HELLO I AM WES J

HELLO I AM WES J
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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

BATTERY DRUMMER INTERVIEW : Steve Baughman, Killing the Silence


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

Steve Baughman, Killing the Silence



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


Countless bands and drummers come to mind as early influencers to me spanning from classic rock to 90s rock, but the top three are: (1) Mike Portnoy for technical fluency, mastery of double bass, groove and rhythm, unpredictability, interesting ever-changing beats within songs, and evolution and variety of drums and cymbals, (2) Neil Peart for his wide variety of technical virtuosity, massive drumset and use of interesting percussive sounds and patterns, and (3) Tre Cool because of his speed, blending cymbal hits with his rhythm, and insane fills!


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


My first kit was a deep burgundy, 5-piece Eclipse wood kit that evolved with an experimental variety of Zildjan, Paiste, and Camber cymbals.  A double-chained, double bass pedal was eventually added until the left foot chain broke after only two years, so I later had to reacquire and build on those skills.  I was 13 when I got it and 26 when I sold it.


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


Yes, my mom allotted me a section of the oversized basement and took me to music stores and lessons often.  And whatever my mom approved, my stepdad wisely did not question!


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


Dream Theater's Scenes from a Memory


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



Seven-shell, black Yamaha Stage Custom Birchwood set: 8/10/12" aerial toms, 16/18" floor toms, 14" snare, and 22" bass drum.  


Ten Sabian cymbals and 2 hi-hats: 14/16/18" HHX dark crashes, 16" AAX bright crash, 14" and 19" AAX Chinese, 20" HHX ride, 21" HHX groove ride, 10" HHX splash, 10" AAX ozone splash), 13" AAX hi-hat, and 14" HHX hi-hat.


*Why two hi-hats and two rides?  I love diversity.  The 14" HHX hat provides a darker, heavier sound and is my main hi-hat, but if I use in tandem with the 13" AAX hat that provides a brighter and lighter sound, I can easily accent on-beat or off-beat notes.  The 13" also stays closed so I can play double bass with it.  For diversity of ride cymbals I have a brighter, thinner 20" ride cymbal as my main ride. The 21" Groove ride is thicker, darker, and has increased overtone for heavier parts and a larger bell that cuts really well.





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


I pretty much have all that I currently want in a dream kit, but if I played full time, had a drum technician and an endorsement with endless supplies, I'd definitely experiment, especially with effect sounds, and evolve my kit accordingly.  For example, I might experiment with use of other splashes or adding something like a Sabian medium Max Stax for a short, cutting effect sound because I sometimes use my splashes to accent double 16th notes, and with vocal or guitar sound waves it can be hard to hear the cut between both so they don't sound like one oddly place 8th note instead.


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


Lol...those honestly would've been my top two, but several others have influenced me greatly, so I mostly credit the following:


Tre Cool from Greenday and Travis Barker from Blink 182 were early influencers to me for upper body speed, fills, and cymbal usage, and have a lot of contribution to my style.  Shaun Foist from Breaking Benjamin has unpredictable but interesting grooves, and I enjoy well-placed accents on different cymbal bells.  Some double bass groove and fill influencers to me are Chrstiano Mozzati from Lacuna Coil and Nick Augusto from Trivium. 


9. Do you prefer Live or Studio?


It depends, but definitely live for fun and unrecorded events since it's fun to share our music, meet new people, and hear other bands!  If we're talking sound and recording, of course, I'd prefer the studio.


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



Nah! The nice drummers allow the guitarist one every once in a while, especially if he helps transport, set up, and tear down the drums.






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