“When we were rehearsing for the latest album,” says modern pop group Awolnation’s drummer, Isaac Carpenter, “Masters of Maple owner Sahir Hanif brought his bell brass snare, and it seemed like our band sounded twenty-five-percent better. You can hit it on the side [of the head] or in the middle, and it always has such a good tonal quality. It’s not overly loud; it just has such great presence. It has all the cliché attributes that you’d want in a snare: great top-end volume with nice low end that hits you in the chest.
“We’re not using any electronics,” Carpenter continues. “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but when I go to a live show I would rather see a singer try and fail with conviction than see him sing to a bunch of tracks and be ‘perfect.’ I’d also rather see someone try to approximate the sounds of the album—perhaps by using a different instrument—than to play the exact sounds with samples. I use tons of samples when I record, and [Awolnation leader] Aaron Bruno adds beautiful electronics. But live, you might as well see someone do it for real. So many bands are playing to tracks. It sounds perfect, but it doesn’t give you any sort of charge. There’s no risk; there’s no danger.”
Here's something for all you drum wonks! Isaac recently talked with Sayre Berman at Modern Drummer about his kit and the AWOLNATION sound.
Read the full interview and his kit details here.
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