Tuesday, March 31, 2020

BATTERY DRUM INTERVIEW : Dalton Kennerly / Levels

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

My name is Dalton Kennerly, and I play drums for the progressive metalcore band, Levels.

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

It’s really more of a “what” instead of “who”. But I’ll get into that in a second! Once I immersed myself into playing drums, that’s when I began to find drummers who I really looked up to. I was heavily inspired by Joey Jordison of Slipknot. I thought his kit was awesome and he always did these crazy drum solos on a riser that flipped and spun around. Their music just always got me pumped. The production quality was so good as well. I was also a big fan of Daniel Adair of Nickelback. When I saw them live for the first time, I was just amazed at how tight his playing was. He really showcased his playing more live than on a recording. That was something I aspired to do myself.

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

So, I was originally planning to play guitar. My little brother was the one who got a new “First Act” drum set for Christmas, and I got a guitar. I never really could figure it out. So one day, I opened up the drum set from the box (that my little brother never opened), and I set it up and started playing! I am all self taught. I watched this one guy on YouTube a lot. He always wore a Tigger costume with the hood down so you could see his face. That dude ripped! I also knew this kid in high school (also named Dalton) that played drums. He was two grades above me and I sort of looked up to him as a drummer. I have to give him credit for teaching me a few dope beats and believing in me.

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

Bless my mom (Teri) and my dad (Kyle). They were so supportive. Looking back on it, I can’t believe my dad put up with 6-7 kids at his house every week for band practice and eating all his food haha. My mom too when we got the show going at her house! My dad bought me my first big drum kit. It was a Joey Jordison signature series. I still have that same kit today! I just modified it and made it smaller. I started in my bedroom, moved to my dad’s garage, and finally turned my mom’s shed outback into a recording studio. My parents have always been so supportive of my dreams. I could not have made it this far without them and all my family. I am truly lucky for that.

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

Of Mice & Men. ‘The Flood’.

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

Our guitarist Rob and I took all the black wrap off the Joey Jordison set and sanded it down. We put white Rhino Liner on half the set, and black wood stain on the other half. I currently play the Rhino Lined set which includes a 22” kick, 13” rack tom, 14” and 16” floor toms. My Snare is currently a DW 13”, BUT I just ordered a custom Dark Horse Percussion snare. Stay tuned for that beauty! I love my DW 9000 pedals. I play mostly Meinl cymbals. 20” Byzance extra thin hammered crash, 18” Byzance duel crash, 14” Paiste PST 5 thin crash, 14” Meinl pure alloy hi-hats, 18” Wuhan China, 18” Paiste Alpha rock china, 10” Paiste Alpha metal splash, 20” Zildjian ZBT ride, and a Meinl bell. I also like Vater 5b Drum Sticks.

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

I really like my current set. If I could just get the same dimensions but built by Dark Horse, and have all Meinl Cymbals.. THAT would be it.

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

Definitely neither of those haha

Joey Jordison
Valentino Arteaga
Alex Ballew
Nathan Bulla
Sam Applebaum

9. Do you prefer Live or Studio?

Definitely live. I enjoy the studio, but just feeling the crowds energy in a live setting is unforgettable.

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

I don’t think you can convince them haha BUT, I do think the drummers get all the chicks ;)

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