Dominik Litterst Interview – Left For Dead

Keep up with Dominik here:
Interview by Noel Smart:
SDM:  How important are your kick pedals to your playing?
Dominik:  Very important, I think there are huge differences between manufacturers and models, but with perfect pedal settings you can make a lot out of it.
SDM:  How do you prepare yourself before a show and recording?
Dominik:  Usually I take a break for a few minutes before the show to gather myself and do some stretches.
SDM:  What kind of practice routines do you perform when you practice by yourself?
Dominik:  I guess everyone has a weakness, so I practice them mostly. Otherwise blast beats and double bass parts. I play a lot to different songs with my headphones and e-drum in my living room. Of course also the drum tracks of our own songs – only drums, the rest is playing in my head!
SDM:  Did you ever take drum lessons? Do you play any other instrument? Can you read music like drum notation or guitar tab?
Dominik:  I took drum lessons for not even half a year. I always wanted to play songs I like, but wasn’t allowed to. I wanted to do my own thing, so I quit the lessons and learned drumming by myself. Unfortunately I can neither play other instruments, nor read any notations. I think with good ears you can accomplish almost everything, even without notations.
SDM:  What kind of gear do you use such as pedals, sticks, cymbals, hardware, and heads?
Dominik:  At home I have the Roland TDK 20KX e-drum, Iron Cobra Rolling Glide pedals. At practice and on stage I use a Pearl Classic set. Pearl hardware and Vic Firth 5a sticks. My cymbals are Paiste 2002 Classic series: 16” +18” Power Crash, 17” Thin Crash, 20” Classic-Ride, 18” Novo-Crash and 14” Medium Hi-hats. Also 10” PST5 Splash and 10” Metal-Splash from the Paiste Alpha series. Heads are Evans G2 Clear and I use Tama HP200TW Iron Cobra pedals.
SDM:  Do you have any touring planned for your latest release and if so with who and where?
Dominik:  I’m stuck in my education, so I can’t travel around the world right now. But after that we are of course looking for an opportunity like that.
SDM:  Where did you record your latest album “Left for dead – Exit Humanity”?
Dominik:  It was recorded in Bzinska, Czech Republic – at Shaark Studio. Bands like Master, Hypnos and Fleshless recorded in this studio too.
SDM:  How long did it take you to record the drums and were you happy with the final product?
Dominik:  It took me 2 days for recording the album. From 8 am till the middle of the night, including fixing etc… I’m very happy with the results, especially because it is my first “real” studio album I’ve ever recorded. I’m very satisfied with it, but there’s alway room to improve, that’s one thing for sure!
SDM:  Did you record the drums to a click track in the studio? Do you find playing to a click track challenging?
Dominik:  Yes to a click track. At the beginning it was a bit unfamiliar but then very helpful and finally got going by itself.
SDM:  Do you use triggers in the studio or live? What’s your opinion on using triggers and drum modules?
Dominik:  I never used triggers so far. Sure, I was thinking about it. I find most of the triggers have a too un-natural sound and don’t fit to the rest. Let me put it like this, if I’m gonna find a trigger sound which sounds punchy but natural, we can talk about it 🙂
SDM:  How long did you have to create the drum parts?
Dominik:  Actually since I was 9 years old, when I started drumming 🙂 I think you’re never finished with tweaking the set. You’re always changing parts of it from time to time.
SDM:  What band or drummer might have influenced you on your latest recording?
Dominik:  Definitely George Kollias (Nile), Adam Jarvis (Misery Index / Pig Destroyer), Trey Williams (Dying Fetus). But I think most of all and personally for myself – Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy).
SDM:  Do you listen to different styles of music outside of the metal realm?
Dominik:  I also like to hear Classic Rock like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad and so on… furthermore, Jazz and Blues!
SDM:  How often does the band practice during the week? How often do you practice by yourself?
Dominik:  With the band one time per week, sadly. We all have jobs and don’t have that much time. At home I’m practicing as often as possible. That’s about 2 – 3 times per week plus band practice.
SDM:  How were the drums recorded in the studio and with what kind of gear did you use to record them with?
Dominik:  I used my live gear for the recordings. Two overhead mics, bass drum mic, of course all of the toms seperately, and the snare with two mics – top and bottom.