Stan Bicknell – Drummers I Like Podcast #33

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Welcome back to another episode of the Drummers I Like Podcast! This week we have the pleasure of chatting with the Australian Coffee slaying, Single Kick drum playing master known as Stan Bicknell.

if you’ve seen any of his videos you know that his right foot is inhumane. Stan has his own innovative way of playing with unique setups and techniques that he has taught himself over the years.

Stan Bicknell’s Sponsors: Remo, Pearl, Lowboy Beaters, Zildjian.

Stan has also had quite the excitement filled past, playing and touring with a handful of artists all around the world!

So without further hesitation let’s dive in and hear it first hand from Stan!

Intro – 12:00 Kevin and Richard open us up by going over some of the new gear they each acquired throughout the week. Kevin has upgraded to some new SHURE in ear monitors which he has already found to be a good investment, not only while rehearsing but during his live performances as well. Kevin and Richard both also received their Predator Percussion snare drums this week and they will go more into depth on those in the product review episode coming soon.

15:00 – 45:30 Now it begins, Stan starts us out down his musical journey growing up in New Zealand  and starting around the age of fourteen when Stan played on his friends’ kit and found his groove. Stan gained a lot of influence in his younger years from drummers such as, David Silveria, John Otto, Jose Pasillas, Brad Wilk, and Abe Cunningham, which helped him really get into the pocket. As Stan moved into his twenties and his influences started to chang he found his way into a TOOL cover band as well as a band he is still a part of called The New Caledonia. This group opened many doors for Stan as well as shifted his drumming style to a more progressive approach. Stan also played with pop-rock band 48 May, and Kimbra. Stan moved to Melbourne where he did a lot of work with Kimbra, and his old mates from The New Caledonia, which eventually became the backing band fulltime for Kimbra.

Stan also played with other bands for a period of time. They were Miami Horror and I ca Vandal, but with his family being his top priority Stan chose to take it easy, open his roast house and focus on improving his voice behind the kit. Stan is fortunate to have his kit setup in the back of his coffee house to practice once he is free during his busy week.

45:00 – 52:00 Since Stan hasn’t currently been touring he has spent a lot of time recording his practices. Rich asks what it is that Stan does when recording his videos for Instagram and what is was that caused such a massive growth for him. For Stan, the recording of his practice started as a technique to “put a spot light on himself,” and give him that added pressure to help him hone in and focus as if he was in front of a live audience again. Stan also has a foot technique second to none and giving that he highlights this with camera angles, it does contribute to him standing out in the crowd.

52:00 – 59:00 Stan describes his foot technique as sort of a floating Moeller technique. This way of playing came to Stan because of his experience playing trick pedals. The weight and resistance of the pedal built his stamina so when he uses his Pearl Eliminator pedal it allows him to play quickly, accurately and with ease. Although Stan doesn’t think that his method is something transferable, he does recommend if you want a solid single foot to get rid of your double bass. Stan has cut out the double pedal in his playing and stuck to the single pedal to challenge himself. It’s something that started almost by accident while playing but has turned into somewhat of an icon to others in Stan’s playing.

“Get rid of the double bass!”

Something new to Stan is that he has lowered his throne while he plays. This is based on a suggestion from a fellow drummer, who reached out to Stan, explaining that because he sits so high up he is straining his calf muscles. It is unusual that this was brought up given that Stan keeps a solid exercise routine, but sitting so high up isn’t a natural position for the body to be at. This approach to Stan has given him a new perspective to how sitting ergonomically can improve his playing, not just in single kicks but all around the kit.

1:00:00 – 1:20:00 Moving from the bottom of the kit to more of the top, Stan explains his cymbal positioning. For those who might not be familiar Stan has his Zildjian cymbals, which he keeps unique by playing mostly stacks and effects cymbals instead of the traditional setup used, angled away from him. As Stan explains further the angling out correlates directly with his kit in how the sounds resonate out with his playing. The angling out for Stan also started because of how high up he sat behind his kit but has now become the way he plays because of the stick attack he gets from having them facing away from him.  Stan’s kit is a pearl crystal beat acrylic, and he chooses the acrylic over traditional wood because it gives him the short punchy sustain.

 

Stan Kit

Photo Credit: @stanbicknell                                                                                                                                                                        

User Questions:

@djv_drumming – Why did you pick drums over guitar or other instruments? The sense of euphoria, you smash the drums it’s awesome!

@knockoutbeaters – If you could play for any artist who would it be and why? Any modern R&B artist with a deep pocket, Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, just that phat pocket and down beat.

@er.vira – What’s your exercise method and what are your insights as a drummer? Fluidity, and sounding like you’re not thinking about it because if you sound like you’re thinking about it; it’s not fluid. Like bruce lee I just want it to sound like water.

@alexearth – Do you ever use the double pedal? I used to in my twenties, but I have since put it away. I might bring it out again but currently, don’t want to use it.

@_gretchin.weiners_ – How do you tune your (bass) drum to get that punchy sound? Finger tight on the batter side, 1 ½ full turns on the reso side and always have the pillow leaning against the batter side not the reso side.

Rapid Singles:

  1. What was holding you back from becoming a successful drummer? Nothing really held me back, but if it was one thing it would be myself, my own insecurities and ego.
  2. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received from another drummer? Stop playing so ahead of the beat. From another musician, communicate with other members of any band or group you’re in
  3. What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? Looking after, myself, healthy body healthy mind!
  4. Share a resource or tool that helps you survive as a drummer. Clear mind. My mind is my most powerful tool.
  5. Recommend just one drumming book or video. What would it be and why? Aaron Spears video.
  6. Imagine you woke up tomorrow in a world exactly like ours, you still had all the same knowledge and talent that you have as a drummer but you know no one. All you have is $500, a smart-phone, and small portable drum set. What would you do first? First thing get a gym membership. Then grab my iPhone and start posting videos again and hit the local scene.

The time was well spent with Stan, what an amazing down to earth person and his focus and clarity reflects positively behind the kit. He has had an amazing musical journey and shares this journey in an inspiring manner. Thanks again to Stan for sharing his life story, the history behind his golden foot and his nasty chops. He is proof that devoting your time to your health, family and what you love will always pay off in the long run.

Social Media Links for Stan Bicknell

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Apps that help you Practice – Drummers I Like Podcast #32
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Winter NAMM 2017 – Drummers I Like Podcast #34

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