Q&A Scene: Drummers’ Special: Michael Schack


How long have you been drumming?
I started out discovering drums when I was about 4 years old. I got my real first drumset when I was 11, after bashing on a snare and combining that one with washing powder boxes for a few years. My parents supported me enormously along those first few years.
Why did you first pick up the drumsticks?
No particular reason, it just happened. Apparently it was something that just “came out” of my moves while listening to music when I was very very young. If it wouldn’t have been with drumsticks, I probably would have become a hand drummer anyway.
Which drummer influenced your playing?
There’s many, but they always say those first idols remain the biggest ones? : Gene Krupa, Billy Cobham, the drummers of Parliament Funkadelic, and Stewart Copeland when The Police started becoming really big.
Describe your kit.
I have two setups : acoustic/electronic (Hybrid) and purely electronic. Both are always combined with the Roland SPD-SX sampling pad. Today, my acoustic kit is a Tama Starclassic Bubinga or Silverstar Mirage (depending on the sound I need), combined with Meinl Byzance series cymbals, Tama hardware and Roland RT-30 Series triggers connected to a TM-2 or TD-50 module. My purely electronic kit is a Roland TD-50KV, sometimes still using a TD-30 module as well when I need to go retro ‘90s /‘nillies electro beats, combined with Tama hardware and an Ableton Live session on my stage laptop.
How do you prepare for a show?
I try to watch some of the other bands playing or at least observe the audience and how they react. I do a little bit of warm ups, mainly just playing some paradiddle like rudiments on a towel or a pillow. Always standing up for that, rarely sitting down. And with a small can of Red Bull in sight:)
Which artist/band was/is your favourite to play drums with?
If I would name only one, I would be lying. And I also would self-reflect on this answer and conclude my music taste is poor for what I do. So I’ll be honest : one of the ones I play along to most, has been created and composed by engineers in Japan really : the Roland TB-3 bass station. Those preset patterns are dope! To me, those preset pattern composers are also artists. But to come back to your initial question : one of the live albums I played along the most when I was in between 12 and 17 years old, was Herbie Hancock’s VSOP Live band performance, especially the funk version of his band. I think that album was recorded in 1977, totally live. I jammed along them grooves for years, literally!
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
A Big Mac with a bit of burping after consumption : too unhealthy for some, but a damn tasteful stomach/hunger fix when you’re in desperate need to have something. I prefer the no onions version though… You know what that Big Mac is going to taste like, wherever you might be in the world. Many like it, many don’t. And that’s ok. I’m also a big fan of candy, I’m a true sugar tooth, but those are smaller bits than the Big Mac.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
I once arrived at a festival in Poland, where Roland arranged a TD-20KX V-Drums to be ready for me, but when I got to the stage the PA guy on stage had everything miked : microphones on the tom pads, the snare pad, the HiHat, the cymbals, and the module! I tried to explain in body language that electronic drums don’t need microphones, while he was still holding the bass drum microphone and looking for the hole at the front of the KD-140 V-Drums kick pad. True epic moment!
What, or who, inspires you?
I tend to be inspired by cities : hiking through busy metropolitan areas, watching buildings and people fighting for space. I love the energy of Tokyo and New York’s Manhattan, London and Paris. Staying there always pumps me up and I see those urban scenes in my mind when I write or come up with a beat. I also draw lots of inspiration from audiences dancing on top of my kicks and snares. When I mix or mash up ideas, I imagine them raving along to it.
Which song do you wish you wrote the drumbeat for?
There’s a couple : Soundgarden’s “Spoonman”, Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, and The Police’s “Message in a Bottle”
What’s next for you?
Summer festivals in Europe with Netsky and my own #DJDrummer solo #sMashUp sets.
What is the best thing about the Sydney Drum and Percussion Show this May?
Without a doubt sheer drumming energy on- and off the main stage in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. And that special thing Roland will be showing and I will be playing on stage for the first time in the world.
What’s your scene?
Making the audience dance on live played beats.

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 1612 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.