Richard Danielson tells us how he keeps the soul-rockers grooving.
“I’m in a band with a bunch of purists”
“We used to record on tape and we had to play from beginning to end. I quit music and the computer age came about. Now you can record one bar, loop it and make a whole song. That is weird to me. We record live as a whole band. If we make a mistake the whole band has to go record it again. I’m a little nervous about kids growing up in this age where they don’t know what it is like to have to perform the song from start to end in the studio. I’m thankful that I’m in a band with a bunch of purists.”
“The biggest tour in the world right now is with AC/DC. They’re breaking records everywhere they go and that is bass, drums, guitars and vocals. No clicks, no tracks, just five guys keeping it real, pocketing up and playing with their gut. It’s exciting to be on a tour with guys playing old school rock’n’roll. AC/DC are a blues band, they’re an old school rock’n’roll band, but they just turn up really loud. It’s exciting because we’re a rock’n’roll band and we keep it real and we strip it back and have nothing to hide behind.”
“Simplicity is key, the simplicity of a good drummer in blues and rock’n’roll. On the new record I’m playing some intricate pieces. I’ve put more of my stamp on it. The music that really excites me is something that stirs my soul. That could be a guy pocketing it up with a simple 2 and 4 – it doesn’t have to be flashy, it just has to feel good. It also hasto sound cool.”
“Our first record wasn’t recorded with a click, it was just live in the studio. We used a little click on the second record, but not on everything. It’s still live as a band – that gives you something you can’t get when you just click it up and put everything on a grid. That’s not what soul, rhythm and blues and early rock’n’roll was made of. Sometimes the mistakes are the best parts of a song.”
“I use a bass drum with no hole in the head. I like toget that vintage old soul, early rock’n’roll sound. Ifyou get that cool drum sound and add a good drummer to it then it has this attitude, it has a voice. A lot of drums have lost their voice. You set them up,put mics on them, the sound guy puts a bunch ofeffects on them to make them sound like drums.
“Drummers aren’t developing their own tones, the way they want their drums to sound. I see so many drummers sit down at the kit but never give the tonea thought. So many guys are just doing the same thing, they’re not trying to make their own way,they’re just buying a drum and hitting it and that’s their sound.”