Dave Elitch: The New Year, Personal Goals and What It Takes To Be a Pro DrummerDave Elitch has been touring heavily with The Mars Volta in 2010 and has showed everyone what an amazing player he is. Drum Channel talked with Dave about the old and new year, his goals, gear and what it takes to be a pro drummer today!
Drum Channel: What are your personal goals for 2011?
Dave Elitch: I guess I’m always trying to get better at my craft. It’s a never-ending process. I’m just trying to work harder and just improve and continue to hang out with people that inspire me. I had Mark Guiliana over to my room a couple of days ago and we just sat and talked for about three hours – it was a really inspiring experience. We are friends, we were just hanging, but when you get to talk with someone who comes from such a deep place conceptually, it can have a huge impact. My head was spinning for days afterwards! So, I mean I just want to continue to get better, to hang out with people who inspire and motivate me. I’m just getting this new band thing up, so hopefully, by about May or June, we should get that up in full swing. So getting that going and doing more clinics and more lessons and stuff like that is my goal.
DC: Are you going on a big tour this year?
Dave: I don’t have anything planned right now. I have stuff that I’m talking about with people but nothing is like a hundred percent planned, so we’ll see what happens. It’s still super early.
DC: Are you trying to do more clinics and lessons this year?
Dave: Well, I want to be playing first and foremost, but I want to do more clinics and teach in addition to that. For example, I’m going to be working with Guitar Center a lot this year holding clinics all over the country. I've got my first one on Friday in Kentucky (January 28).
DC: Is it true that you also have some popular students?
Dave: Yeah, it’s funny. I don’t know what it is but all these guys I've been on tour with or hangout with around town are like “Hey, I have never taken a lesson before, but I wanna take a lesson with you”, which is really flattering. All those guys are such awesome players and great people.
DC: So if you look back at 2010, I guess it was one of your most successful years?
Dave: Yeah, I would say so. I mean, the Mars Volta thing really helped to put me on the map. I met tons of people; I was out on tour all over the world. I think it was like a tipping point – I spent all this time working and now things are starting to happen, which is nice. It was a great year.
DC: Are you looking for new gear this year?
Dave: Well if you would see my studio, you'd know how much crap I have everywhere! I was just talking with Sabian about making me a couple of really cool prototype cymbals, so they are going to be making me some weird, interesting experimental stuff. I really want to get one of those DW jazz series kits, so I’ll probably order one of these pretty soon. They sound absolutely amazing. I've also been checking out those Remo Vintage Emperor heads, which are awesome.
DC: So you might change your heads?
Dave: Yeah. I am always changing stuff around. I’m a big gear nerd and I have tons of stuff, so I’m always changing stuff around. I usually play clear emperors, but I'm really digging the sound of these heads - especially on my acrylic kit!
DC: What are you looking forward to doing at the end of the year? More clinics and lessons or are you open for anything.
Dave: Yeah, I’m really open for anything. As long as I enjoy doing it, I’ll do it.
DC: Would you like to produce records?
Dave: I would love to do that but I’m really just a drummer. I’m not comfortable enough on any other instrument. Right now, I don’t think I would be doing people much of a service, trying to produce them. Maybe later on down the road but not any time soon. Gotta get my guitar and keyboard chops up first!
DC: What does it take to be a professional musician today?
Dave: Well it's never been harder to be a professional musician than it is today, I'll tell you that. You have to be really creative and innovative these days. More than anything, you have to be a nice person and be easy to work with. It's more important that people will want to go grab a bite with you out on the road than being able to do double strokes with your feet. Generally, it's a given that you're going to be able to play. It's how you carry yourself that makes the difference between working and sitting on your couch.
By Stefan Fischer
February 2, 2011