Craig Blundell on the exciting challenge of drumming for Steven Wilson

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Video Interview Exclusive: Craig Blundell on joining Steven Wilson and gigging the Roland TD-30 & SPD-SX

As a battle-tested session warrior, Craig Blundell doesn’t do nerves. Even so, the long-standing Roland artist will admit that slipping onto the drum stool for Steven Wilson was not a gig for the faint-hearted.

In this exclusive video interview, filmed during soundcheck at the British prog giant’s Royal Albert Hall shows in September, Craig reveals how an initial text last Christmas led to an audition, then a job offer – and the prospect of learning almost five hours of concept-driven, tempo-shifting material. “It’s quite tough physically,” he tells us, “and on the head!”

Thankfully, as a long-time ambassador for Roland V Drums, Craig had a bag of electronic tricks up his sleeve. In this interview, he reveals how he prepared for tour dates by jamming along to Wilson’s sprawling catalogue via his Roland TD-30 sound module’s USB feature, then nailed the trickiest sections by slowing the tempo and using the A/B repeat option. “Every part of my preparation for this gig,” he tells us, “has been on the Roland gear.”

With just hours to go until showtime, you’ll also discover how Roland V-Drums gear powered Craig’s performances at the Royal Albert Hall, from the acoustic triggers that help him create ambitious layered sounds on his hybrid drum kit – to his revolutionary use of the Roland SPD-SX Sampling Pad. “Any sound that I can hear, that feels relevant for the set,” he explains, “I can create…”