Keep up with Samantha here:
Drummer Samantha Landa is from Vancouver, Canada and is currently based in Montreal. Samantha is most recently known for filling in at the 11th hour with Napalm Records thrash trio, Nervosa, and completing multiple tours around North America and Europe with the band. She has also spent time touring around Canada and the US with her current melodic death/thrash outfit, Dead Asylum.
Samantha started drumming at age 11, doing her time in school bands and garage bands before discovering her love for metal. Early influences like Mike Portnoy and Martin Lopez inspired her to creatively incorporate grooves, chokes and complex cymbal patterns into her playing style. Samantha proudly endorses Sabian Cymbals and Los Cabos Drumsticks.
Samantha Landa Interview:
SDM: How old were you when you started playing?
Samantha: I started drumming when I was 11. I joined my school concert band, and I think we were the only elementary school in the district whose band had a full drum kit. Score.
SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Samantha: I played in school concert band from grades 6-12, and jazz band in grade 12. I drummed in two high school musicals, and I was a member of the local youth concert band (outside of school).
SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?
Samantha: There were only three drummers who directly influenced my current style: Martin Lopez, Mike Portnoy, and Chris Adler.
SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?
Samantha: I love watching George Kollias and Matt Garstka. Anup Sastry also absolutely kills it.
SDM: Let us know 5 CD’s that are in your current rotation
1) Carcass – Heartwork
2) Carcass – Surgical Steel
3) Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World
4) Unleash the Archers – Apex
5) At The Gates – Slaughter of the Soul
SDM: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Samantha: I always stretch my wrists and ankles, shake out my hands and feet and try to get my heart pumping. I bring a practice pad to go through a few basic rudiments on my hands, speeding up and slowing down. I turn on the click at a comfortable tempo and go from there. I’d like to say I bring my kick pad everywhere, but sadly I don’t at the moment!
SDM: Do you read music? Regardless of answering yes or no, please tell us how it might have affected your playing?
Samantha: Yes, I do read music! I played classical piano for almost ten years. Reading music and knowing basic theory makes it easier to communicate rhythms or ideas to other musicians, and it helps me better understand when someone else is trying to communicate an idea to me. Theory is a really valuable language.
SDM: Can you tell us about the gear you use?
Samantha: I play a six-piece Tama Starclassic Birch kit (8/10/12/14/22) with a red-to-black sparkle finish, Sabian cymbals, Pearl Demon Drive pedals and Los Cabos sticks (5A Intense in white hickory–I play long sticks).
Here’s my cymbal setup:
14″ Sabian AAX stage hats
17″ Sabian AAX X-Plosion fast crash
08″ Sabian Hand Hammered HH splash
08″ Sabian AAX Air splash
17″ Sabian AAXTreme Chinese
19″ Sabian HHX X-Plosion crash
22″ Sabian HH Power Bell ride
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be…
Samantha: Keep practicing, no matter how good or bad you think you are. Play for you–no one else. Do it because you love it, and anything else is a bonus. Oh, and after you play a set unless you’re the last band of the night, move everything off the stage before you start dismantling it!
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you’ve ever seen?
Samantha: Mike Mangini. He’s an absolute beast, plus he has an impeccable groove. One of the most natural players I’ve ever seen live.
SDM: Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?
Samantha: I like going to shows and meeting new people. I love writing, so much that I’ve made that my ‘day job.’ I have a lot of other hobbies, but drumming and writing are my bread and butter.