Keeping in Rhythm: Talking with Dave Mattacks

Dave Mattacks

Take one look at the music resume of Dave Mattacks and your jaw will draw. Your eyes may pop out of your head too. This much in demand drummer has played with some of the most well-respected musicians in the world. Here is just a sampling of them: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Richard Thompson, Joan Armatrading, Cat Stevens, Mary Chapin Carpenter, XTC, Jethro Tull, Sandy Denny, Elton John, Jimmy Page, Brian Eno, and more.

Dave has some serious chops. His ear is fine-tuned and he’s able to make the most of each song by lending just the right amount of percussion at just the right time. The sign of a great musician is knowing how to use the space and the silence to its advantage.
The fact that this legendary drummer lives in my hometown, Marblehead, is beyond thrilling. The fact that he’ll be joining Harvey Reid and Joyce Andersen on stage at the me&thee is beyond awesome.
To learn some more about Dave Mattacks, visit his website.

Here’s a video that illustrates Dave’s technique.

Here’s another video that shows Dave in action. You might recognize the lead singer.

Your drumming is admired by musicians far and wide. (Feel free to blush here.)
How would you best describe your drumming style?
It’s difficult to be objective about one’s own playing, but I’m happy if the words “musical” and / or “economical” are used in my orbit.

Can you recall the first time you sat behind a drum kit? 
I think I was fourteen.

What led you to learn the play drums?
The misguided assumption that it would be easier than the piano, my first instrument

Was your family supportive? (Drums are often a parents’ worst nightmare! )
Very much so…. I owe them a lot.

What was your first band and what did you learn from that experience? 
I can’t recall what we called ourselves, but we were in our early teens and modeled ourselves on “The Shadows.” (The UK’s answer to the “The Ventures.”) I learned that I had a lot to learn!

Do you like teaching drumming? 
I’ve embraced it more over the last 15 years or so …as I’ve gotten a little better at it, it’s become more rewarding.