ID: So Ben how long you’ve been playing with your present band?
Ben :: I have been playing drums professionally for about 3 years now and I’ve been with POTFM for 2 years. Before that me and my school buddies would just jam for the fun of it but that was where I really fell in love with the drums. The sounds it can makes, the grooves, the styles, the techniques, the arrangement everything about it facinated me. I was forced for guitar classes by my parents back in school but I ended droping out if it.
ID:Any particular incident that attracted you towards beating skins?
Ben ::Yes, I was watching tv one day and on the local channel “The Who” was playing a live show. I don’t remember the song but when I saw Keith Moon playing, his energy, his antics, his style just got me then on and I knew I wanted to play drums. I wanted to be the one who gives people the chills when I play music. When they look at me and my band playing I wanted to give them goosebumbs just like how “The Who” did to me.
ID: So talking about drummers any idols?
ID: What have you taken from them into your drumming? Or anything that excites you about them?
Ben:: I try to pick up their style of playing and technicality but I try to always put in my own style of playing into my songs and play what I am comfortable with but one particular thing that I picked up from Travis Barker, Keith Moon and Mike Mangini is to have fun while playing, its as simple as that.
ID: Well you mentioned that your parents put you to guitars, were they supportive to the type of music you wanted to play?
Ben :: If I was to thank any body for doing what I do its my parents and my family. I sound dorky but yes they bought me my first drum sticks and my first kit. They have been very supportive since day one.When I wanted to shift to drums they didn’t really stop me so I just went ahead with it.
ID: Talking about your band POTFM, how did that come along?
Ben :: Well initially it was a solo project by our frontman Jason. We all studied oustside our hometown .Our bassist and Jason were in Chennai and I was in Bangalore but as soon we got back to Shillong we got together and Pip Of The Fourth Mother was born. That was in June 2009. Since then we have had a few line-up changes in between then and now.
ID: What genre do you guys play?
Ben :: Powerpop/alternative/punk
ID: And where do you see yourselves few years down the line?
Ben :: It is difficult to say as the competition is tuff. Hopefully we would be making killer music and making people happy.
ID: Can you please describe your drum-kit?
Ben :: I play a four piece kit one high tom, one floor tom, snear, kick. Very basic with double pedals, 16” crash, 18” crash and 22′ ride cymbals,I use Pro-Mark 5A Millenium Drum Sticks, Paiste 101 ans 201 Cymbals, Pearl Eliminator P2002C Double Pedals, Remo Skins and a korg rythm watch.
ID: Any particular exercises those are helpful for you. Would you like to share them with us?
Ben:: Yes. I practice rudiments everyday with both hands and feet along with a metronome. That is a very important exercise. If you can master that with a steady tempo you can be a top notch drummer. I also follow a schedule for my practices. And before a performance or practice you got to do the leg stretch to loosen up the thigh and calf muscles or else you might just get cramps. And for hands, I usually hold both drum sticks end to end in one hand and just shake my wrist. I usually do these exercises to avoid muscle pull and cramps. Trust me it happens and a couple of exercises for your hands; anything will do because your muscles need to be warmed up.
ID: Coming in from Banglore to Shillong how different is the scene?
Ben:: Bangalore scene is crazy, it is very vast with alot of bands of different genres and all are very good bands. However in Shillong scene is a stale, lot of bands but no one really gets a chance to show what they got.
ID: With lots of metal bands Shillong is also known as the metal capital of India. Has that made it difficult for you as drummers?
Ben:: “metal capital”? thats a first for me J. and…no it has not made it difficult for me because all the bands are quite familiar with one another and I know alot of mind blowing metal drummers and it has been very educational for me and I learn alot from them.
ID:Being in a band, do you tour a lot?
Ben:: If we do get shows outside Shillong we try to get more than just one show. So I guess we tour but not a lot.
ID:How do you prepare for your shows means practicing and warm-ups?
Ben ::We jam regularly. But when we get a show we make sure we jam everyday. And before a show I do alot of warm-ups and exercises. I make sure I get about 15 minutes of exercising and warming up before a show.
ID: How does live performance feel?
Ben :: Ever since I started with these exercises all my shows have been painless and tireless.
ID: Uusually people go on stage [live], most of the time they play
different what they have practied, any suggetion how to avoid that stuff?
Ben:: Practice harder, get the music in your system and even if you do play somthing which is different from what you have practiced then you better make some good improvisations because you do not want to dissapoint the crowd.
ID: What do you do about stage fear or excitement? Is that a factor to you?
Ben:: Excitement, yes! I am always excited about my performances but I have never really feared them.
ID: Now talking about Indian drumming scene, any favourite drummers?
Ben:: Jai row kavi
ID: How do you think is the Indian scene coming up?
Ben :: Indian scene is booming, getting better and better. More and better bands are comming up and adding to list of good bands India already has.
ID: What do you think about the Indian drummer platform?
Ben:: It is a very good thing you guys are running here. It is very helpful for young Indian drummers like me. Your blogs and forums everything is very helpful. We really need something like this.
ID: What would you like to say to the other Indian drummers who want to be in a band?
Ben:: Go ahead give it a shot. Make sure you practice hard, and always push yourself to the limits and have fun
ID : Well Ben I guess that would be it. Indian Drummer would like to thank you for your time. We wish you and POTFM all the best for future. Cheers & Happy Drumming!!!