Legendary bands are composed of many moving parts (and instruments), and we can say with confidence that drums are an essential piece to the puzzle. The beat of a drum adds a special element of rhythm to music that holds a song together. Its powerful sound demands attention and lays the foundation for a strong song.
Rich Redmond is the ultimate renaissance man of percussionists, and one that we’ve been watching for quite some time now. Redmond plays at stadiums and arenas nationwide, hosts drum master classes, and keeps busy by fulfilling his dreams as a motivational speaker and actor. Not to mention, his drumming skills can be heard throughout dozens of #1 hits, including those performed by country sensation Jason Aldean.
For the kickoff of our drummer series, we sat down with Redmond to get an up close a personal look into his his rockstar life as a drummer.
Q. When did you first start playing the drums and who were your biggest influences?
A. I started playing in 1976 on a blue sparkle snare drum that my parents bought for me. At the time, I was a huge fan of Carmine Appice, Stewart Copeland from The Police, Alex Van Halen, Gene Krupa, and Ringo Star.
Q. What are your first memories of playing?
A. Some of my first memories playing for an audience were in my school bands; My 5th grade concert band, marching band, and some bands outside of school.
Q. How did playing the drums evolve from a hobby to a career?
A. I started getting paid to play when I was 18 while I was in college. I actually got my Masters Degree in Percussion. After school, I went to a few auditions in Nashville and decided to move there. I moved on a Tuesday and I had my first gig that Saturday. The move really kicked the doors open for me and from there, it was one handshake at a time. I met Jason Aldean in 1999 and since then we’ve really changed the sound of country music. I’ve been his drummer for 20 years now.
Q. Do you have a favorite tour that you’ve been on? What is your most essential packing item when leaving for a long tour?
A. Really, any tour I’ve been on with Jason. Our tour after his singles, ‘Big Green Tractor’, and, ‘She’s Country’, was a lot of fun, but again, every tour is memorable. An essential packing item would be my electronic toothbrush and laptop. You definitely need electronics on tour.
Q. Do you have any tips for new drummers?
A. I always say, “Play from the heart because it will set you apart”. Also invest in yourself; get those 10,000 hours of practice. Crash parties and meet people. The more people you know, the more people will know you.
Q. Are you working on anything new?
A. I have a book out right now called CRASH Course for Success: 5 Ways to Supercharge your Personal and Professional Life. CRASH stands for Commitment. Relationships. Attitude. Skill. Hunger. I’ll also be doing clinics based on the principles taught in the book. Anyone who may be interested in these clinics can visit my website www.richredmond.com. Also, Jason’s ninth album titled 9, will be available on November 22nd. We’ll be going on the road again in December and fans can find those tour dates on www.jasonaldean.com.
If you’re interested in getting a firsthand look into Redmond’s exhilarating lifestyle, you can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter with the username @RichRedmond.