Warren Kelly

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Sick Drummer Magazine has been working with ReverbNation to find new, talented drummers via a contest run on their website. We sifted through hundreds and hundreds of entries and are happy to introduce the winner chosen this time around, Warren Kelly of Just One Fix. If you would like to enter, go create a ReverbNation profile page and watch the Industry Opportunities section for our next cooperative! Good Luck ~ SDM


Warren Kelly (born May 1986) is a drummer hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. Warren got his first taste as a gigging drummer with the Pakuranga College Jazz band, performing at various venues and festivals around the wider Auckland and Northland regions. From there Warren joined his first (progressive) metal band, Disftiva from rival high school, Howick College. Warren would then meet guitarist Ryan Kershaw and hit the road and recording studio with his heavy rock outfit, Ryan Kershaw Band (RKB). The band recorded, filmed a music video and toured in support of the ’69 You’ E.P. Warren, then moved on to join Auckland punk/grunge/rock n’ rollers, Interconnector.

After a number of years recording, filming, gigging/touring with rock bands, Warren found a home with melodic heavy/thrash metal newcomers, Damn the Trend. Their E.P. ‘Turn the Tide’ was written, recorded and released, followed by as many shows as possible up and down the country including opening/support slots with Canada’s Anvil and Australian thrashers, Hidden Intent.

Warren took a break for 12 months before joining New Zealand thrash metal legends, Just One Fix. Writing and recording for brand new material is well underway and exciting plans for gigs/shows home and abroad are imminent.

Warren Kelly Interview:

SDM: What made you enter the contest on ReverbNation? Have you heard of our magazine before? When did you first hear of us, and what do you like about our site?

Warren: The opportunity to be featured alongside my favorite drummers, let alone the best drummers in the world in Sick Drummer Magazine was too good to pass up. It’s awesome for the little guys and bands to get some recognition through SDM!
I don’t recall when I first heard about it but I follow SDM pretty regularly. It’s great to be able to discover other talented drummers and bands from around the world!

SDM: How old were you when you started playing?

Warren: I knew how to play a little bit when I was as young as 3-5 years old; my dad was a drummer and my Grandparents were also musicians. However, I never seriously considered it/got my first drum kit until I was around 12 years old.

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

Warren: I played in my intermediate/middle school’s orchestra and production bands. And in high school, I played in the school jazz band for 2 years.

SDM: Who are your top 5 metal influences?

Warren: Honestly, this changes on a regular basis. But there are a handful that have left a lasting impression or sent me spiraling down the heavy metal rabbit hole back in the day:

Drummers: Gene Hoglan, Derek Roddy, Dave Lombardo, Bobby Jarzombek, Richard Christy.

Bands: Death & Strapping Young Lad. Iron Maiden – the first metal band I got into as a 5 year old. And I was obsessed with Pantera and early Metallica as a 12-15 year old.

SDM: Who are some other of your favorites?

Warren: Again, this changes a lot and this list could go on forever.

Drummers: Thomas Lang, Steve Smith, Danny Carey, Alex Rudinger, Jamie Saint Merat, Flo Mounier, Jojo Mayer.

Bands: Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy, Nile, Hate Eternal, Cannibal Corpse, Carnifex, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Alice in Chains, Testament, Slayer, Dawn of Azazel, Ulcerate, Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, Bon Scott-era AC/DC, Brant Bjork, Deep Purple… even artists ranging from Michael Jackson & Alain Caron to John Lee Hooker & Shapeshifter! I try not to pigeonhole myself into just listening to/drawing influence from metal, even though it’s my number 1!

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

Diocletian – Gesundrian.
Bolzer –  Hero.
Forbidden – Forbidden Evil
Krypts – Remnants of Expansion.
Morbid Angel – Gateways to Annihilation.


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

Warren: I like to spend about 10 minutes on mid-tempo single and double stroke rolls with both the hands and feet to get the blood flowing – nothing fancy. Then I’ll bump up to around 200bpm single strokes on both hands and feet simultaneously for a minute or so. I’ll probably have a nervous pee after that.

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

Warren: I do read music, I learned prior to joining the high school jazz band (it was a prerequisite). It has been beneficial, not only so I could play in the school bands but because any beat, fill or rudiment that I see transcribed in a book or drumming magazine I’m able to pick up and play on the fly. While I don’t read as much as I’d like to these days, I still transcribe anything that I do with an original band.

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

I built my own kit between 2005-2007. Keller maple shells (6-ply toms. 8-ply bass drums. 10-ply snare) in kind of an emerald/forest green fade.
2-20×17 bass drums
8×7 tom (occasionally)
10×8 tom
12×9 tom
14×12 floor tom
16×14 floor tom
14×8 free floating snare (10-ply keller maple shell with matching finish in Pearl Free Floating Chassis)
14×5 Pearl Sensitone II – black nickel over brass snare.

Cymbals: All Paiste Signature Series.
8” Splash
10” Splash
14” Dark Crisp Hi-Hats
16” Thin China
18” Thin China
18” Fast Crash
18” Full Crash
20” Dry Heavy Ride

All Pearl cymbal stands, tom holders, Eliminator Hi-Hat stand, snare stand, throne, and clamps.
2x Axis A-Longboard Pedals w/ E-Kits.

Drum heads:
Toms: Evans G2 clear on top, Evans G1 clear on bottom.
Bass Drums: Evans EMAD clear.
Snare: Evans Genera HD Dry, Evans 300 snare side.

Vic Firth 5AN.

Alesis DM5 drum module.


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

Warren: Practice, be patient and don’t be afraid to expand your horizons on different genres/styles of music.

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

Warren: The best live drumming performance I’ve seen would have to be Ray Luzier with Korn in Auckland, New Zealand 2014. He not only nailed all of the songs, but he brought his own signature sound, dynamics, intensity, and charisma and it sounded massive! His drum solo and his stick tricks throughout the show were icing on the cake.
But in terms of a band, I’ve seen so many it’s hard to pick one. However, I had a heap of fun at the Summer Slaughter tour (Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, Aborted, The Faceless, Dawn of Azazel and Ulcerate) in Auckland, New Zealand 2009. Otherwise, Pantera as a wee 14 year old was complete madness and an off the cuff mention to Buddy Guy at the 2014 Byron Bay Bluesfest!

SDM: Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?

Warren: I like to spend time with family, friends and my amazing girlfriend, Allie. Even just chill/relax at home or hang out in the garage listening to music and working on some kind of project. Before I start my day working as a structural draughtsman, I like to get to the gym first thing in the morning – shout out to coach Joe McPhee for the awesome photos for this interview!