Keep up with Craig here:
I started playing in my first band when I was about 13, A ska/hardcore crossover band called The Suck Ups. We sounded like children playing Dead Kennedys songs backwards. It was funny as hell and got me into gigging at a fairly early age. I played in a few other bands before studying at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Surrey for 4 years, where I got a degree in contemporary music.
In 2005 I sessioned filling in for Jason Bowld (pitchshifter) for his other band, Getamped. It was a real light band, pop rock kind of stuff but we did a 16 date tour of China which was awesome. I was also playing in a metalcore band called Liu Kang at the time. We released a split with Sequoia in france, and played a bunch of shows around the UK.
After that I joined The Seventh Cross on (Candlelight Records) until we split up for personal reasons, and now I’m playing in Viatrophy. We’ve got a 6 track EP out on Siege Of Amida Records and our debut album will be out in the summer.
Craig Reynolds Interview:
SD.com: How old were you when you started playing?
Craig: I actually started drumming when I was about 9 or 10, when they started doing musical instrument ‘workshops’ at school. There was a bunch of different instruments you could learn and most people went for guitar but I instantly went for drums. Because it’s obviously the coolest instrument and will get you more girls. I don’t know if I was thinking that back then, but I am right now.
SD.com: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Craig: There was a ‘drum club’ at school, we don’t really have drum corps in the UK. I wasn’t a member though because it was boring. You didn’t really learn anything and I’d rather of spent my time after school playing with my band.
SD.com: Who are your top 5 influences?
Craig: Wow, in no particular order: Tomas Haake, Derek Roddy, JR Rodriguez, Chris Pennie before he sold out, and Vitek. Winds of Creation was the first death metal CD I ever bought and I remember being blown away thinking the guy was only 16 or whatever.
SD.com: Assuming that influences doesn’t mean favorites, who are your favorites?
Craig: I think those few are my favourites as well! Seeing as I haven’t gone into any detail I’ll elaborate why I really like some of those guys. Tomas Haake from Meshuggah because he is mind blowingly technical but still maintains a sick groove. Roddy because he is just king plain and simple. JR from Ion Dissonance because he hits the hardest I have ever seen anyone in metal hit, and what’s the point in playing drums if you don’t hit them ridiculously hard :). I’ll add Rob Callard from Sylosis and Kevin Lane from Whitechapel because they are both friends of mine, awesome drummers, and ridiculous wasters.
SD.com: Let us know 5 CD’s that are in your current rotation
Craig: The new Black Dahlia album which has some amazing drumming on it from Shannon Lucas, The new Radiohead album. Symbolic by Death, Demigod by Behemoth, and Petitioning the empty sky by converge.
SD.com: What do you do to warm up before a show?
Craig: I usually set up my kick drum bag as a practice pad and play heel down for about 20 minutes whilst warming my hands up with whatever I can find to drum on. I also have a powerball which is a wrist trainer that works pretty well. Aside from that I just have a banana and a can of relentless or red bull about 10 mins before we go on.
SD.com: Can you remember a night you think was your best playing ever? If yes, when and where?
Craig: I think it would have to be the last ever Seventh Cross show at the underworld in London. It was just amazing, everyone went mental and we fed off it.
SD.com: Do you have a favorite brand of drums or cymbals?
Craig: I’m endorsed by Peace Custom drums and play a Paragon Custom Maple series in natural finish with black tube lugs. It looks awesome. Peace make really good drums for all levels, and the custom stuff is really cool for sizes etc. I’m playing a 20×20 kick, 8×7 , 10×7, 12×8 and a 16 x 14 floor at the moment. As for cymbals, I just play what I like. there’s good stuff from all the companies around, and until one of them give me cheap stuff I’ll use what I want!
SD.com: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be…
Craig: Practice a lot, but don’t let it take over your life. I met a lot of drummers at college who were technically astounding, but if you asked them how the time, they’d look like you pissed in their cornflakes. Keep practicing, but keep a healthy social life too. That’s how you meet the people who get you where you want to be.
SD.com: Who gave the best live performance you’ve ever seen?
Craig: Two contenders for this I think. JR from Ion Dissonance at the Face Bar in Reading a while back when we played with them. The Face Bar is a local venue which is essentially rubbish. Rubbish room, rubbish sound, rubbish everything. But watching JR from about 2 foot away was mind blowing. The other is when me and our old bassist ross broke into the sound room in Southampton on the Necrophagist tour and watched Hannes from again, about 2 foot away. He was using someone else’s kit and pedals but he still absolutely slayed.
SD.com: If you had to stop drumming, what would you want to do with your life?
Craig: Pop a noose round my neck and jump off my roof.