Rhythm (January '05)

Play Drums


With his fearlessly innovative playing for both Siouxsie And The Banshees and The Creatures, BUDGIE is arguably the punk era's most distinctive drummer.

Emerging from Liverpool during the punk years, Budgie's first big break was as the lone male in the otherwise female Slits. He then joined Siouxsie And The Banshees, and has partnered Siouxsie ever since through The Creatures and other projects.

Budgie's beats have always been unorthodox. "It's amazing how just moving a couple of drums around developed a whole new approach," he says. 'The other reason was Siouxsie would often run away with my hi-hat. She'd say I don't want that hairspray thing you keep playing. Also, I loved Peter Gabriel's album with no cymbals (Peter Gabriel III). There's a track called 'No Self-Control' with a great beat just on the toms. The Banshees had a song called 'Israel' and that's where the beat in the middle comes from. It's always good to borrow things and adapt them, I've never been shy of doing that.

"Sometimes I do just keep a basic beat, but I always try to make each section different, so the drums have their own voice within the arrangement. There's always a good spot for the drums, it's a matter of shouting loud when you're in the studio and saying, 'Hey, this is a really good bit'."

As for other influences, Budgie says: "I loved the way Ed Marimba (Art Tripp) played so musically on Captain Beefheart's Clear Spot. And more recently there was Jaki Lieberzeit with Can. He was into free jazz and someone told him what you have to be is boring! So he's been trying to be 'boring' for 20 years - which he's not, but he has that cyclical repetition with the occasional fill - a lesson in economy.

"And I always mention John Bonham, but Deep Purple's lan Paice is the one. I didn't realise how close some of the things I do are based around what he did, especially the floor torn and kick drum work. I eventually figured out the start of 'Fireball'. And much of what I did on the last album, Hai!, in Japan was the same beat."

As for gear, Budgie played Gretsch for a long time, but since 1995 he has played Pork Pie drums. His latest kit is a transparent acrylic Piglite. "It has a great tone, very tight and metallic," he says. 'The nice thing about acrylics is they hold their tuning in the heat. I tune the toms to actual notes. I went back to all of my recordings and realised the tuning has stayed pretty much the same throughout."


Drums: Pork Pie 'Piglite' custom made kit in clear acrylic - 12"x10" and 13"x12" rack toms, 16"x 14" floor torn, 24"x16" bass drum, 14"x6" primary snare, 10"x5" secondary snare, 22"x16" gong drum, 14"x6" Octoban. Downstage rig: 14" and 15" Pork Pie single headed concert toms.

Cymbals: Zildjian K Custom - 10" splash, 14" hi-hats, 20" ride, 17" crash, 18" crash, 19" crash, 16" Oriental, 20" older K china type.

Plus... Vic Firth American Classic 1A wood tip sticks, Pork Pie hardware, Tama Iron Cobra bass pedal, Remo Ambassador Coated heads and Pork Pie throne "in tiger print with gold sparkly border".

Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.

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