and high hats and they are part of my current set-up.  I absolutely love their full crashy tone!

4.Where your parents supportive of you and your loud / expensive new habit?

Either lucky for me or my parents, I was already on my own when I started playing drums.  They did however suffer my guitar and keyboard attempts.  My dad was a good pianist, he could play by ear and sight read but he wasn’t exactly forthcoming with assistance when I was learning to play instruments. 


5.What drum performance on an album is perfection to you?

When I listen to music, I like to listen to it as a whole.  The drumming can be extremely simple but as long as it has feel and fits into the music itself, then to me that’s perfect.  It doesn’t have to be technical or complicated to be good.  I also don’t have an issue with songs that are written with drum machines or sequencers.  Sometimes it’s what the music requires.  I love hearing weird little percussion sounds thrown in though. 

6.Tell us about your current kit and set up in DETAIL.

I currently have 2 setups.  Proudly suspended on and surrounding a Pearl rack is my main set-up. 7- pieceMapex Mars fusion kit in bloodwood.  It’s made up of 3 rack toms (8”, 10” and 12”), 2 floor toms (14” and 16”), 1 x 22” bass drum and 14”snare.  I bash on 2 ply Evans drum heads and there are no bottom skins. This was my very first acoustic kit and it makes for a nice warm powerful and versatile sound.

Towering and engulfing a Gibraltar rack is my recently acquired 2nd hand 8-piece Pearl Prestige Session in Teal Blue.  This monstrosity is made up of 5 rack toms (8”, 10”, 12”, 14” and 15” ),
1x16” floor tom and 2 x 22” bass drums.  I’ve just redressed the toms with Evans 2ply drum heads. This kit comes with an outstanding pedigree and I’m honoured to have it handed down to me from a drummer that I wholeheartedly respect and revere!  The sound on this kit is massive!  

On my feet I have my Tama Speed Cobra double pedals or my Tama Iron Cobra 900 double pedals.  My throne is a Mapex with a nice cushiony velvet red seat.

Pinned to Mapex armoury stands, I have 3 x 16” crash cymbals.  My main crash is a Sabian AAX studio and then I have a Paiste Pst cymbal which I salvaged from a dusty crusty stack of somebody’s “well played” set.  This cymbal is absolutely awful on its own but it works well in my set-up.  I then have the Instanbul Samatya.  Ride is a 20” Instanbul Samatya, Instanbul Samatya 14” high hats, Sabian Chad Smith signature 10” AA Mini Holy China and one of my favourites, a 20” 1974 Avedis Zildjan swish-knocker cymbal which I incidentally acquired when I was on the hunt for a China. A custom-made bell and hanging behind me is a 22” Dream feng gong.

On the side I have a 22” gong tom, a 13” Mapex steel piccolo snare, vibra-slap, various shakers, tambourines, cowbell, thunderstick (African curio gift that I actually used in recording) and a small wooden frog guiro.  I also have a cajon, washboard and a boat bell.

7.If you could have a dream kit tell us about it in DETAIL

I don’t pay much attention to the technical side of gear.  Mainly because there’s so much out there and that’s not counting the 2nd hand stuff.  I basically go around bashing stuff until I find the sound that I like and then I get it.  Before I bought the Pearl though, I was looking at the Ludwig concert toms.  At the moment, I’m inadvertently looking for a new snare and a new set of cymbals.  So far I like the Yamaha RBS 1480 Recording custom snare and at the moment it’s a toss-up between Meinl and Sabian cymbals but I haven’t decided on any other details as yet.  I have to find time to go and sit in a drum shop that has as much stuff as possible and then just bash stuff for hours.  It’s how I found my swish-knocker!  I would love to eventually own a Japanese Kodo.

8.Name your top 5 drummers excluding Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy

I watch a lot of live bands and listen to a lot of music from a lot of various bands so it’s difficult to pick anyone in particular.  Most drummers that I’ve watched, I admire in some form or other.I’ve never aspired to be like anyone in particular but I have been inspired and these are the drummers that cross my mind when I’m having difficulty creatively or I just feel like tossing the sticks completely

Andy Thurston – Brilliant teacher who understood me as a drummer and was extremely encouraging
John Bonham for his groove and that he would try anything
Ginger Baker for his aggression and the fact that he did whatever he wanted to do
Igor Cavalera for his primitive tribal feel
Shaun Taylor- Steels for his powerful sound, groove and feel
Animal from The Muppets – like I need a reason!

9. Do you prefer Live or Studio?

Normally I’d say live, but I had such a great time when we were recording our album, I’d go with both!

10.Do drummers really get all the chicks and if so how do we convince the guitarist?

I have had my share of chicks come up to me and talk to me after a show and I even got a hug and kiss once!  Either way, you can’t verbally convince a guitarist or (if they’re two separate egos) a vocalist of anything.  If you want them to pay attention, you just lob a drumstick at ‘em.


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