4 drummers and their journeys

Gino Banks

Drumming has been hailed by some as the most fun part of music. Though a new entrant to the live band scene, India has still produced drummers who gained recognition around the globe. Anushree Subramanya chats with some of them. 

Arun Kumar

Hailing from a musical family, his inspiration is his father B S Sukumar, also a drummer. Arun started drumming at the age of three and started performing shows when he was seven years old. Having trained under his father as well as some greats like Ranjit Barot, S V Giridhar and Anoor R Anantha Krishna Sharma, Arun’s range spans Carnatic, jazz fusion and rock fusion.

He also plays various Indian folk instruments like the mridangam, morsing and Latin percussion instruments like cajon, timbales.

He says, “There is something to learn from every musician. For example, I learnt the discipline of practising from the violinist duo — Ganesh and Kumaresh.”

Fondest musical memories

“I got an opportunity to perform with Shankar Mahadevan in New Jersey at the last minute. The concert was performed without any rehearsals but it was a memorable occasion for me. I also performed at the Barbican Centre, London with a 49-piece orchestra conducted by violinist Chandrashekar when I was 21 years old. That was a special concert too.”

 Advice for aspiring musicians

“Never be nervous. Be proud because not everyone has the gift of music.“

Gino Banks

The son of legendary jazz pianist and music composer Louis Banks, Gino Banks initially learnt the piano at the age of seven. But from the myriad instruments lying around the house, the one that caught his fancy was the drums.

He says, “Every musician is unique in his own ways and it is good to learn from everyone.” He describes his style of music as jazz and rock fusion.

Fondest musical memories

“I just finished a nine-city tour with Zakir Hussain in USA. It was one of the best tours I have had and it was also a learning experience.”

When questioned how he manages to practice while on tour, he said, “Even if I am not in front my kit, I am constantly thinking about music. When I am on tours, I spend a majority of my time on my drum kit so that is practice too.”

Advice for aspiring musicians

“Do not be scared. Music is fun. Work hard and dedicate yourself to it and practice everyday consistently. It is important to know about the history of music and where it comes from and why a particular instrument is played the way it is and it also to explore every genre”

Yadhunandan Nagaraj

He grew up listening to carnatic music but his influences also included Carnatic folk music and instruments. All of 13 years old when he started learning drums, Yadhunandan’s gurus include B S Sukumar, Arun Kumar, Roberto Narayan and Gino Banks. His first guru was his school music teacher, Doreraj. He is currently learning under Viveick Rajagopalan.

He describes his style to be influenced by the metal genre and says that he was influenced by metal drummers from bands like Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Dream Theater. He is now the drummer for the famous Carnatic progressive rock band Agam.

He has shared the stage with artistes like Sona Mohapatra, Amit Trivedi and Salim Sulaiman.

Apart from music, Yadhunandan is an avid traveller. He says, “Irrespective of whether I have gigs or not, I love to travel. It is something that refreshes my mind and brings a lot of positive energy. This enhances my creativity and influences my drumming.”

Fondest musical memories

“I was a part of a metal band called Versus that won the ‘Battle of the Bands’ in IIT Mumbai in 2012. That is one moment I will never forget. I also performed with Sona Mohapatra at the ‘Paddy Fields Festival’ and with Agam at Esplanade Theatre at Singapore — both were amazing experiences.”

Advice for aspiring musicians

“There are no shortcuts to success. The longer you practise and dedicate yourself to art, the more results you will see.“

Gopi Shravan T S

Son of renowned Carnatic singer Tirumale Srinivas, Gopi’s first teacher was his father himself. He started learning Carnatic vocals and also learned mridangam from him, which he continued under A V Anand.

His journey started when he was caught banging on the utensils in the kitchen by his grandfather, who then got him a drum kit.

He started taking drumming lessons when he was 16 years old from B S Sukumar and is currently taking advanced lessons from Arun Kumar and Gino Banks. He performs with Carnatic fusion band Kalarava, percussion ensemble Layalavanya and progressive metal band Pineapple Express, as well as artistes like Brodha V, Arjun Janya and Jyotsna Srikanth.

“I am influenced by Carnatic music but I have also been learning the basics of jazz and rock music. I even play progressive metal music. So I would say my style is a fusion of many genres.”

Fondest musical memories

“Sharing the stage with my gurus Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, Tirumale Srinivas and Arun Kumar. And also the first time I performed a song by Tony Royster Jr in front of my guru Gino Banks.”

Advice for aspiring musicians

“Get your basics right and work on them repeatedly, rest all is just application of the same.”

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 1

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

4 drummers and their journeys

0 comments

Write the first review for this !