Get Yer Kit Off: Dann Hume
Author: Aidan Bartlett (photography by Tabitha Woods)
Fresh from winning APRA's 40th Silver Scroll songwriting award here, Evermore are currently in the running for five Australian music industry ARIA awards. Evermore's 18 year old drummer Dann Hume took time out to discuss the finer details of his drumming with Aidan Bartlett from The Midnight Youth, runners up in this year's Smokefreerockquest...
When did you start playing?
Let's see... probably when I was about nine years old. I joined the Feilding Youth Municipal Brass Band when I was 10 to take over as the drummer. That was my first introduction to the rock'n'roll lifestyle!
Why did you start drumming?
Basically, Jon was playing guitar and Pete was playing keyboard. Jon taught me guitar and I was doing that for a while, but I think it just seemed like a natural decision because we needed a drummer. I loved playing drums as soon as I started though. It's a young boy's dream to just bash away on something as hard as you can!
Are you self-taught or did you get lessons?
Well, I was 'taught' for a few weeks by our brass band teacher Tracy, but I really didn't listen at all. I taught myself by just listening to music and hearing what works. I try to do my own thing now, but I learnt a lot from drummers like Larry Mullen Jr., Steve Copeland, John Bonham. I loved Keith Moon when I was starting out, which made me a very annoying drummer to be around!
What was your first kit like?
It 'twas an old 5-piece Mapex kit. It had a hard life, the poor thing. It's dead now but I only got a new one a few months ago.
Who are your main influences? Any favourite New Zealand drummers?
I loved the simplicity of Clinton Den Heyer from Weta, just the way he always pulsed the beat and kept it simple.
Have you played with any bands other than Evermore? Done any session work?
No, someone once asked me, but I don't think I'd be a good session player. I'm not a great listener. Evermore keep me so busy, I haven't thought about side projects. If I joined another band I would probably want to play guitar or piano or something to get away from drums for a while.
Do you have a part in the writing of the songs?
Yeah, well, I write my own songs which I sometimes bring to the band. And I love arranging songs so I help the other guys if my help is wanted.
Are you endorsed by any companies?
I just made friends with Pearl over here in Australia, they've got a new kit which is absolutely fantastic. It sounds huge! My snare is a medium size Pearl.
Remo, because they don't break and 7A nylon tips - whatever brand I can get my hands on!
How important is your choice of cymbals and drums to the overall sound of Evermore?
They're another layer that no-one ever really notices, but it very important in the mix. I was a Paiste boy, but Zildjian are my new choice. They blend with the band so much better, our sound guy loves them.
What's it like being in a band with your brothers?
It's the only band I've ever been in! It's very natural. There's a lot of trust and respect and we have common goals.
Is formal drum education important do you think?
No, not really. It's whether you're in the groove, know your limits, and just listen to the rest of your band. But of course education could most likely point you in that right direction.
Watching your drum solo at the Rockquest I noticed you love Bonham triplets. What other favourite chops and fills do you have?
I used to do that little solo-ish thing at soundchecks to warm up, but then someone said it should go in the show. I was reluctant for about half a second then I thought it was a great idea! It gives me something to get all that show-off personality out, so I can keep it simple the rest of the show.
Have you got a favourite fill, if so, by which drummer and what track?
Dadadada Dada... the ol' faithful Kashmire**** drum fill. Some of the best fills are just a few simple whacks of the snare drum!
What do you think other drummers mainly notice about your drumming?
Maybe that I have quite bad posture? Maybe that I look like a young Dave Grohl when I play? I really don't know man!
When do you use a click track?
Click tracking is a part of being in Evermore recently. We have projections in our show over here, so it looks incredible when it all syncs up. I don't mind it at all. It's all wireless so it's no hassle. I have it really quiet these days, so I only hear it if I'm off the beat.
Being the drummer, where are you in the overall dynamics of your band?
We're a three piece, so we all are very important to the mix. I dunno, how shall I put it... if Evermore was a BLT, Jon would be the bacon, Pete would be the lettuce, and I'd be the tomato.