100 Drummers #2: Starring Brian Moran (Mittenfields)

Long have I had a thing for drummers. Something about the way they sit, mysterious and enigmatic, behind their varying configurations of drums and cymbals, keeping time in a myriad of drummerly ways. Oftentimes, too, it seems that drummers are the forgotten member of the band, garnering less press than perhaps their bandmates do. But those intrepid keepers of the beat need love, too. In this series I want to fix this egregious, yet probably accidental, oversight, and bring to your attention some of my favorite keepers of the beat. And so, inspired by a line ("I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin'") in the Dylan classic “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” I present to you, friends, 100 Drummers.

By now, you know Mittenfields to be one of my favorite local bands. You should also know that this quintet is preparing to unleash one heck of an EP on us all, as soon as the mixing of said EP is done. From what I heard in the studio, dearhearts, it's gonna be ridiculously good. Oh, and ridiculously loud. Mittenfields played the debut of my Bad Behaviour residency over at Bella, and have a ton of stuff in the works. Check out with Brian Moran has to say about all things drummy.

Fuzzy Logic: How old were you when you first picked up the drumsticks?
Brian Moran: I started playing drums around 10th grade when the band I was playing guitar in needed a drummer...so I picked up some sticks and played along with The Hives' "Hate to Say I Told You So.” It just grew from there!

FL: Which drum is the best drum, and why?
BM: Right now my "best" drum is my new Donoho 24" 3 ply maple kick - I just upgraded from a 22" Pearl and it's so ridiculously boomy; you can feel it in your chest. The kick is a great drum anyways - it can make the people dance, it can put me in complete awe, and it can make a band a death metal band all in one!

FL: Who’s your favorite drummer of all time?
BM: My favorite drummer for a while is Zach Hill (despite more recently seeing what real trained drummers can do...). There are days worth of music to listen to with him on the drums...I saw him first when he ruined a Team Sleep show by overplaying, but that’s just what he does! He makes all the Marnie Stern albums, and takes Nick Reinhart (of Tera Melos) to a completely different level in Bygones.

FL: Singing drummers: On the cool side like Levon Helm, or more on the questionable side like Phil Collins?
BM: Unfortunately, I have no idea who Levon is, but he must be cooler than Phil Collins. So I'm going to go with him.

FL: Say you break a stick during a show and you don’t have a spare. What do you do?
BM: Ooof luckily, from my dropping sticks constantly (as you may've noticed last night), I always make sure to have extra sticks available. I’ve gotten pretty good at switching sticks without anyone noticing! In high school, I played in a Rage Against the Machine cover band, and we were playing on this huge flatbed truck. I didn’t realize how often I'd be dropping sticks, and I didn't have any spares when I dropped a stick off the side of the truck. Luckily, I played until a break in the song, hopped off the truck and got back in my seat just in time to keep the song going. I’m pretty sneaky like that...

[photo of Brian Moran by Megan Petty]


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