Hello, this is Nan. Kansas City Star did a nice write up of a bunch of us female drummers in KC! It was a really fun afternoon hopping around in The Brick with a lot of drummers I admire. I say hopping around as I danced and hollered for all of their drum solos. I couldn’t help it. When it was my turn at the kit, I sang and drummed a mini version of Swamp Thing. Because the KC Star had to edit the written interview a little for space, I am posting my full interview answers here. ALSO, I forgot to mention in “Bands I’ve been in”, that I drummed with Kelley Deal + Mike Mongomery’s band R. Ring on their tour this spring! Well I’m telling you all now. Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know that….but what the hell.
KC STAR VIDEO AND ARTICLE.
Bands you are in/have been in: Currently in Schwervon!, Nan + the One Nite Stands. I’ve been in Pantsuit, Bionic Finger, Dream Bitches, She’s so Pretty (a Twilight-themed Vampire Band with two drummers), Toilet Mouth (featuring John S. Hall of King Missile).
How old were you when you started playing drums?
25. I wrote songs on guitar for a few years before I played drums.Then I learned I could write songs on drums and I was off to the races.
Who has had the most influence on how you play drums?
Songwriters and friends in NYC (especially pals in the “antifolk” scene) definitely influenced and supported me when I began drumming. There was a kind of shared philosophy that writing good songs was the most important thing, and that your technical ability would develop over time- from the sheer act of doing it! This has proven to be true for me. I also studied with a wonderful drum teacher named Paula Spiro. She has been a mentor for me over the years. Also Matt (my partner and bandmate in Schwervon!) is a big influence on my playing…..he hears inventive beats in his head and has really inspired me to want to approach drumming like a dance – to be specific and problem solve what each song wants to be, using the drums to clarify and guide the song.
Name a favorite drummer or two and what you like about them
Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi):
She is a powerhouse. So solid. I am in awe of how she plays the toms.
Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo):
I love her diversity- sometimes upbeat, sometimes very soft and syncopated. Also she sings so effortlessly while she plays the drums!
What for you is the most important rule about drumming?
Serve the song. It’s a dance. Keep it simple. And don’t forget to breathe!