Fred Gritman - Drums, Percussion & Youthful Inspiration

Q: When / why did you start playing?

A: Everyone likes loud noise right? I think I started playing the womb - kicking my mom and getting my hi-hat and kick drum feet trained. She loved it.

Q: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

A: That's a long list! Neil Pert is one of my all time go-to guys for pure technique but I've also been listening to (at Larry's request) Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Ginger Baker - what a madman that guy is ... and more. I've always been into metal but the nuances that the jazz greats deliver is incredible. Keith Moon and Bonzo of course are in there.

Q: Were you influenced by old records or songs as you learned your instrument?

A: Blink 182's Greatest Hits. That was the record that turned me into a drummer.

Q: Who are your favorite bands and musicians?

A: The Beatles, Rings of Saturn, Enterprise Earth, Disturbed and Blink 182. Drumming - of course!

Q: How do you handle mistakes (you do make mistakes right?) during a performance?

A: I'm a perfectionist and it's a bad way to play! Our music delves into many styles - integrated into our sound but some of our material is really complicated switching from on genre to another within a song. Sometimes - especially if the sound isn't great (I don't have a dedicated monitor yet) I'll miss something - you can tell if you know what you're looking for .... rim shot and an F bomb usually find their way into the recovery.

Q: How do you practice? Exercises? Patterns? Hardcore?

A: I work with patterns to start and then let my mind wander, trying to translate thoughts, ideas, into rhythms that make sense. Because so much of our material borrows from different genres plus Larry has a way of writing melodies that are really unique in terms of structure and style, it's always a challenge. But that's also what makes it fun. I get to try out a lot of different things - like throwing pasta at the wall - looking for something that sticks. I can usually find it pretty fast.

Q: What's the funniest or weirdest thing that's happened while playing?

A: I was in the high school pep band. I was ... um ... let's just say I wasn't all there. One of my sticks flew out of my hand durring a fast run, flew through the band pit and smacked one of the trumpet players right between the eyes. Broke his glasses. I still feel kinda bad about that - he was a cool guy.

Q: What's your favorite part of your kit? Looks like you have a big setup.

A: I love my China crash and splash cymbal! It's explosive and brash and when used at just that right moment it snaps people out of their stoned stupor. Hit it hard? Wake up!

Q: Any secrets you want to share with your fans?

A: Ha - they wouldn't be secrets then would they?