What is your biggest strength as a drummer?
“Being a good listener and a very supportive drummer and band member. In other words, I’m a team player. I’ll always play for the band, for the song, for the situation.
“You need to know what your role is in any situation, not just musically but also personally, the dynamic of the band you’re working with or the artist you work for. You’ve got to be a good hang, an easy hang and be a chameleon, be adaptable to your environment.”
And your biggest weakness?
“Probably that I didn’t learn to be a songwriter. I’m very good at arranging and contributing ideas to the writing process, but to come in with an idea and go, ‘Here’s a song,’ I always feel that’s something I should have developed.
“That’s my own fault for not learning to play another instrument in a way where I could express that side of myself more.”
What’s been your proudest moment?
“I would say playing with Brian May, because other than Jimi Hendrix, Brian May is my favorite guitar player and Queen is my favorite band. They were like The Beatles on steroids.
“They all wrote, they all sang, they were all great musicians, and they have a unique sound. Brian May’s guitar playing is so individual and having a voice on your instrument is very difficult.
“They were such a talented group and they had this unique chemistry, so getting to play with Brian and playing Queen songs, that’s pretty cool.”
What was your first kit?
“My first drum kit was a Dixie, which was one of those stencil kits. Tama and Pearl were making drum kits for a lot of other companies like Sears, they went under names like Dixie, Whitehall, Majestic.
“Anyway, it was blue sparkle, it was just a bass drum and a snare drum. The next year my mother bought me a rack tom. We took the bass drum down to the music shop, they had to drill the mount and it was £35 to add that tom-tom.”
Who was your first drum hero?
“Probably Buddy Rich, because my dad took me to see him when I was young. If anyone ever got to experience Buddy Rich live, they’d know what I’m talking about.
“There’s no way you could see him and not walk away with your jaw on the floor. Not only being inspired but also frightened because it was about how amazing, how good somebody could be. There’s never been anybody, I don’t think, before or since, like Buddy Rich.”
What comes after the [KISS farewell tour] ‘End of the Road’?
“I started off playing the American Songbook in my father’s band, we used to play for a lot of country clubs and rich people. But the music was always the classic American Songbook – like Cole Porter, Gershwin, so I grew up on that music.
“You know, I wouldn’t find it that far-fetched if I ended up going full circle back to my roots. Honestly, I’d really love to play a little four-piece kit like I originally played in my formative years and just play purely for the songs and the music I was weaned on.”