Phildas, who hails from Switzerland, is generally known because of her continuous drumming stint of 40 hours — something which got her into the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ in 2001. Metrolife spoke to this drummer, who visited the City recently, where she opened up about her passion for drumming and more.
Ask her about her claim to fame — her record — and she says, “The record up to 2001 for drumming continuously was for 36 hours. Following the regulations and guidelines given by the Guinness committee, I broke the record and played for 40 hours.”
Elaborating on these guidelines, she adds, “The rules specify that the participants have to take a five-minute break every hour for health reasons. These minutes can be saved and added up to be taken together. So, I would often play for eight hours together, save 40 minutes and get my arms and legs massaged and do some yoga nidra, which is as good as getting some good sleep. I don’t believe in any stimulants or drugs.” Phildas adds, “Another rule is that the contestants cannot play random notes, but have to play known pieces. I played compositions by my guruji Phil Collins, and from the band ‘Genesis’ — they lasted for about 20 hours. So, I played them all over again to total 40 hours. But no song could be repeated in the span of four hours, and thus I had to plan the music strategically.”
Talking further about the experience, she says, “My performance included two live gigs of three hours each, during the two nights that were a part of these 40 hours. This was a natural stimulant for me as performing for people kept me energised.”
However, her record has been beaten several times since she set it. She details, “The recent record is of 120 hours of continuous drumming. I plan to break this record and do 125 hours. I’m not sure about when this will be, since there are logistics about the venue that have to be decided.” Phildas loves performing for people, and thus wants to continue the old format she used. “I want to perform for all the five nights that will be included. I’m the only one who has done live performances in this marathon; all others stayed in one place and played the CDs they heard,” she says.
Phildas elaborates about live performances, “I have played with a couple of bands that play the music of ‘Genesis’, all over the UK, Belgium, France, Spain and other parts of the world. Sometimes, the ‘Genesis’ members also come and play with us.” Phildas’ favourite Indian percussionist is Sivamani and she would love to work with him sometime soon.
Having been bases in London for 23 years now, Phildas feels that she’s had enough of the city and would love to come and settle in India. “I’ve been to India many times but this is my first trip to Bangalore. I’m deeply impressed by the greenery here. It’s amazing, and seems to be a much cleaner city, compared to others. The climate in Bangalore is also known to be so pleasant — I can see myself coming and settling here,” she concludes.