|Tuesday, 16 January 2007 19:12|
Keep up with Danny here:
Current Affiliations: INTRONAUT & MURDER CONSTRUCT, EXHUMED & BALEYYG
Past Affiliations: UPHILL BATTLE, PHOBIA & THORNLORD, EXHUMED, JESU, CINEMA STRANGE, BASTARD NOISE & BAD ACID TRIP
Southern California resident Danny Walker studied a wide variety of musical styles before settling into an impressive career as a hardcore studio and session performer. At the age of 8 Danny took up the drum set as a hobby and eventually through discipline and instruction evolved as a serious player. Over the years Danny has achieved a notable reputation as a technically high performing artist. Danny began standing out in the metal and avant-garde fields in 1997.
Danny first earned respect as a drummer playing in bands throughout Southern California’s Ventura County. He played with UPHILL BATTLE, a hardcore/grind band, for more than five years. They toured North American, Canada and released three albums and two EPs. He also played with THORNLORD, a death metal group for a few years. They toured sporadically and recorded several demos before gradually dismantling.
In 2002, Danny joined avant-garde death rock band CINEMA STRANGE and played with them for four years. The band toured broadly through North America, Europe, Japan and Mexico and they released two records. Simultaneously, Danny frequently filled in as drummer for death metal group EXHUMED while they toured the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia supporting their "Anatomy Is Destiny" record.
After relocating to Los Angeles in 2005, Danny parted ways with main group UPHILL BATTLE to pursue progressive metal group INTRONAUT. INTRONAUT's sound is a fresh one for Danny and an excellent demonstration of his versatility as a player. With this he has focused on groove and dabbled in odd metered and poly-rhythmic patterns, focusing on power rather than speed. So far the group has toured extensively in North America, Canada, and Europe and they have released two albums and two EP's
While keeping INTRONAUT a top priority, Danny teamed up with Orange County's grindcore legends PHOBIA. He occasionally performed with the group throughout North America and Mexico and appeared on the releases "Cruel" and "22 Random Acts Of Violence" as well as splits with Extinction Of Mankind and Gadget.
In March of 2007 Danny teamed up with Justin K Broadrick (ex-GODFLESH, NAPALM DEATH, HEAD OF DAVID) and UK based group JESU for their debut U.S. appearance supporting ISIS. Danny temporally replaced Drummer Ted Parsons (ex-PRONG, SWANS, GODFLESH) During this tour, JESU also made it's South by Southwest debut as part of a Hydra Head showcase.
At the end of 2008 Danny temporally joined progressive hardcore act BASTARD NOISE featuring bassist extraordinaire Eric Wood & electronics/noise master WT Nelson (ex- MAN IS THE BASTARD, NEANDERTHAL.) In the beginning of 2009 Danny completed a 2 week tour of Japan with the group and appeared on the album “The Red List.”
Around this same time Danny worked with avant-garde psychedelic metal group BAD ACID TRIP, laying down drum tracks for the group’s record entitled “Humanly Possible”
In 2008 Danny teamed up with long time Collaborator and friend Leon Del Muerte (ex IMPALED, EXHUMED) to put together new death/grind group MURDER CONSTRUCT, featuring members of (EXHUMED, IMPALED, CATTLE DECAPITATION, PHOBIA, UPHILL BATTLE, BAD ACID TRIP, WATCH ME BURN.) The California based group Signed to Relapse Records and released their debut ep in 2010.
Danny has currently re-joined death metal group EXHUMED for a more extensive helping hand. The group recorded their 4th full length record entitled "All Guts, no Glory" which is scheduled to be released in April of 2011. The band is also Scheduled to perform at Maryland Death Fest next year.
Danny Walker Interview:
SDM: I have had the chance to hang with Adam Jarvis of Misery Index, Great guy! What did you like most about touring with him?
Danny: Adam is very modest and fun to travel with! He's a solid drummer and beats those skins like so nobody's business! Yeah he mentioned you guys were coming to check he and Darren(Burn In Silence) out at the Rochester show.
SDM: Was there anything that Rich Crawford & Al Velasquez had in common, in their teaching approach?
Danny: They both stressed on counting out loud when facing a new rhythm and were both big on funk.
SDM: You have recorded multiple albums with a few different bands, which album best represents your versatility?
Danny: Well I think they all do to some degree. I've done 3 records with UPHILL BATTLE and our "self titled" record has some wild stuff on it. I think I was in a more creative zone on this record. Also INTRONAUT is a prime example of something more fresh. The "Null" ep and "Void" record is definitely the most versatile I've ever been. With this band I focus more on groove and dabble in odd metered and poly-rhythmic patterns. It's really a lot of fun to focus more on power than speed with this band. If you want a straight up death/grind example of my playing then pick up the PHOBIA record "Cruel". That's definitely the fastest I've ever played on a record.
SDM: When did you start playing drums?
Danny: I started playing on my moms pots and pans before the age of 8 jamming to Kiss and Motley Crue records and eventually my parents bought me a Pearl Export 5 piece kit where I experimented for years before taking lessons.
SDM: Do you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Danny: I was in school marching band for a hot minute my freshman year in high school, but quit after I was put on cymbals. lol I wanted to play snare or the quads, but they refused to let me. I had to go through their system. I already knew how to play and read music, so after that I took off!
SDM: Ever take any lessons?
Danny: I believe I started taking lessons at the age 11. First with Rich Crawford. I started with him doing mostly funk/rock and reading a little. I was always a bit turned off by reading, so I would get by with my ear. For me that comes natural. I just hear something and pick it up or break it down and count it. After Rich was Al Velasquez, who instilled a lot of discipline in me. We worked on rudiments, technique, odd meters, poly-rhythms, funk, rock, jazz, latin etc. A lot was challenging and some came to me quick. Al Velasquez is the man!
SDM: Who are your top 5 influences?
Danny: I'd have to say
1. Dave Weckl
2. Thomas Hakke
3. Sean Reihnert
4. Gene Hoglan
5. Tim Alexander
SDM: Assuming that influences doesn't mean favorites, who are your favorites?
Danny: On the contrary! I think my favorites including them are Kai Hato, Terry Bozzio, Brann Dailor, Dennis Chambers, Elvin Jones, Tony
Williams, Billy Cobham etc...
SDM: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
Estradasphere - Palace Of Mirrors
Meshuggah - Re-Nothing
Dysrhythmia - Barriers and Passages
Inhume - Choas - Dissection - Order
Godflesh - In All Languages
SDM: Do you practice any specific rudiments or combo's regularly?
Danny: Definitely! I always warm up with single/double/flam combos. 16th notes with one hand and quarter notes locked in on the other hand. I rotate this back and forth for about 8 quarter counts each. I like to mix up different types of paradiddles back and forth
(R L RR L R LL R L RR L R LL - RR L R LL R L RR L R LL R L -
R LL R L RR L R LL R L RR L - RR L R L R LL RR L R L R LL) over and over
Also singles between the hands and feet back and forth super fast
Sanre - R L R L R L RL - Kick - R L R L R L R L
All these exercises are for warming up rather than building technique.
SDM: What is your favorite part of your drum kit?
Danny: Probably cymbals more than anything! I tend to abuse the colorful sound of cymbals! chinas, splashes, rides, ice bell etc... I love hi-hat and floor tom.
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to younger drummers, it would be...
Danny: Don't poison your mind with one genre of music. You can take so many ideas from other sources and apply it to what you want. "METAL" This is what will give you character. Also practice to a click or metronome......EVEN if you think you have perfect timing.
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Danny: That's a hard one! Well definitely Thomas Hakke of Meshuggah. He is so solid and just in the pocket. I used to work at a music shop that once put on a Terry Bozzio clinic and I got to stand right behind his set and listen to almost and hour and a half of solo pieces. Amazing!
SDM: If you had to stop drumming, what else do you want to do with your life?
Danny: Kill myself!