“I never really chose drumming, I was just the only one of my friends who couldn’t play guitar,” Patrick Carney told BuzzFeed in a phone interview, celebrating the release of his band’s new album, Turn Blue. Below, Carney explains why drumming is even harder than it looks, even after all these years.
1. Drummers are huge nerds.
“Drummers are usually the nerdiest dude in the band, and drummers definitely get made fun of the most. No one respects the drummer. It’s way more impressive to play guitar and be a frontman. I can’t talk into a microphone; I have a fear of that, so maybe that’s actually a plus.”
2. It’s basically impossible to find a place to practice.
“Drums are an instrument you can’t really practice. After band practice, you can’t sit around your bedroom playing the drums,” he said. “Occasionally, we’ll demo stuff but 95% of the time we’ll go to the studio and just start fucking around.”
5. And getting good enough to play fast songs is really hard.
“I can’t play anything hard. When we made El Camino, that whole record was hard for me to play because I’m used to playing like half-time and slower shit. Up until El Camino, I never really played anything above 120-BPM. Learning to play faster was a huge struggle for me,” he said.
6. Everyone wants to be the guitarist.
“When I started playing drums everyone wanted to play guitar, including me. And I was the worst at guitar. So I’d always get relegated to the drum set. The first time I bought a drum set, was so my friend could play them, and we could start a band,” he said. “I bought them when I was 15 and it turned out I was the only one that played them, everyone else could play guitar.”
7. Experimenting with new sounds can backfire.
“I really like listening to different genres of music and trying to work them into a rock n’ roll band without being cheesy. You could either end up sounding like The Clash or Led Zeppelin, or you could end up sounding like some sort of nu-metal band if you combine the wrong parts.”
9. And when you finally find someone to drum with that you like, everyone won’t always like what you come up with.
“Some of the hardcore fans of the band were confused by our new single [” Fever”]. But I think this record is meant to be listened to as a whole album. Just like most of my favorite records, with bands like Led Zeppelin, there’s very few singles in those albums they all kind of gel together and become a haze of rock n’ roll.”
But most importantly, Carney just loves playing rock music.
“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘Why do you play the kind of music that you play?’ I just don’t know how to play anything else. I grew up playing rock n’ roll. My favorite songs to play on the new album are “In Time” and “Turn Blue.” “In Time” was the most fun for me to record, and “Turn Blue is the most fun for me to play live.”
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