Four On The Floor Vol.3 - Beanie

Four On The Floor Vol.3 - Beanie

As the drummer for the drum and bass live act Rudimental, you know you've got your work cut out, but Beanie takes it all in his stride. The ever-impressive percussionist and stellar guy made his name with the award-winning band since it was founded in 2010 in Hackney, providing an unparalleled energy and rhythm ever since. We caught up with him recently to talk about his influences and his personal style.

OS: So Beanie, what or who inspired you to take up the drums?

Beanie: There are quite a few drummers that sparked my passion for rhythm. There was a drummer called Andy Ridley that I grew up watching. Really good, great rock drummer. So he was definitely an inspiration, alongside people like Travis Barker,  who fascinate me with how fluid and how exciting the drums look to play. I'm a massive fan of a band called Hella, who are kind of a math rock band. So the drummer’s called Zach Hill. He's also got a project called Deaf Grips. His playing is just insane. I've always been fascinated with math rock and progressive rock drummers. The sonic signatures and just the way that they accent on odd rhythms has always amazed me. I’m also a big fan of Steve Gadd. He's amazing. Syncopated kind of beats are just really, really interesting to me, the linear thing. And Travis Barker, obviously, as I mentioned before, and Thomas Pridgen is amazing, too. John Theodore. Anyone who's ever drummed from Mars Volta are the best drummers ever.

OS: And the drummer is often described as the backbone of a band. Why is that?

Beanie: The drums are the one instrument that you cannot get away with making a mistake. So for example, when I'm performing with my band Rudimental, I'm keeping the pulse, keeping the rhythm, but also we have things on the track, like backing track samples. So if I'm slightly out, then the whole thing's slightly out. It's quite daunting, but it's a beautiful thing. So a band is only as good as the drummer.

OS: When you're on stage, do you have any particular wardrobe that you like to wear?

Beanie: It kind of varies, but generally my style is quite punky - t-shirts, chains, that kind of thing. Alternative, I’d say.

 Norton Jacket Hudson Cord Blue

Norton Jacket
Hudson Cord Blue

Clerkenwell Tab Shirt Marcia Ochre

Clerkenwell Tab
Shirt Marcia Ochre

Heavy T-Shirt Tavistock White

Heavy T-Shirt
Tavistock White

OS: And on stage, what kind of setup do you have?

Beanie: I vary my setup quite a bit. So for Rudimental, I have a hybrid drum kit. Now, hybrid drumming is the merging of acoustic drums with electronic drums. I have multiple pads to sample from a TM-6 Pro by Roland, who have been a great support to me through my career. So it's kind of a mixture between these organic acoustic drums and a lot of electronics, because we go between dance music and various different genres. If I'm doing more of a rocky based thing, which I do for a girl called Connie Constance, it's very much a setup like this. And a guy called Josh Barry who I play with is kind of more funky, so it's a bit similar, but with a few more toms. So it varies. But in general, I'm a hybrid drummer.

OS: And for drumming, do you have a specific shoe that you wear?

Beanie: A mentor and a good friend of mine, a drummer called Andy Gang, he used to drum in these new rock boots - they were really massive with loads of metal on them. I was always wondered how on earth he could drum in them, but he said they gave him good stability. From then on I started drumming in DM platforms and two-tier creepers! I love drumming in big goth boots.

 Bradwell Jacket Faye Indigo Blue

Bradwell Jacket
Faye Indigo Blue

Fishtail Trousers Whitton Cord Navy

Fishtail Trousers
Whitton Cord Navy

Solovair x Oliver Spencer Navy Suede 3-Eye Gibson Shoes

Solovair x Oliver Spencer Navy
Suede 3-Eye Gibson Shoes

OS: Are there any tracks that have inspired you as far as drawing goes?

Beanie: There are plenty, but there's one in particular called Rational Gaze by a Swedish tech metal band called Meshuggah. And I remember listening to it so many times and being so proud of myself that I was able to drum along to it on my legs. It’s just a potty rhythmic approach, it’s just ridiculous.

OS: And who do you consider one of the most stylish drummer?

Beanie: I have to say it's Travis Barker. I love the way he looks. I love the tatts, I love the band, everything about the man!

 Blenheim Jumper Loftus Multi

Blenheim Jumper
Loftus Multi

Fishtail Trousers
Ellbridge Black

OS: What do you think the qualities that are needed to make a good drummer?

Beanie: The ability to approach different types of music in different ways is crucial. I think many drummers, when they're starting out, they use any chance they get to show how good they are. They try to fill over everything. I was guilty of it at the very beginning, but you learn to add what's needed. You're the timekeeper at the end of the day, but just treat each of your fills and your moments as moments. You want it to be as legendary as a guitar solo. You want each section to be memorable. I always say this, there are certain songs that have simple drum patterns throughout, but they’re iconic. You don’t have to overcomplicate it.

OS: So what's coming up for you in this autumn winter?

Beanie: So for the rest of the year it's going to be quite busy. I'm going on tour with a singer, amazing artist called Connie Constance. So we're off to Australia in October, which is going to be super fun. Also, more Rudimental shows, some stuff with Anne-Marie. I'm also working on a solo record at the moment, so that should hopefully be dropping around spring next year. And also, I'm doing a fortnightly radio show at the moment as well. It’s a busy time.

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