Q&A Scene: Drummers’ Special: Jen Sholakis


Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

For the month of May, leading up to the Sydney Drum & Percussion show, What’s My Scene will be celebrating DRUMMERS. Stay tuned for our exclusive Q&As, Snap Scene features, and much much more. 


Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

Bands: Jade Imagine, Jen Cloher, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, The Orbweavers, Rocktopus

How long have you been drumming? Why did you first pick up the drumsticks? 

For about 14 years. Picked the sticks up because I wanted to be like Animal from the Muppets.

 Which drummer influenced your playing? 

My drumming friends have the biggest influence on my playing. Angus Diggs, Dave Mudie, Joe Talia, Jo Syme, Jim Lawrie, Steph Hughes, Dave Williams. I could go on for days. So many great drummers here. In terms of people I don’t know there’s Jay Dee Daugherty (Patti Smith), John Convertino (Calexico/Neko Case), and of course there’s always Bonham and Ringo.


Describe your kit. 

C&C Player Date 1 – 12, 14, 20.

I’ve also got a ’65 Ludwig Club Date in Black Oyster that doesn’t get out to shows much. But it’s my favourite.

Zildjian Kerope 15″ hats, Bosphorous Dark Turk Ride 22″, Istanbul Dark Ride 20″ (doubling as a crash), and whatever other crashes I don’t hate the sound of at the time.

How do you prepare for a show?

I like to run through the set at least once on the day of a show if it’s been a while since playing live with the particular band I’m playing with, but generally there’s no time for that. So just stretches and general warm ups. Sticks on the back of a chair, that sorta thing. 

Which artist/band was/is your favourite to play drums with? 

That’s like asking who my favourite dog is. Can’t choose. I love them all for different reasons.


Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

what happens on the road/in the studio… you know the rest.

What, or who, inspires you?

My friends and my dogs and my girlfriend.


Which song do you wish you wrote the drumbeat for?

Come Together – Beatles. Love those verses. Onya Ringo!

Or Led Zeppelin’s – Black Dog. There’s some really weird choices Bonham made in that track that strangely just slot right in. Bizarre.

What’s next for you?

Lots of live shows, an o/s tour or two, a bit of recording and way too many rehearsals

What is the best thing about the Sydney Drum and Percussion Show this May? 

Will Animal the Muppet be there?

What’s your scene?

Indie rock I suppose? Or maybe just a nice cuppa tea and a long dog walk.


Australian Music Association has today announced the inaugural Sydney Drum & Percussion Show set to engulf the Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion on May 27 and 28. Proudly presented by Australian Musician, the monster exhibition promises to be an electrifying presentation of all things hit.

Boasting an impressive live performance program with some of the world’s best players and biggest names including Thomas Lang (George Michael, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel), Virgil Donati (Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Vai), Michael Schack (Netsky) and more (with Lang and Donati playing together for the first time ever), the show will also feature a huge array of drum gear and brands and will act as the country’s largest pop-up drum and percussion shop. You can see, try and buy drum kits, cymbals, orchestral and traditional percussion, electronic percussion, hand percussion and accessories from all the major brands, plus never-before- seen gear. There’ll be some tasty home grown and handmade gear too.

Run by the same team that put on the annual Melbourne Guitar Show (MGS) and based on the successful MGS model, the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show will also host information seminars, demonstrations, and live performances from Australia’s most talented drummers and percussion players including Lucius Borich (Cog), Lozz Benson (Urthboy, Drummer Queens), Stan Bicknell (Kimbra, Miami Horror) and more.

From double-kick drummers, groove and touch drummers and jazz stylists, to exotic percussion players, orchestral percussionists, and hard hittin’ rock n rollers, there’ll be something for everyone.

The voice of the Australian music products industry, the Australian Music Association (AMA) is thrilled to present this drum-centric weekend.

“There’s so much about percussion, it’s the world’s most accessible form of music – people take their first steps in music through percussion,” says AMA CEO Rob Walker. “We are excited to showcase our industry’s products and the wealth of local talent that Sydney and Australia has to offer, as well as international guests – three of the best in the world! We seek to educate and entertain, and showcase and grow our drum and percussion community.”

Punters will have the opportunity to participate in drum circles and other hands on percussion workshops, see Australia’s leading percussion ensembles, Taikoz and Synergy Percussion, as well as leading student percussion ensembles from The Sydney Conservatorium and combined school’s ensemble, Drumfill. They can experience the latest electronic drum technology, meet a stack of the industry’s finest drum and percussion players, take part in workshops on drumming for fitness and wellbeing, performance clinics, panels and more.

Additionally, the 2017 Sydney Drum & Percussion Show will provide a hands-on chance to see, hear and play a broad range of the world’s favourite brands. It will also see exhibitors offering great show deals.

If you can hit it, ring it, shake rattle and roll it, it’ll be at the Sydney Drum & Percussion Show.

The Sydney Drum & Percussion Show will be held at Rosehill Gardens Grand Pavilion on May 27 & 28, 2017




About Mary Boukouvalas 1614 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.