really my big thing. That's what I really pride myself on. Finding the absolute
seminal tempo for a song and being relentless with it, and not giving it up to
anybody is key. Do it every night, exactly the same. I don't mind speeding up,
if that's part of the shape of the song, but I would want to do that preferably
every night too. If it does go up, it needs to go up by only that much every
night. It is not always about what you play, it's where you're placing the
beats: pushing the kick and being lazy on the snare, or vice versa. A lazy foot
does not normally work very well, but a lazy snare can work brilliantly. When
you listen to someone like Jeff Porcaro he's always right on time, and his snare
drum is, invariably a fraction late . That is how he gets his feel.
One of the wonderful things about listening to music is that there are many regions that have their own groove. They have their own way of communicating. In the days of past and present you could tell where a tribe was from by the way the drums grooved.
It is also very important to think like a musician and not just a drummer. I am certainly tempted to be selfish and play what I think may sound good. You might impress some other drummer in the first row at the night club but musically it's not a good thing. It is the nature of our instrument that when working in a band, it is not all that glorious a lot of the time. Just groove and people who know will know you are doing the right thing. So remember the man (or woman) behind the drum set on a makeshift stage. A small stage is always loaded down with amplifiers, a Pearl drum kit, plus all the other gadgetry. And for the band I play with, the gig is just a pit stop to a day's future fame.