My name is Danny, though some call me Mundi. I play drums for Reign of Terror in Canberra, Australia.
2.Who made you want to play drums and why?
My great friend and semi-adopted brother Lucas encouraged me to play drums so that I could drum for him in his band. He called me up to play for the first time in the middle of a gig at a birthday party after his drummer whimsically decided to play guitar instead. It was fun, but I had no idea what I was doing. Not long after that, I took drum lessons…
3.When did you get your first kit? Tell us about it…
During my very first drum lesson, my instructor told me that I had achieved what would normally take other students two weeks to learn. I had a natural rhythm and I just kind of ‘got it’. After we finished, I went across the road to the music shop and walked out with my very own drum kit: an old Pearl Export. It is still my one and only kit today.
4.Where your parents supportive of you and your loud / expensive new habit?
My parents were very supportive. I come from a family of Hot Rodders, so Rock’n Roll was always a big thing in our lives. They gave me some space in the garage (in among all the tools and car parts) and let me go nuts.
5.What drum performance on an album is perfection to you?
This is such a hard question to answer. I’ve never really put so much focus on albums; I’ve always been a random playlist kind of guy. BUT, there is an album that stands out to me and has inspired me from day 1 to this very day: Sepultura - Chaos A.D.
Everything I love about drumming is on this album. From that first bit of noise that hits you, you’re met with this tribal spirit that shouts, “This is me! Sepultura!” Throughout the whole album, the drums are right there, in your face and in your heart, blasting you with this energy. They never disappear behind the other instruments, but they don’t over-shadow them either; working as one with the music.
6.Tell us about your current kit and set up in DETAIL.
It’s an old Pearl Export that I bought second-hand in the year 2000. With a 22” bass drum and 16” floor tom, both tuned down as low as they can before going floppy, a good blast hits you right in the guts. The toms still have the same Remo skins that have been on there since I brought the kit home and they were worn then too. I don’t have the heart to replace them, as I love the dirty, old sound they produce. Like a cigar box guitar, they have a certain character that just wouldn’t be the same. If the skins don’t split, I don’t replace them.
I’m using an old, rusty, Gibraltar Rock double-kick pedal. It’s utter crap, but I’ve grown accustomed to the left pedal’s shitty friction. With everything else going on in my life, I just never had the money to upgrade, but they’ve kept me going this long and they’ve never let me down.
For cymbals, it has Zildjian Z Custom 14” HiHats, Z Custom 19” Medium Crash, A Custom 16” Projection Crash, Paiste Alpha 20” Metal Ride (Slipknot edition), a shitty Kahzan vintage 10” Splash and a big ass Meinl Cowbell. I used to have an awesome Zildjian 20” Earth Ride, but that was among a number of cymbals I had to sell during hard times. I loved that ride cymbal. Nothing else has compared ever since.
7.If you could have a dream kit tell us about it in DETAIL
I’m a modest man. A matching Pearl Export 22” bass drum, Iron Cobra kick pedals, two more toms, my old Earth Ride cymbal, a big splash cymbal, a big bamboo xylophone and a timpani would complete my dream drum kit.
8.Name your top 5 drummers excluding Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy
In NO particular order:
9. Do you prefer Live or Studio?
Both are great, I’m having fun either way. Live is where I make the most mistakes and have to force myself to make facial expressions, but it’s where the reality of being a musician really hits you. Everything you’ve put into your music, all the writing, all the practice, all the gear, all the fans, etc. You’ve got one chance to get it right, and if you’ve skimped on any of those things, it WILL show in your performance. I always say I need more practice, and it’s true. If I practiced to the level I feel I should be, I could make every facial expression, thrash around like Animal from Muppets, throw my sticks around and even do some backup vocals without worrying about screwing anything up (I can’t sing to save myself, but I don’t confessing that I’d like to be able to). That’s reality right there, I’m not as good as I want to be, and that keeps me on my toes. I’m still having a lot of fun though and when playing live, I get to share that with everyone; one way or another.
In a studio, you have every chance to get it right and nail every beat, every note; you can re-play, re-record, sample, cut & paste, which is great when you’re recording an album or trying different things, but too much machining can spoil the music. I don’t want to sound like a robot.
10.Do drummers really get all the chicks and if so how do we convince the guitarist?
Oh, he knows. 😉
No no no, my partner is like the female counterpart of me and we make soul mates and fairy tale romances look boring and mediocre. She’s a former black metal drummer from the Netherlands who’s been on-stage at Wakken in a bikini, and even approaching her 40’s, she still looks no older than 20. She has the sweetest, kindest heart, a brutally honest tongue and a spirit that holds nothing back. If that wasn’t enough, she’s qualified to castrate bulls, so I wouldn’t want to piss her off anyway! She’s more than enough for me. I don’t have eyes for anyone else. I’m beyond happy.
So when chicks chase me down after a show, Mike jumps in the way and shouts, “No ladies! He is very, very married!” He puts his body on the line for me every time. Good on ya bro!