Gavin Harrison here!

anokus

Junior Member
Hi Gavin.

1. Do you have a regular sleeping schedule?

2. Do you think having a routine and being disciplined is important in life?

3. How do I become a good listener?


Sincerely,

Sounak
 

Notbob

Senior Member
Hello Gavin,

I am curious as to how much autonomy you have when you play. For example, I have enjoyed your work with people like Dave Stewart/Barbara Gaskin (Green and Blue is a very nice album for a variety of reasons) and King Crimson. The Dave Stewart material seems to be very much fully composed whereas KC at times seems much more open. Does someone like Dave Stewart tell you what to play (in general or specific terms) or does he just say "Here's the demo, find something that works"? In contrast, I read in Bill Bruford's autobiography that nobody told him what to play in KC, he was just supposed to "know".

Thank you.

PS- Any plans for more Stewart/Gaskin work coming up?
 

SnareSpectre

Junior Member
Gavin,

I have two quick questions:

1. In the song False Start, what the heck is going on with the fill that leads into the polyrhythmic instrumental section near the end? After about 50 listens I figured out the palindrome-like sticking between toms and snare (S-S-T-S-T-S-S-T-T-S-T-S-T-T), but I still don't know the actual rhythmic pattern being played there. It's so weird and crazy...and I love it!

2. I know tons of people have already asked you about future plans with Porcupine Tree, and you've said there are none at the moment - but how much do you WANT to do another PT album? Do you usually just wait around until Steven Wilson gives you a call, or is it something you talk to the other guys about? For me, PT is the perfect vehicle for your style of drumming, and I'll be one of the first in line to jump on a new album if you put one out!

Thank you!
JD
 

cantstandyourfunk

Senior Member
Hi Lightbulb_Sun

what is your favourite pre In Absentia PT song to play?

Hatesong was always good fun - Buying New Soul, Even Less (we played the long unedited version a couple of times) and many others.

Hi alparrott

Out of all the stuff you've been doing the last few years (05Ric, PT, King Crimson), what have been your favorite songs? Any old gems pop up that you "rediscovered" ("Oh man, I forgot how fun that song is to play" or "Wow, that has that tricky bit I'd forgotten")?

hard to nail it down to just one song as my choice changed over the tours.

With Ric I always enjoyed playing "Life"
With PT - Sound Of Muzak was good fun
With KC - ConstruKction of Light

Meanwhile some news on a project that I've been working on for the last 5 years. An album of Porcupine Tree songs arranged for modern contemporary big band. (I'll post a sampler of it soon and see if you can work out what the song titles are). I'm sure most people will find it quite surprising. It will be released early April on Kscope Records. Over 14 guys play on this record and they're some of the best in the world.
View attachment 66387
cheers
Gavin
Gavin, you continue to blow our collective minds!
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Hi, just saw this thread and wanted to post.. i had played guitar for about 25 years but always wanted to drum and never did.. i saw Gavin on letterman about a year ago (i think, my memory is bad) and it just blew me away to the point that i bought a kit and have been practicing for about 4 months now.. Drums are so much more enjoyable in every single way it makes me wish i had never picked up a guitar. And drummers tend to be the nicest people to talk to!

So thanks Gavin for giving me that kick start finally :)
 
Hello, Gavin!

I know you loved Art Farmer as you were growing up and still do. What do you think was the most influential album on your playing? Do you recall which one you listened to the most?

Also, everybody, a short sampler of Gavin's new album has been released! It's brilliant! I think I heard Futile, Hatesong, Halo and Cheating the Polygraph in there. Great stuff! :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJCPiNby-DY

Cheers, Quinn
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi keep it simple

Now that is absolutely tantalising! Did you change up drum sizes / tunings to match the vibe?

I kept my own voice pretty much as the 'vibes' on the record are quite diverse.

Hi K_HiHats

Here's where the question comes in. In my listening process, I came across one of your tunes with 05Ric, Sometime (quite a beautiful song, I must say). While intensely listening for your crash bells, I noticed on the second chorus that the cymbal you hit on beat two every bar did not sound like any cymbals I'm used to hearing from you. It didn't sound like your 7" or 9" crash bells, nor was it the 8" bell you use for Sailing, because you actually hit that one at the end of that chorus. This cymbal sounds splashy. So, I'm wondering if you take a listen back to that section if you could identify what cymbal I'm hearing on beat two every bar.

I believe it was another 8" prototype alternative to the "Sailing" bell. Thanks for listening so closely. Hope you enjoy the new album in April.

Hi anokus

1. Do you have a regular sleeping schedule?

yes every night. At least 8 hours.

2. Do you think having a routine and being disciplined is important in life?

Depends what you want to achieve. If you want to really improve with practise then I would say you're going to have to get disciplined with yourself.

3. How do I become a good listener?

That's a big question. Try to notice small details and how they work inside the music.

Hi Notbob

I am curious as to how much autonomy you have when you play. For example, I have enjoyed your work with people like Dave Stewart/Barbara Gaskin (Green and Blue is a very nice album for a variety of reasons) and King Crimson. The Dave Stewart material seems to be very much fully composed whereas KC at times seems much more open. Does someone like Dave Stewart tell you what to play (in general or specific terms) or does he just say "Here's the demo, find something that works"?

It's been a long time since "Green and Blue" but my memory of it (like most of the sessions I did with Dave and Barbara) was that there would be a drum machine demo that I would base my drumming ideas off. That is to say that some of the patterns might be important to the song - so obviously I would copy them but put my own small embellishments on them. Other times there were sections where they wanted me to create something new or different. The end section of "New Jerusalem" is a good example of that - where they invited me to create a big rhythmic illusion.

HI SnareSpectre

1. In the song False Start, what the heck is going on with the fill that leads into the polyrhythmic instrumental section near the end? After about 50 listens I figured out the palindrome-like sticking between toms and snare (S-S-T-S-T-S-S-T-T-S-T-S-T-T), but I still don't know the actual rhythmic pattern being played there. It's so weird and crazy...and I love it!

Actually the rhythmic attitude of it is a lot more interesting than just the order of the notes. It has a slight "Latin" leaning to the timing of it. A bit like the way a timbale player would play a fill.

Hi Lightbulb_Sun

I know you loved Art Farmer as you were growing up and still do. What do you think was the most influential album on your playing? Do you recall which one you listened to the most?

"Crawl Space" and "Big Blues" (with Jim Hall).

Cheers
Gavin

...and for the folks who haven't heard it yet here's a sampler of my new album featuring Porcupine Tree songs arranged for modern contemporary brass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJCPiNby-DY
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Hi keep it simple

Now that is absolutely tantalising! Did you change up drum sizes / tunings to match the vibe?

I kept my own voice pretty much as the 'vibes' on the record are quite diverse.


...and for the folks who haven't heard it yet here's a sampler of my new album featuring Porcupine Tree songs arranged for modern contemporary brass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJCPiNby-DY
Ok, that's my first listen, & I like it very much. Of course, huge skill from all players hits you in the face, & although arrangements are complexed, it doesn't come across as being complicated for complication's sake.

Purely from my personal perspective, I would like to have heard some bigger / more open drum sounds in places, although I understand the desire for a more compressed / focussed approach to carry the number of notes in some parts, & to sit with the staccato vibe of the brass.

A deeply impressive piece of music making Gavin, & brave too :)
 
Hi Gavin,

Hope all is well. Anxiously awaiting the release of the album. Quick question, when you joined Porcupine Tree in 2002, did you have to learn every song? Or did Steven give you a list of everything you needed to know? Are there some songs you didn't need to learn because they wouldn't be played live?

Cheers, Quinn
 

Florsky

Junior Member
Hy Gavin!
I'm playing with the Idea of a SQ2. Since 22 years I have the big Jeff Pocaro Rack, and I love it. I saw that you were using it too before switching to Gibraltar. I wonder, how you managed to put Sonors tom (or cymbal) hardware into the lugs of the Pearl hardware for the big old Jeff Pocaro Rack (not the PC-8 or PCX-100 which are thinner, but the old ones that do not exist anymore that you have as well - saw it in
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTIhYQxdQbQ).
When I checked the size of the tom holders I saw they the Sonor Hardware doesn't fit (they are too big, or too small).
How did you solve this issue?
Thanks, Flo
 
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Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Lightbulb_Sun

when you joined Porcupine Tree in 2002, did you have to learn every song? Are there some songs you didn't need to learn because they wouldn't be played live?

No, I just learnt the songs that were neccassary for the tour. There are many of the older songs I've never played live.

Hi Florsky

I'm playing with the Idea of a SQ2. Since 22 years I have the big Jeff Pocaro Rack, and I love it. I saw that you were using it too before switching to Gibraltar. I wonder, how you managed to put Sonors tom (or cymbal) hardware into the lugs of the Pearl hardware for the big old Jeff Pocaro Rack

I undersatnd the problem. I had a small amount of the 7/8ths pipe coming out of the old Pearl clamps and then used a Sonor PH Prism Holder that converts from 7/8ths down to the Sonor diameter.

Hi Dustondrums

Can you describe your day when you're not on tour?

Unless there's a project or session that I'm working on - I try to get lots of sleep and practise the drums for a few hours.

Hi drummingman

why did you switch from Axis pedals to Tama pedals?

quite simply because I preferred the feel of them and I could get more leverage from them. That meant that I could play at the same power and volume as the Axis but with about half the effort. Unfortunately I couldn't play any faster - but I don't use that much speed - what I strive for is acurate articulation.

cheers
Gavin
 

K_HiHats

Member
Gavin,

I have two quick questions:

1. In the song False Start, what the heck is going on with the fill that leads into the polyrhythmic instrumental section near the end? After about 50 listens I figured out the palindrome-like sticking between toms and snare (S-S-T-S-T-S-S-T-T-S-T-S-T-T), but I still don't know the actual rhythmic pattern being played there. It's so weird and crazy...and I love it!
Funny enough, I was actually quite curious about this section myself about a year ago or more and transcribed it myself back then. Below is an image of both the fill, and the rest of that section in all its illusiveness.

This is actually taken from a page I devoted completely to all the strange drum stuff Gavin comes up with, as well as some of my own ideas. It's all transcriptions of fills, polyrhythms, and cool beats.
http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/d2e607dc005bc37df75c2fc22540e744a153bf03

(P.S. That album sampler of Cheating the Polygraph has me all the more excited to get it. Can't stop listening to it.)
Cheers -- Peter
 

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dazzler

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,
At first I have to say that you are my absolute favourite drummer!
I got a few questions:
1. What are these drums you use left beside your kit when playing with King Crimson?
2. Has Stewart Copeland been an influence on you? I realized that you play some similar fills. Even though you said in an interview that you didn't listen to Britain Punk Rock I wondered about that.
3. Could you come to Vienna on your next drum clinic tour?
Cheers
 
Hey Gavin! Hope all is well. I have a couple questions.

There are quite a few Porcupine Tree oldies that you've played only a couple of times, like The Sky Moves Sideways, Waiting, Moon Touches Your Shoulder, Stop Swimming, etc. Any particular reason for not revisiting these songs at a later date? I know you played Signify only once during a really early gig, Steven made you listen to the song beforehand but you didn't rehearse with the band. Do you recall this? How was the performance? Are there any times when you had to play a song when you really weren't too familiar with it?

I hope I didn't take too much of your time. Thanks!

Cheers, Quinn
 
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SnareSpectre

Junior Member
Funny enough, I was actually quite curious about this section myself about a year ago or more and transcribed it myself back then. Below is an image of both the fill, and the rest of that section in all its illusiveness.

This is actually taken from a page I devoted completely to all the strange drum stuff Gavin comes up with, as well as some of my own ideas. It's all transcriptions of fills, polyrhythms, and cool beats.
http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/d2e607dc005bc37df75c2fc22540e744a153bf03

(P.S. That album sampler of Cheating the Polygraph has me all the more excited to get it. Can't stop listening to it.)
Cheers -- Peter
Interesting stuff - thank you for sharing! Though I feel like the actual rhythm from the song might differ a little bit from how you transcribed it. I don't have the track on me, but I feel like it speeds up toward the end; yet, the transcription shows that there is even note spacing for basically the whole fill except the one eighth note that's not dotted (in the second bar).

The rest of the polyrhythmic passage I think is about 10x easier to understand by ear than by looking at the notation, haha.
 

Florsky

Junior Member
Hello again Gavin!
Again concerning the SQ2. First question: What are your experiences with a Bass Drum Bracket? When mounting two toms on the BD does it affect the sound of the BD? Is it better having a BD without mounting possibilities or is the sound almost the same?
Second question: Is the sound of a new drum getting better the older it gets? I took a 10'' tom from my old Pearl MMX (23 years old) to the music store, where I could compare the sound of some SQ2 shells (same new skins and same exact tuning). The sound of the SQ2's was great but not so open as with my old MMX.
Thanks a lot!
Flo
 
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Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi K_HiHats

This is actually taken from a page I devoted completely to all the strange drum stuff Gavin comes up with, as well as some of my own ideas. It's all transcriptions of fills, polyrhythms, and cool beats.
http://www.noteflight.com/scores/vie...40e744a153bf03


very nice - but the cross stems make it almost impossible to read. Do you have a way of displaying it in more conventional format?

Hi dazzler

1. What are these drums you use left beside your kit when playing with King Crimson?


these are prototype drums built for me by Sonor. I now have seven of them although I'll probably only play four along with the drumset. All 8" diameter and all double headed. The sizes I have are 8x9, 8x11, 8x13, 8x15, 8x17, 8x19, 8x21.

2. Has Stewart Copeland been an influence on you? I realized that you play some similar fills. Even though you said in an interview that you didn't listen to Britain Punk Rock I wondered about that.

Yeah I loved Stewart Copeland's drumming and I suppose (as with all drummers that you like) some of his style crept into me.

3. Could you come to Vienna on your next drum clinic tour?

I don't have any clinic tour planned at the moment - and it would depend on a shop or promoter inviting me to come to Vienna. There's lots of places I'd love to go to - but it's not that simple to organise an event like that.

Hi Lightbulb_Sun

There are quite a few Porcupine Tree oldies that you've played only a couple of times, like The Sky Moves Sideways, Waiting, Moon Touches Your Shoulder, Stop Swimming, etc. Any particular reason for not revisiting these songs at a later date?

No particular reason other than they were not part of the album that we were promoting at the time so they weren't a priority. I remember playing Waiting and Moon Touches more than a couple of times.

I know you played Signify only once during a really early gig, Steven made you listen to the song beforehand but you didn't rehearse with the band. Do you recall this?

No - I did rehearse it with the band at the rehearsals for that tour - but we only played it once.

Hi Florsky

concerning the SQ2: What are your experiences with a Bass Drum Bracket? When mounting two toms on the BD does it affect the sound of the BD? Is it better having a BD without mounting possibilities or is the sound almost the same?

I don't think I've ever mounted toms off my bass drums with my Sonor sets. Whenever I have done that (with clinics drumsets) I notice that the bass drum will make those mounted toms ring every time you hit it. Less so with the suspended bass drum mount (that sits on top of the drum and doesn't penetrate it)...if you know the one I'm talking about.

Is the sound of a new drum getting better the older it gets? I took a 10'' tom from my old Pearl MMX (23 years old) to the music store, where I could compare the sound of some SQ2 shells (same new skins and same exact tuning). The sound of the SQ2's was great but not so open as with my old MMX.

Were you holding the Pearl drum with your hand - or did you mount it onto a stand? It makes a big difference. In my experience - long sustain is not something that will be helpful in the overall mix of the drums.

cheers
Gavin
 
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