Exclusive Interview With Marco Minnemann

Our friend Dr. Ruth Turner had the chance recently to sit down with legendary Marco Minnemann and conduct an exclusive interview just for Sick Drummer Magazine… Thanks Ruth!

Ruth: Who do you credit as a major influence in picking up the drumsticks as a boy?

Sick Drummer Magazine Issue 12

Marco: My Dad. He asked me if I wanted to play the drums, bought me my first kit and organized lessons.  Drummers include Simon Phillips, Buddy Rich, Vinnie Colaiuta, Stewart Copeland, and John Bonham.

Ruth: I’ve heard you speak of the influence that Frank Zappa has had on you as an overall musician. How would you describe Zappa to today’s youth who have never heard of him?

Marco: Frank Zappa was a composer that fearlessly went into all musical direction with ultimate freedom of speech and music!
 
Ruth: At your young age you have already appeared on the cover of Modern Drummer, the world’s number one drumming magazine. What does this mean to you?

Marco: Thanks!  Well, that means that I’m getting recognized.  I’m very thankful for that and it also means that my work gets heard, so it makes me work more and gives me the challenge and courage to move into new territories. That’s the beauty of it I guess.

Ruth: You were the first German drummer to play at the Modern Drummer Festival, an incredible honor. What were you thinking and feeling as you walked to the kit for the first time after your introduction?

Marco: I was scared, brave and dedicated all at the same time. I just thought: man, if you don’t make an impact here at this very moment … all your work wasn’t worth it. That took away my pressure and … I just played for my life.

Ruth: With regard to Necrophagist on the Summer Slaughter Tour last year, what did you take from that entire experience in extreme metal?

Marco: As for Necrophagist and Kreator, I ALWAYS loved and grew up with all kinds of Metal Music, so for me it was a great fun tour and experience. I keep playing Metal and productions like that a lot. Especially these days it becomes more challenging and fun, since bands get really not only the Metal attitude, but also the precision and musicianship combination.

Ruth: You have particularly amazing interdependence skills for which you are well known and respected.  Is this an inborn trait, or something for which you have had to spend many, many, many hours/weeks/years practicing?

Marco: Well, I spend to this day a certain amount practicing independence. But I guess it also was beneficial to taking organ lessons when I was 6 – foot bass, and keyboards; pretty good training I guess.  But I never wanted to purposely train “interdependence”. It was just my vision of how to use my instruments on the kit in a wise direction.

Ruth: You’ve played in a number of German bands as a younger drummer.  Are the German and American rock/metal scenes similar or different?

Marco: They’re a bit different. My buddies here in the US “dare” more and take things sometimes a bit easier regarding musical acceptance and good players therefore get more personality and feature out of it. A number of times I found that especially in Germany music is being produced to death and musicianship to be kept under lock and key.

Ruth: You joined Chad Wackerman and Terry Bozzio on a worldwide clinic tour in 2006, which no doubt ranks high as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Do you have a fond memory that particularly stands out for you?

Marco: Yes, I mean, these are players I listened to when I was a kid and I have huge respect. Playing with Chad and Terry is very musical, they’re beyond that whole competition thinking and it’s just such a pleasure to create on stage but also “delivering the goods” at certain moments!

Ruth: I have been at a number of clinics in which you have played with Johnny Rabb, and it is obvious that you get along well and have fun with each other. How does playing with someone with such a different style of drumming, like him, challenge you?

Marco: Johnny is a good friend of mine and as much our styles seem to be different it actually creates more environment and playground. The important thing is communication and the same groove connection in the pieces we play.

Ruth: There is no doubt in question that you are an exceptionally talented drummer, but your musicality goes much deeper than that – you are a writer, producer, engineer, and you play numerous instruments. If you weren’t drumming, what would you like to do more of?

Marco: Wow.  Well it goes hand in hand, I spend the same amount of time writing as playing drums. But I’d probably practice more Guitar, Bass and Keys, and learn more about cooking.

Ruth: You play jazz, funk, rock, metal, amongst many genres.  Is there a style that you prefer over another?  

Marco: Short answer: No.  I believe in every “style” (if you want to frame it) there’re diamonds and highlights of music. I can feel what I like hearing no matter what.
 
Ruth: I’ve seen some of your drawings. When you draw does the pencil become one with you as does a drumstick when you drum?  What does a pencil allow you to express?

Marco: I actually don’t really draw, it was just my cartoon doodling that made it on 2 of my albums so far and kept signing with these “drawings”. Funny that people all of a sudden kept asking about a shirt with these characters. So, basically, I won’t even remotely dare to compare my drawing skills with the hours of working on drums.

Ruth: You appear to be a humble man who enjoys talking with his fans, and oblige by chatting and signing autographs. What is the most interesting thing someone has asked you to sign?

Marco: The most interesting thing happened in Toronto. One guy had me sign and draw on his legs twice and then tattoo’d it!!!

Ruth: What is something readers might be surprised to know about you?

Marco: That I’m actually a very reclusive person – I don’t like big cities and crowds and hardly ever go to concerts or clubs. I love to go out when being on the road, but when I’m at home I stay at home.

Ruth: What does the future hold for you Marco, as you become more and more in demand as a drummer?

Marco: The great thing is that I’m getting more and more recording requests since I’ve established my studio in San Diego. I can record at home and send out files to the world. And that’s fun and very convenient for both sides. So I love doing that.

Ruth: What is the most played album on your ipod?

Marco: Recently it is Ry Cooder “I, flathead”
 
Ruth: What is your proudest achievement in music?

Marco: My CD project Normalizer 2; CDs will be out in 2009.  More to read then.
 
Ruth: Who would you most like to have a one on one drum-off with?

Marco: Simon Phillips, Prince, Vinnie Colaiuta
 
Ruth: What other drummers do you chill out with?

Marco: Doane Perry (close friend) ,Virgil Donati, Johnny Rabb, Simon Phillips
 
Ruth: If you could have a laid back leisurely social dinner with a person or people of your choice, alive or dead, who would that/they be?

Marco: Sara Quin (Tegan and Sara [Indie Rock Band]), Jimmy Page.
 
Ruth: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you do before or after you perform?

Marco: Not really, but I try to eat healthy and not too much before the show.
 
Ruth: When you’re not drumming, teaching, or touring, what else do you like to do?

Marco: Running on the beach, hiking the mission trails, testing restaurants
 
Ruth: What would you best like to be remembered for?

Marco: For my music I write. I put so much effort into this and this is my real life.

Ruth: Finally, I’ve always wanted to ask a Christmas Eve baby this question. Do you just get one of your Christmas presents early as a birthday present, or can you score a birthday present without it affecting your Christmas present tally?

Marco: Birthday presents in the morning, Christmas at night!  Or bigger things like a double pedal in my teenage years for both occasions.
 
Ruth: Thank you for the interview; any final words of wisdom?

Marco: Thank you!  I always like to say – prepare and try many different styles of food – but make sure to use quality ingredients and be a good chef.

Сердце "Куклы, куколки и аксессуары к ним. Подробные пошаговые инструкции"его содрогнулось от горя.

Они были старые и расшатавшиеся.

Я не собираюсь "5 тренинговых программ "под ключ": практическое руководство для тренера"возиться с этим трупом, заявил Римо.

Римо наклонился вперед, так "Овечка Шарлотта"чтобы никто посторонний не смог расслышать "Власть стихий"его шепот.

Свидетель был удивлен его появлением "Доводы рассудка: Роман"отчасти потому, что не "До третьих петухов. Рассказы и сказка"привык видеть его у себя, отчасти потому, что было уже поздно.

Новый "Вне времени"фургон появился сразу, как чертик из ящика, просто "Разбор слова по составу. Для начальной школы"возник, и все, привычный, массивный, "Русский язык. 3 класс. Тетрадь для закрепления знаний"с длинным широким кузовом и просторной кабиной "Генерал в своем лабиринте"с большим смотровым стеклом.