Keep up with Zak here:
I am 21 years old and currently am the drummer for the WV based metal band Left Behind. I got into drumming because of my two older brothers, who have always played music. I learned drums pretty much by watching my older brother and playing to Green Day albums. I started out on my brother's beat hand me down Pulse kit, with chewed up cymbals. I've now been drumming for close to 9 years.
A lot of my music and drum influences sparked from my brothers tastes. A lot of it was dark or sorta punk stuff. Anywhere from AFI, Misfits, Danzig and Type O Negative, to Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Green Day and The Offspring. Besides Tre' Cool's drumming I was instantly fixated on Danny Carey from Tool. His drumming style, techniques and polyrhythm's were so different from what I had heard before. He really made me think about my drums and inspired me to try strange rhythms and fills. From their influences I branched out to a lot of heavier music. Some of my early favorites included: Hatebreed, Parkway Drive, Slipknot, Atreyu and of course, Tool.
My kit right now is a Dixon Demon 4-piece kit with birch and mahogany shells. I use a Peavey snare from my first kit – it's 14" x 7.5". I just never wanted to get rid of it. I use an Evans Hybrid Kevlar head on that, Remo coated ambassadors on the toms, and always an Aquarian Super Kick II on the kick. For Cymbals I use a 21" Zildjian Platinum ride as my main crash, an 18" Saluda Mist X crash, some beat Zildjian ZXT hi-hats, a 10" Wuhan splash and a 16" Wuhan china.
Zak Rea Interview:
SDM: How old were you when you started playing?
Zak: About 12 years old.
SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Zak: I started playing snare in middle school band, because I thought that drum line movie with Nick Cannon was sweet.
SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?
Zak: Well as far as metal goes I'd say, Tool, Slipknot, Parkway Drive, Atreyu, and Hatebreed
SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?
Zak: Very tough question to answer. I'd say the stuff I've listened to since I was kid like, AFI, HIM, The 69 Eyes, Type O Negative, Green Day, Anti-Flag, Nirvana, The Offspring, The Misfits, Danzig, The Casualties, My Chemical Romance, Aiden. I could go on forever but I'll stop there.
SDM: Let us know 5 CD's that are in your current rotation
Twitching tongues – In Love There is No Law
Harms Way – Isolation
The Devil Makes Three – Do Wrong Right
Expire – Pendulum Swings
Danzig – Circle of Snakes
SDM: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Zak: Weird shit. I do your typical stretches, push ups, and sit ups. Here's where it gets weird, I do a Tai Chi technique. It uses the ball of energy thing that derives from Tai Chi but I extend my arms holding the imaginary ball of energy, get in a power stance and flex every muscle I can and move the ball left and right a couple of times.
SDM: Do you read music? Regardless of answering yes or no, please tell us how it might have effected your playing?
Zak: I read a little bit of drum music, not very well anymore though. I wish I got more into it before I quit band because I'd know how to explain the weird time signatures I use occasionally.
SDM: Can you tell us about the gear you use?
Zak: Yeah, its actually fairly modest gear. I use a Dixon Demon 4 piece kit with birch and mahogany shells, along with an old steel
Peavey snare from my first kit its 14×7 1/2. I use a Evans Hybrid Kevlar head on that, Remo coated ambassadors on the toms, and always an Aquarian Super Kick II on the kick. Cymbals I use a 21" Zildjian Platinum ride as my main crash, an 18" Saluda Mist X crash, some beat Zildjian ZXT hi hats, a 10" Wuhan splash, and a 16" Wuhan china.
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be…
Zak: Exercise! Stay limber and loose when you play, also it's very important to jam with and experiment with all kinds of musical styles.
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you've ever seen?
Zak: Black Mask.
SDM: Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?
Zak: I'm very into art of all kinds, I do alot of strange morbid art. I also love muddin' and drinkin' beer!