My name is Rewan, and I am a drummer.
I have been playing the drums for about ten years now, although only seriously for five. I have never sought help before, but I think now it’s gone too far. I’ve fallen in with a band of other people who are addicted to guitars and singing and we’ve even started writing songs together. I’m not pleased about it, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve taken my drum kit to pubs all across Hampshire in order to play with my fellow addicts to rooms full of people who enjoy watching us suffer.
I blame Sam the bassist, although not to his face, because he’s stacked like a brick factory. If I hadn’t mentioned to him in one fateful conversation as we tried to get to know each other (back when we started university), that I had a percussion problem, he might never have dragged me down into the dark underbelly that is the small time music scene. I could have gotten help, had a normal life, but no, I let temptation get in the way, and now there’s a Myspace page, we have a name, Pretty Visitors, people clap at us and I’ve gone from scrounging off others to owning my own drum kit, complete with carry cases. Where did it all go wrong?
You may think this is hyperbole, but in that case you have never lived with, or known a drummer. We get withdrawal symptoms. The natural reflex of a drummer separated from his kit for more than a few hours is to begin tapping on his legs, or the nearest table, until someone shouts at him or cuts his fingers off. We can’t help it; the instrument is in our blood. Give us the chance and you’ll even catch us sneaking off to the toilets with a tambourine and a lighter. It was great to get back into a band again. A drummer without a band is like a cake without icing, or a Toffee Crisp without the toffee – we’re simply a basis, in need of more ingredients to complete our being. Being in the band not only gave me stuff to do in my free time, but also gave me a creative outlet.
I expect most drummers will tell you the same thing: drumming on your own is fun, but drumming along to a song, whether someone else’s or your own, is so much better, because you’re being the part of the machine you’re meant to be. You’re the wheels on a car or the legs on a giraffe; without them the band won’t go anywhere, and may fall over. Zebras would laugh at them.
So, I thought it might help my recovery to chronicle the process, to get all that band stuff off my mind. I will be writing articles about life in the band, which will hopefully prove to be not only entertaining but maybe rather insightful. There may even be hi-jinks. I have to go now. We have to hug and tell each other a secret, then four of us are off behind the bike sheds to share a glockenspiel.