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Issue #18

About The Torch: A monthly series, The Torch aims to help musicians of all ages and talent levels learn more about their respective instruments. Each issue features band members from around the world discussing their craft. They provide our readers with advice and insight towards their person experiences, as well as talking about the tool of their livelihood. Whether you’re an aspiring musician, beginner, fan, or expert, there’s something here for everyone. I truly believe it takes one generation to inspire another. With each issue, I hope we can motivate more and more readers to become the forces they admire. 

Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt | Edited by Rachel Rosell | Photos credit to owners

From the methodical to the messy, this week we've got a good range of drummers. Hailing from Texas, Cincinnati, and Chicago respectively, the time-keepers of 12 Gauge Awakening, The World I Knew, and Avalanche have come to wreak some havoc!

Meryl "LJ" DeWitt: How old were you when you first started playing? / What was your first drum set?

Jose Molano (12 Gauge Awakening): Well I started drumming at the age of 13 and I had some experience in middle school. I played the snare drum in the school band, so I proceeded on with learning how to play the drum kit. Honestly my first kit was a beginner set, the brand was called "Acclaim."


Max Guerrero (The World I Knew): I was 14 when I started playing drums. A Yamaha Stage Custom.


Shane McCosky (Avalanche): I started playing drums when I was 6 1/2-7 years old. My first drum set was a Sound Source starter drum set.


LJ: Through trial & error in your career, are there any mistakes you would warn young drummers to be cautious of?

Jose: Well any mistakes I would like to warn the youngsters out there is to always practice, and also always always always keep up on your craft... and when there's an opportunity knocking, take it.


Max: I never cared to learn proper technique with my wrists and holding the sticks right. It took me 2 years to fix that.


Shane: Not learning their rudiments and also avoiding learning how to keep time to a click track/metronome.

LJ: Biggest stage nightmare you've had so far?

Jose: Well the biggest stage nightmare I had was at BFE Rock Club. January 19th at fall Metal Fest 2017 my double bass drum pedal came off my bassdrum in the middle of the setlist, and I had not brought my drum key with me. I had to ask fellow drummers in the crowd for one... SO ALWAYS CARRY A DRUM KEY lol.


Max: Not making sure that my kick pedal is fastened right!


Shane: Forgetting intros to songs.


LJ: What's your current stage set up? 


Jose: My current stage set up is an 18in Paiste 2000 China type, 16in Sabian crash/splash, 17in Zildjian custom A crash. The hi-hats I forget the size, but they are B8 Sabian heavy hats, 20in Sabian Sweet ride, Paiste 2002 20in Heavy ride and, last but not least, a PDP steel Piccolo snare with Evans G3 heads on the kit, and on the snare a Remo Control X Batter head.


Max: I have a 7 piece, plus 2 crashes, 1 China, 1 splash, a ride and a hi-hat


Shane: A 6 piece PDP Concept maple drum set w/ Zildjian cymbals.


LJ: Best piece you've ever owned? / Worst piece you've ever owned?


Jose: The best piece I ever owned was my Paiste 20in heavy ride. I love the thing, sounds so awesome. Honestly, I dont think I've ever owned a bad piece, except for the cymbals that came with the kit when I first bought it lol.


Max: The best? My Sabían China. My worst, the stand that it's on. It always slides haha.


Shane: Best piece of equipment I've ever owned, aside from the drum set I have currently, would probably have to be my 1988 Ludwig Rocker drum set that my parents bought me when I was 10. The worst piece of equipment I've ever owned would have to be my first drum set. 


LJ: Dream pieces to own one day? (Collectors, customs, etc)


Jose: Umm my dream pieces are a Tama Rockstar drum kit or a SJC custom kit with Zildjian custom A cymbal pack.


Max: I always wanted a rack but since it's not a total necessity I buy other stuff when I have money.


Shane: 6 Piece DW collectors series drum set.


LJ: Some drummers think I'm crazy for asking this & others find it a perfectly normal question… Do you name your pieces? If so, what are their names?


Jose: Nah I've never named any of my drums haha.


Max: No! My drumset is my baby though.


Shane: My current drum set is named Rosie, due to her finish. My Ludwig was named Buddy.

LJ: Who's your personal drummer hero?


Jose: My personal drummer heros are KoRn's former drummer, David Silveria, Slipknot's former drummer, Joey Jordison, and from the local scene, the vocalist and drummer of DISTARTICA because he shows that you can overcome anything in life.


Max: My drummer hero is Cameron Losch from Born Of Osiris.


Shane: Phil Rudd from AC/DC.


LJ: What, for you, makes it worth it to keep playing? What's your favorite part about being a drummer?


Jose: What makes it worth it... umm I love drumming and that's my passion. I love to spread my passion and love for music to the whole world to hear and motivate new drummers in the making to never give up on your dream, and keep pushing and striving to become a better drummer. 


Max: My favorite part of being a drummer is playing things that sound impossible and that it's a workout. Inspiring people makes this all worth it.


Shane: What makes it worth it, being a drummer and playing drums, is just the simple fact that the beats/grooves that I play really move people. As for my favorite part about being a drummer... I think it's just that it's pretty much like a game of "Simon Says." I am in control of the tempo and the energy of the songs.

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