Where are you from and/or where do you live now?
I grew up in country Victoria in Bendigo and moved to Melbourne when I was 18, (7 years ago). I am now living in Preston.
How long have you been playing drums? And what initially drew you to the instrument?
I have been playing drums since I was 10 years old, so it’s been 16 years now! My mum made me learn piano for a year because she was not keen on the noise. I stuck it out so I was then allowed to learn the drums! My first drum kit was made from ice cream containers covered in tin foil when I was 9 years old. I had lessons for 5 years and then starting playing in bands.
Do you play any other instruments?
I dabble in a little guitar but the drums are where my heart is.
What bands/projects/collaborations are you involved in right now?
At the moment I am in two bands, SPAWN – a psychedelic, doom band. We have been playing shows around Melbourne for a year now. We just finished recording our EP. Our launch will be at The Tote on Friday the 30th of March 2018. With bands, Holy Serpent, FLUFF and Golden Helmet!
I have also just started playing in a new band, BAD BATCH – a punk rock band. Heavily influenced by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We are playing our first show on the 7th of December at the Beaufort in Carlton and recording in January.
Both bands I am involved in are all female bands. Power to the pussy!
What else have you previously been involved in (bands/shows/projects etc)?
I was in my first punk band, Uttersville when I was 14. We played shows around Bendigo and Castlemaine. After that I started a duo when I was 16 called Dirty Cosby. We played most venues around Melbourne and Bendigo before I was 18. Pony 2am slot being one of my favourite shows. We also played along side some great Australian bands, such as, Dukes of Windsor, Children Collide, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Killer Birds, Sharpie Crows and Ouch My Face just to name a few. Being at such a young age, my dad had to drive us to our over age shows, just so we could get in and play! A time in my life I will always treasure! When Dirty Cosby finished I was in another grunge duo Pigtails playing around Melbourne for only a short time. In 2014 I broke my leg putting me out of drumming for over a year, leading me to where I am now! Playing with Spawn and Bad Batch.
Do you write music or develop your own shows? What are they about/how have they come about?
I always write my own drum parts. In both of the bands we all play equal parts in developing songs. Most shows that we have been asked to play are by friends, at bars, warehouses and house parties. My first ever gig with Uttersville I put together with a couple of dudes. We hired out the local Lawn Bowels club. It was great fun!
What are your thoughts on collaboration in music and in the projects you’re involved in or the projects you run?
I am always looking for more people to collaborate and be involved with! I love bouncing off other people, creating a vibe with others and having fun.
Who are you listening to/whose music are you enjoying right now?
Always Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Cosmic Psychos, Brian Jones Town Mascara, The Velvet Underground, Black Lips, Nick Cave, Thee Oh Sees and 90’s Hip Hop!!
Also, local bands, CHILD, Fluff, Spermaids, Batpiss, Scotdrakula, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Peep Temple, Witch Hats. Also past bands such as Batrider, Sharpie Crows, Bang!Bang!Aids, Pleasant Valley, and Spider Vomit.
Do you have any favourite drummers? Or other musicians who inspire you? why?
When I was getting drum lessons as a kid, I was taught by Paul Allen. He is an amazing jazz/blues drummer, who taught me the old school way from day dot. He has been a huge influence on the way I play and I will always be incredibly thankful to him. Classics influences include, Buddy Rich, Steve Gadd, John Bonham, and Ringo.
More recent drummers include, Brian Chase and Steve Shelley, these guys are both huge influences, I love their style. Also, Patrick Carney, Constantine Karlis.
Strongest female influence would have to be Patty Schemel, her willpower and courage inspires me.
My biggest influences however are my friends, Dean Muller from the Cosmic Pyschos. Dean has been a mentor and huge influence on me since I was in my very first band. Michael Lowrey from the band CHILD, Alijoscha Felber – Spermaids. There are so many amazing local bands in Melbourne, it’s a privilege to be apart of.
How would you describe the kind of music or projects you’re mostly involved in? And what kind of unique perspective/sound do you bring to these gigs?
A review from Dirty Cosby when I was 16 described me as “Young and dangerously talented, Em beats the absolute fucking shit out of the skins with a deadly accuracy and a dazzling visual playing style that most stadium bands would envy.” - Donovan, ' Death At Altitude.
This is something that has not changed, I play with power, yet never over playing my part.
Bands I am involved in are local Melbourne bands, based around Collingwood/Fitzroy. As I mentioned before, Grunge, Punk, Pscyhodelic, Doom influenced. However I absolutely love playing heavy blues and surf punk.
Do you have a particular warm up or practice routine? Or favourite exercises?
I do rudiments every day, jam to music and practice with my bands twice or more a week. I don’t really have a warm up, however before each show I meditate for 10-15 minutes to centre myself.
Does social media play a big part in how you promote yourself as an artist and your various projects? Do you promote your work in other ways?
Social media plays a huge part in promoting the bands I am/have been in. It’s the easiest way to link up with other bands and fans. Networking with people face-to-face plays another huge part in self-promotion.
Do you make a living from music? What different types of work does this comprise?
No living. This is my passion, money helps but it’s not everything. Drumming is my vice, my untouchable space, and the place where I am most happy and my mind is at peace.
Where’s the coolest place that music has taken you?
Playing anywhere is the best. I don’t care. I am really looking forward to doing some interstate shows with Spawn in 2018 though!!
If you could give your younger drumming self some advice what would it be?
I am so thankful I had the opportunity to be taught be such an amazing drummer. But if I had to give any advise it would be…. Practice! Practice! Practice!