I don`t know what it is, but I`m guessing that the film “Bohemian Rhapsody” has led to a renewed interest in the band Queen. I notice that more people than ever is looking at the Queen articles on my blog lately. So here is an short article with the cutest guy in a drag outfit ever – Roger Taylor.
`A drum is a drum is a drum…
and that`s as far as it goes`
By Geoff Barton
A lot of musicians featured recently in “Play Your Own Sounds” have admitted to being frustrated guitarists, and Queen`s drummer Roger Meadows-Taylor appears to be no exception: “I really would have liked to be a guitarist – my first instrument was a guitar, but I just somehow found myself with some drums and it went from there.
“I first started playing drums when I was about 11 or 12, along with some friends who were also learning instruments at the time. I found that I was best on drums by far, and it eventually blossomed into a bit of an obsession.
“I began to acquire a collection of drums, and I built a kit up slowly. I worked at it a bit and gradually learnt how to play and earned a bit of money to get a better kit. I had a Premier kit for years, but now I`ve got a very nice big Ludwig kit which has taken some time to get together really, because it`s made up of unusually-sized drums. I`ve always liked Ludwig best. They`ve always been the drums I`ve wanted – I like the sound of them and all my favourite drummers play them. I just couldn`t think of playing anything else.”
Roger had amongst his array of equipment a seven and a half inch Ludwig snare; a large 26 inch bass drum; an assortment of Paiste cymbals and Shaftesbury stands, which he recommends. He uses Ginger Baker sticks: “They`re one of the few sticks made that don`t get very thin at the end. They get thin, but not too thin – they don`t snap too easily. Also, you can get a really good whip on them and they`re very controllable.”
Roger said that he was quite obsessed with drum playing. I wondered how far that obsession went – was he as dedicated a musician as, say, Billy Cobham?
“No, I`m not as dedicated as he is. I`m… fairly dedicated, but it doesn`t run my whole life. There are times, like when I`m on holiday, when I forget I`m a drummer.”
Visually, Queen are a very exciting, very active band. Do you ever tend to feel in the background?
“I don`t know… I`m not really the sort of person to be in the background. The drummer always works so hard. It`s the most energetic job, no matter how much your lead singer might prance around. If your lighting is good, there`s no need for you to feel in the background at all.”
Roger`s favourite drummers include Max Roch, Billy Cobham, Carmen Acapulco and John Bonham: “For a rock `n` roll drummer, Bonham is absolutely untouchable. His live sound is incredible.”
Queen are also a band very much into effects, both musically and visually. I wondered if Roger was particularly into that side of things.
“Fairly… just as a means to a musical end really. Some effects, like echoes are really important. There`s nothing wrong in using them.”
How about drum effects?
“Umm – no, you see we played about once with sort of different delayed effects, but that didn`t work out really. I think it`s all a matter of equalisation on the drums. If it sounds right that`s all that matters.”
And synthesised drums?
“Not interested, no, not really. A drum is a drum is a drum and that`s as far as it goes.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Humble Pie, Stephen Stills, Robin Trower, Big John Vary, Aj Webber, Rolling Stones, Syreeta Wright, Wishbone Ash, Mike McGear, Bert Jansch, Rufus, Minnie Riperton, John Coghlan, Bob Henrit, Slade.
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