A great man (I think it was Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid) once said:

"There is no such thing as a bad student. Only a bad teacher".

Wise words.

And some that really make sense to me, having been involved in drum and music

education professionally for the past 10 years. In that time I have been extremely

fortunate to have met some truly inspirational teachers and I would like to dedicate

this blog/magazine - (you could call it either a blogazine or a blagazine, depending

on if you think I know what I'm talking about!) - to those drummers who have really

made a difference in the world of drums and drum education.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Matteo D'Ignazi Interview

MERRY CHRISTMAS all you Drumazine readers!  Here is one half of the Christmas day interview special with Italy's newest drumming sensation, Matteo D'Ignazi!!!

Drumazine: Hello Matteo! Welcome to Drumazine! For those people reading who might not already know you, please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career as a drummer.

Matteo D’Ignazi: Hi guys!!!  I'm Matteo D'Ignazi from Pisa (Italy), i'm 25 years old and i'm a drum teacher and a touring musician, so i divide my life between drum lessons, the stage and the recording studio.

­­­­Dzn: Now a typical, but essential question: How old were you when you started drumming?

MD: I started playing drums when i was 13 years old.  My first approach with the drums was with my father (he was a drummer) and some friends of his.  I was at the rehearsal of a jazz band and in this band the drummer is one of my dads best friends.  When i saw the drums for the first time, I was immediately in love!!

Dzn: And did you have lessons at school, or with a private drum teacher?

MD: I began to study with a great teacher; Giampaolo Pellicci.  He gave me great advice and he prepared me a lot about technique with the help of great books like Stick Control, Syncopation, Gene Krupa, and also i started listen to great drummers like Steve Gadd, Gary Chaffee, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta & David Garibaldi.  I have studied with other great musicians; Fabrizio Desideri, Christian Meyer, Piero Borri & Andrea Spinetti and I have a diploma (with merit) from Drumtech, a great music college in London, where i had the opportunity to study for one year with Bosco de Oliveira, Erik Stams, Giuseppe Grondona, Darryn Farrugia & Philippe Castermane. Also i have participated in many masterclass's with some of the worlds most famous drummers, like Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, David Garibaldi, Horacio Hernandez, Benny Greb, Steve Smith, Gregg Bissonette, Pete Lockett, Maxx Furian, Stefano Bagnoli, Ellade Bandini, Maxx Furian & Cristiano Micalizzi.
Dzn: Was your teacher at that time an inspiration?

MD: Absolutely, all my teachers were, and still are my great inspiration.  So this is a beautifull thing for the teacher and for the student, because it means that something concrete has been created deep in the soul.
Dzn: Have you had any other form of education in drums and/or music?

MD: Yes, i think that it's really important for a drummer learn music theory, and also play other instruments!  I studied trumpet for 2 years and i have participated in courses of music theory.

Dzn: What would you consider to be your first “success” in music?

MD: I like to play guitar, and I'll soon begin recording a new album of my personal project called Ozlo with another talented musician, Filippo Cosci.  The songs are composed by myself and by Filippo and I will be recording the drums, guitar and synthesizers.  F
or me this is another important goal in my career as a musician.

Dzn: Would you describe this as a “defining moment” in your career?

MD: Personally, I don't think that it's important want success or to be the best drummer in the world; I never think about these things.  My greatest success is to have a salary doing what I love most in the world: play drums every day. It's awesome!
Obviously I always try to do better; I'll continue to study and try to grow my music baggage.
My “defining moment” is my year spent in London to study drums and music.
It was during that year that I decided that I wanted to be a professional drummer, so when I came back to Italy I started teaching in various music schools, in my private studio and playing in different bands and touring the world as a session musician.  I have just returned from a tour of 40 gigs in U.S.A with an English band called Capelle(below), to promote their new album [where I recorded the drums].

Dzn: You’ve talked about success; have there been any failures, defeats or bad times you can tell us about?

MD: There have been not so much failures, but more what I would describe as bad moments, where I thought that the career of a professional musician was too hard and so difficult...  I mean, it is really difficult, but if you really believe in what you do, then you get to do what you want.  All of us have opportunities.

Dzn: Have you ever encountered any physical or psychological problems?  If so, how have you combated these problems?

MD: I'm very lucky because I never had problems physically.
The biggest psychological problem that many drummers have is to be uncomfortable in their playing because they don’t feel sure; maybe because they are playing in front off hundreds of people, or maybe in front of a jury (examination board or tutor).
There is a great book called “Mental Training For Musicians”.  This book illustrates all the techniques of "mental training" to increase the control of movements, to create a precise internal representation of the sound to be produced, controlling emotions, overcome anxiety and muscle tension.
I recommend it to all musicians!!!!

Dzn: Onto equipment! For all those gear-heads out there, what kit (drums/cymbals/anything else you would like to mention) do you play?

MD: I am very proud to be endorser for three great companies: i use STOCCO DRUMS, great custom drums from Italy and completely handmade.  I have two different sets with different sizes: one is my “Rock” set, the other one is my “Funk/Jazz” set.
I'm endorser of “DIRIL CYMBALS”, great cymbals from Turkey: i use the Raw, Special, Hammer and Jazz series.
At last i use the AGNER DRUMSTICKS, great drumsticks from a company with decades of experience.  I use the classic 5A.

Dzn: With the advent of new technology on what seems to be a daily basis, what modern technology do you incorporate into your practice, teaching, recording and live work?

MD: New technology is now something essential for all musicians.
For practice... How many drummers use a metronome??  Most drummers use them I think.  I personally have always used and studied with a metronome, (the greatest friend of the drummer)  :)
Another thing I often do, is to record myself during practice: I use an interface with just a couple of inputs for the microphones, a computer and any software like Cubase, Logic or ProTools (personally I use Logic, but all of this programs are very good!!).
Live performance: in many bands I use a metronome, this is important if you want to be very precise, and it's essential if there are samples.
Teaching: during lessons I use a metronome and a computer to demonstrate samples where the student can apply what he has learned in the lessons.

Dzn: Is there any other advice you would like to give young drummers?

MD: Yes. Listen to as much different music as possible!  Don't stick to a single genre; open your mind!  Also, study with a metronome, watch the great drummers and go to concerts.

Dzn: Would you like to promote yourself a little bit? Now’s your chance! Please tell us about any tours, releases, web links, endorsements etc…


Currently i'm playing with:

a postrock/experimental band called NUT (I recorded 2albums), i'm touring Italy, Germany, England. You can find some stuff on youtube or google, or check these pages:
http://sinusiterecords.bandcamp.com/album/nut-gravit-inverse (Here you can listen the new album!!!)

a garage/indie band called Strange Flowers: Tour started 17th december, 50 gigs in Italy, Germany, Spain, France, England over the next 6 months.
a funk/jazz band called John la Forges.  I'll be recording a new album in January.  You can find some stuff on youtube and google.

Also my very own website(s) where you can find videos, news and the next shows:

Thank you so much Drumazine!!!!!

Dzn:  Thank you and Merry Christmas to you Matteo!  Keep smashing the drums up and we look forward to hearing from you in 2012!

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