Keep up with Nicolas here:
I started to play drums when I was ten. I've always been attracted by aggressive kind of stuff. My first serious band was called Necropedophile, it was a death metal band mixing a lot of crazy parts like a violent Mr Bungle. Then I Joined ARTEFACT, a Melodic Black Metal Act in 2002. I recorded 3 albums with them and toured in France and a little outside. At the same time I played in a progressive band, Spheric Universe Experience (1 album in 2007). Then I joined Otargos, a brutal black metal band and was with them for two years (dozens of gigs, a dvd and an album in 2009). I was playing in a rock band when Svart Crown called me to get back in affairs, it was in 2011, just before touring with Septic Flesh. I said "yes, but only for fun". And I do have some fun!
Nicolas Muller Interview:
SDM: How old were you when you started playing?
Nicolas: I was ten. I just entered in the school we call "college" in France, it starts at ten when you're born at the end of the year like I am.
SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Nicolas: Never. It doesn't exist in France. I had to create bands with some friends, always older than me because I started to play in metal bands at the age of 12, like Vitek of Decapitated, but not with the same level !
SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?
Nicolas: Trym, because he was the first one I heard to play so fast, Mike Portnoy because I learned to play the drums along Dream Theater albums, Vinnie Paul for the "drumming IQ" he shows in his patterns, Lars Ulrich because even if he totally sucks he's the one who plays the hardest, and Brooks Wackerman because his performance on Suicidal Tendencies' "Freedumb" has been a revolution in my drum sound.
SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?
Nicolas: Dave Weckl (with Michel Camilo, their both work is really, really amazing), Aaron Spears, Brad Wilk from RATM, Matt Sorum, Simon Phillips… and numerous others.
SDM: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
Entity – Origin
The Black Dahlia Murder – All of it
Option Paralysis – The Dillinger Escape Plan
some AOR shit (Robby Valentine, YOSO with Yes and Toto members)
No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne
SDM: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Nicolas: Absolutely nothing because I don't play fast things!
SDM: Do you read music? Regardless of answering yes or no, please tell us how it might have effected your playing?
Nicolas: I can read a little, because I had to learn it in order to teach when I was totally broke. But most of the time I do my best to connect my ears to my brain to print everything and remember. I developed my memory when I played in progressive bands.
SDM: Can you tell us about the gear you use?
Nicolas: I'm a "half" endorser of Ludwig Drums and Meinl cymbals (that means I pay, but a little less). I used to have some splashes but I broke a lot of these cymbals, so now I just use two MB10 crashes (17" and 19"), two chinas (17" and 19"), a MB10 Soundedge hi-hat, and a 22" Soundcaster power ride. For the drumkit I use a Ludwig Keystone with three toms, a single kick drum, with an old Mapex Black Panther snare drum, a 6.5×14 brass shell, the greatest snare drum I ever used (Loudblast Drummer owns the prototype). My pedals are nothing but old Iron Cobras.
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be…
Nicolas: Get as talented as you can and try to never overpass your abilities, because it's not your job. If you want to play a thing that requires a level of 50, you have to be able to play at 60. Specially in extreme metal. I know that your teammates want to play faster. Fuck them, you need some time and practice!
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Nicolas: I 've been very impressed by two drummers I toured with: the amazing Jamie St-Merat from Ulcerate (this guy is incredible behind a drumkit and really cool in life, like his teammates who became friends even if they live 15 000 miles away) and Fotis Benardo of Septic Flesh, who plays incredible things and seems to master everything he does. These two guys blast fast, play double bass patterns at the speed of light, but they plays DRUMS, really, like humans, with dynamics. I don't listen a lot of extreme metal, so when I do I like to hear drums and drummers, not machines.
SDM: Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?
Nicolas: I work in a radio station as a journalist. I have three shows each week, I say bullshit on air and I write books (but in french, so you're not interested, well… most of you).