At The Great Record Chase we strive to get inside the heads of prominent new artists, and what makes their musical nerves tick. Over the course of several months we have been putting together a project in which a selection of new artists on our radar have put together an editorial. This consists of musical influences that formed, shaped, and brought to life their sound. There has been an impressive amount of new talent that has come our way since starting this website back in the Fall, and we want to take everything to a whole new level. This feature will be regularly occurring on our website, so make sure to check back often.
Watch Now: Sit Kitty Sit “Birmingham”
Today we sit down with Mike Thompson drummer of Sit Kitty Sit, who plays alongside Kat Downs Gaudette in the band. The duo have been creating musical waves in San Francisco, for the past few years, and have struck gold with their new release “Everlasting Fire.” They have a shiny new single and video out for “Birmingham” which manages to show their musical genius that stirs inside and out.
Let us sit in on this session:
Name three albums or artists that influenced your musical styling you play today and why they are important to you.
SKS: Buddy Rich, John Bonham & Neil Peart
What made them so influential to you?
SKS: Well, Buddy was really the first jazz drummer i could identify with since I grew up on hard rock. He had such an incredible presence and played with such force and conviction that i didn’t realize a lot of the big band jazz drummers could and were doing. He was my gateway drummer into that world and I found they were as much a rockstar as any of the people i grew up on.
I really learned a lot about feel & dynamics from the big band guys as did John Bonham, who is really my first & foremost inspiration (like many other drummers) when it comes to hard rock. He had a natural swing to his playing and modeled his big drum kits after the big band jazzers. I really learned from Bonham how to take what the big band guys were doing and translate it to a hard rock setting while still maintaining power & finesse.
Neil was the first drummer who kind of taught me what it means to write technically specific drum parts for songs. A lot of the stuff I was listening to before I got into Rush was pretty straight ahead rock. Drum parts for songs were pretty straight forward and never really played the same. I learned a lot about playing in different time signatures & styles within one song from him.
When did you first discover them?
SKS: I discovered all these guys within the first couple years that I started playing drums, so sometime between 10-12 years old. Rush was actually my very first big concert I ever went to; a Christmas present from Dad when I was 12. The show blew my mind away, Neil in particular.
Of course there have been countless other influences on me since I’ve picked up the drumsticks but combining everything I’ve learned from these three in the early stages of my game really set the path for how I play today.
How did they help form the music on your new record?
SKS: Well again, they all come from different musical genres and this record having such a broad stroke of musical genres I found myself drawing a little from each one of them. I took a few ideas from similar stuff they’ve done and applied it to the song with a twist of my own identity on it and voilá!