Posted by Claudette Cooling on 13th November 2018
As you know we like to bring you guys as much behind the scenes info and news as we can and this month we got to catch up with the #FUTUREBEAT by Yamaha Drums North East Regional Finalist, Frazer Graham. As you guys know last month we hosted the North East Regional Final here at Drum Shop and Frazer was the successful winner. We thought it would be great to catch up with Frazer after he recently competed in the Grand Final of #FUTUREBEAT 2018 and showed the country and the drumming community exactly what he's made of! At just the tender age of 17, Frazer is already making huge strides towards a successful career and this is chance for all you drummers out there to see what really makes him tick!
When did you start playing drums? What got you into playing?
I was introduced to drums at a very early age when I was given a toy drum kit and I would spend ages playing them every day. When I listened to music on the radio and in the car I would always just focus on the drum parts as they sounded really interesting. I then started playing drums properly when I started lessons in year 6 at school, which continued throughout secondary school. I also joined a samba group at Washington Arts Centre which evolved into formal lessons with Daniel Dixon.
How often do you practice?
Apart from weekly lessons I usually try to play as much as I can after college before my parents return from work. I also practice in a studio with my band, Plastic Glass in the run up to gigs.
What made you try out for #FUTUREBEAT 2018?
The competition seemed like a great opportunity for drummers to be able to showcase their skills and be in the spotlight for a change, and for some it could be the first step into their music career. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take as these opportunities for a drummer to be in the spotlight rarely come up. Take a look at Frazer's #FUTUREBEAT 2018 entry video below:
How has #FUTUREBEAT 2018 experience impacted your drumming?
Through meeting professional drummers and other musicians, it has given me a stronger understanding of how drumming fits into the world of music. It has given me an insight on how to tailor my drumming to a song more effectively and I have learned more about playing different styles and genres of music.
Do you have a warm up routine that you do pre-show?
Normally I find a practice pad, cushion or any suitable surface and just play a few basic rudiments to warm up. I tend to stick to single stroke rolls, then double stroke rolls, then paradiddles, double paradiddles, flamadiddles, then back to the start and gradually build up the speed.
What’s your favourite kind of music to play and/or listen to?
I enjoy playing mostly rock/heavy music that has complicated or interesting drum parts that feel good to play, for example, I like to play Mantra by Bring Me The Horizon because it’s a song I can really get into playing and I can just let loose on the drums. I also play a lot of indie rock, as my band is an indie rock band.
Do you have any favourite artists/bands at the moment?
I listen to a wide range of music so as of now I don’t really have any favourites.
What’s your top tip for all the aspiring drummers out there?
Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice the quicker you progress. Getting lessons is also a great help.
What are you up to right now?
I am currently playing drums in a band called Plastic Glass formed at the beginning of the year. We have already recorded our debut double A side single available on Spotify, iTunes, etc and we are planning on releasing more originals very soon. We have played a number of gigs and have more coming up in the run up to the end of the year, including playing support at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. I have also recently joined Houghton Brass band, which is a completely different style of drumming. Although I am planning to go to university I would love to continue my career as a drummer and it would be fantastic if my band were to go on to become successful.
We’re beyond grateful that Frazer took the time to answer some of our questions and we hope this gives all you young drummers the determination and confidence to pursue your drumming dreams, just like Frazer. Take a look below for more info about drumming Frazer's set-up!
Can you talk us through your drum set-up, what does it include?
My current setup is a 5 piece kit made up of 12”, 14” and 16” toms and a 22” kick drum, which are all DW PDP Concept Maple drums, and the 13” Yamaha Recording Custom Brass snare drum I won in the #FUTUREBEAT regional final. My cymbals consist of 14” Zildjian ZHT mastersound hi-hats, a 16” Dream Bliss crash, an 18” Istanbul Mehmet Nostalgia crash, a 22” Istanbul Mehmet Legend ride, a stack made up of a modified 16” Zildjian ZHT medium thin crash top (which I cut 6 holes in, similar to the Sabian O-Zone cymbals to add trashiness) and a 14” Zildjian ZHT mastersound bottom hi-hat cymbal on the bottom, and an 18” Stagg Sensa Orbis china. I also use Evans drum heads and Vater drumsticks, and a Mapex double kick pedal.
Do you have any favourite pieces of gear in your set up?
I’m loving my new Yamaha snare at the moment, it's an absolutely beautiful snare!
We love not only learning about some of the amazing drummers within the drumming community but we love nothing more than to shout about them and support them! Want to learn more about Frazer? Then get yourself over to his socials and check him out, you can find Frazer on the following platforms:
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