Ryan Winnen

My name is Ryan Patrick Winnen. I’m a 16 year old living in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. I’m an only child, and have two loving and supportive parents, Paul and Pam. I’ve been playing drums for about 5 years, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve always associated playing drums with being in a band, and playing shows, because that has been my main goal in life and dream since the ages of 8-10.

I used to think about what it would be like to do what you love and share it with other people, whether it be sports, music, art, etc. I’ve always wanted to lay some form of impact on someone’s day, whether it be positive or negative, at least they gave me, my drumming, my music and my band a shot right?

I’ve had a few drum instructors since I started playing. Maury Haymore was my first instructor who taught me all of the basics and trained my body for drumming. He showed me how to be solid and not worry about speed, or technicalities just yet. My second, and most recent drum teacher who I look up to a lot is Tommy Haywood who has done many tours with prominent death metal act “Abigail Williams” as their bassist. He influenced me to become a metal drummer, constantly asking me what I wanted to learn, etc. He has always kept me eager, and interested in metal drumming, and the genre itself. From taking lessons with Tommy, he provided me with instruction from other well known metal drummers such as Zach Gibson and Dirk Verbeuren.

Drumming overall has provided me with a great, optimistic mindset, that has kept me focused and disciplined in all aspects of life. I feel physically and mentally refreshed after playing at practice or at a show, and that incredible feeling is all I ever wanted.

Ryan Winnen Interview:

SDM: How old were you when you started playing?

Ryan: I started messing around on a friends kit when I was about 9. I never got serious about learning though until the age of 11 when my first instructor started coming over.



SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?

Ryan: I played snare in marching band last school year (2007/2008), which was my first year of high school, so I was very ambitious about trying anything involving my drumming and school, but that was the extent of my involvement in school band.



SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?

Ryan: Brandon Tabor of The Analyst and Navid Naghdi of ABACABB are definitely two of my main influences. They are both very young, solid drummers who I’ve had the pleasure of becoming close friends with. Other influences include Kevin Boutout (The Acacia Strain), Shannon Lucas (TBDM), and Andrew Tkaczyk (For The Fallen Dreams)



SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?

Ryan: Timothy Java (Dead to Fall), Kevin Lane (Whitechapel), Danny Terchin (Oceano), Matt Greiner (August Burns Red), Chason Westmoreland (Burning the Masses), Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork), and many more.



SDM: Let us know 5 CD’s that are in your current rotation

Ryan: I’m currently enjoying……Kings of Leon – Only By The Night, Bloodbath – The Fathomless Mastery, Hostage Calm – Lens,  Whitechapel – This is Exile, and all the new 2008/2009 FATE demos.



SDM: What do you do to warm up before a show?

Ryan: I drink lots of water to maintain general hydration, jump around a bunch backstage/wherever people won’t bug me (or see me looking goofy), and I play my practice pad for about 10 minutes right before we play in order to get that tight feeling out of my wrists.



SDM: Do you read music? Regardless of answering yes or no, please tell us how it might have effected your playing?

Ryan: My most recent drum instructor and close friend Tommy Haywood (Abigail Williams) taught me to read basic notes and patterns, which provided me with a solid level of awareness for musical notation. Although I don’t really read anymore, I’d love to learn more when I have the downtime.



SDM: Can you tell us about the gear you use?


Pacific MXR Series (8 ply maple/black mat finish)
14′ snare (two inch and a half custom made vents on either side)
12′ rack tom
16′ floor tom
18’x24′ inch bass drum.

19′ Z Custom Rock Crash
22′ Z Custom Power Ride
12′ Wuhan China
14′ Avedis Mastersound Hi-Hats

-Evans/Aquarian Heads
-DW-9000 Hardware
-Pearl Powershifter Pedals / Hi-Hat Stand
-Pork Pie Throne (way comfortable)
-Vater 3A Fatback Sticks



SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to drummers younger than you, it would be…

Ryan: Practice hard, and never stop playing no matter how frustrated you get. I used to get so aggravated and down on myself in the early stages of trying to piece together body movements, and patterns but just remember that drumming takes commitment, and as you see yourself progress, you’ll be thankful that you stuck with it, because seeing yourself grow into the drummer you want to be is the greatest feeling in the world.



SDM: Who gave the best live performance you’ve ever seen?

Ryan: Kevin Boutot. The first time I saw The Acacia Strain at Sounds of The Underground was mind blowing. He’s so solid, and he has a certain flow to his playing that I love.



SDM: If you had to stop drumming, what would you want to do with your life?

Ryan: I can’t imagine myself not playing drums, but if there was no way to continue playing I would end up pursuing a profession in the music industry.