Posts Tagged ‘rock’

Mark Richardson (Skunk Anansie,Feeder)

Mark Richardson

Interview with Mark Richardson

As a student at music college I remember being star struck seeing Mark Richardson and Chad Smith playing drums together in a packed venue. Although I could hardly see them across the sea of people, Mark’s presence behind the kit was huge and unmistakable and it is something that has made him one of the UK’s top rock drummers.

I was fortunate enough to speak to Mark after he had been to Zildjian’s artist day in April this year. He told me about the excitement surrounding Skunk Anansie reforming with their 2010 album ‘Wonderlustre’, his time with Feeder, beating addiction, taking drum lessons and the struggles of being a rock star dog owner.

What circumstances led to Skunk Anansie reforming?

We all sort of kept in touch after we’d split up; Cass and I would go and see Skin separately and Cass hung out with Ace. I went to see Ace for his birthdays and played on some of his tracks and Cass played on one but we were never actually in the same room together for 8 years. Then Cass took everyone out for dinner and basically said, ‘We should think about getting this back on track before it gets too late.’ We always knew that there was a greatest hits that we had to do but it wasn’t until the end of 2008 that everybody’s diaries cleared – Feeder were off the road, Cass had stopped doing so much of his photography and was setting up a rehearsal facility at the back of the Premises, Ace was teaching but producing less and Skin was in between solo albums. Everyone was like, ‘Yeah, let’s have a meeting’ and that was the first time we were all in the same room for 8 years. Our manager said, ‘The record company would love you to be involved but they can’t wait anymore for you to decide; they’re going to put out a Best Of… whether you‘re involved or not. Do you want to be involved?’. We said yes and within five minutes of being together we were all laughing like we used to so it was really nice.

Do you think your sound has changed and if so, how?

I think sound wise, yeah. Since Skunk Anansie were together before I’ve learnt a lot about playing for the song – I guess the last 10 years really I’ve learnt how to tune properly and listen for what the song needed and not do anything more, rather than, ‘There’s a space there, I’ve got to fill it with drums!’ Space is probably the most underrated quality of any song and I try and play with that in mind. I’ve always played big drums and had my snare fairly high; that’s come down over the past ten years cos I just prefer the sound of a really phat snare drum, rather than a cracky one, especially in the studio. Live I still beat the sh*t out of it, probably too much, but it’s a visual thing for me so that hasn’t changed much.



Laura Conway (NightBus)

At we like to be one step ahead, which is why this month”s Female Drummers feature is on Laura Conway from Island Records” Hackney/LA signing, ”NightBus”. The band have already been tipped for success by being chosen as a ”New Band Of The Day” by The Guardian in April this year and their debut single, ”I Wanna Be You” is out next month.

Tell us your drumming story so far.

Using pots, pans, tabletops and cutlery grew very old, very quickly when I was growing up, so I was lucky to get my first kit when I was 11 years old. I remember seeing Phil Collins drumming on TV and then spent the next year begging for my own drum kit. I have very clear memories of our family day out to Southend-on-Sea to get my 5-piece white “Thunder” kit.

Bands – I guess it’s always pretty much been either dirty rock’n”roll or wicked pop ridden stuff. I’m a sucker for a driving drum beat (e.g. I joined a 3 piece rock ’n’ roll band whilst on holiday in Los Angeles because I fell in love with the two members and their music!)

And so its been quite a journey from Westlife at The Brits, weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s, USA technology TV shows, UK and US festivals, live and studio work with “development deal” pop bands, two near misses with record deals as a member back in LA, rhythm workshops in London and now I”m over the moon to have my first record deal with NightBus.

Who have been the biggest influences on your playing?

I’ve never been set on any particular drummer as an influence. I’d say it’s more the sound of bands/artists like Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, Calexico, Wham, Genesis and Burt Bacharach that has influenced my playing. It’s the overall feel and sound that makes my heart jump with excitement.