Heaven Shall Burn – Christian Bass Interview

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What is your history with Roland?
It all started this summer, so I am quite a new member of the Roland family, but I have used Roland products in my set-up for a pretty long time. Everything started with the RT-10K bass drum triggers, they are really robust so eventually they replaced all the triggers that I had used previously. The newest addition to my set up is the TM-2 trigger module which I use for the bass drums on fly in shows from now on as its so light and compact.
I also have been using the TD30-KV V-drum kit at home and on tour for practicing, demoing and recording. I am still checking things out on the trigger module as there are so many things you can adjust, but it still sounds perfect with all the standard settings.

When did you start playing with Heaven Shall Burn?
My first show with Heaven Shall Burn was in 2006. Before that I was in several other bands and projects and played a lot of shows. That’s how I met the other guys. Since the first show back in 2006 I have been a permanent stand-in drummer for tours and festivals. When I finished my studies in 2013, I became a full-time member. So, I am new to some people even if it’s the eighth year with Heaven Shall Burn.

What is the best advice you have ever had?
There are a couple of things I always try to keep in mind. The first piece of advice is not to become a perfectionist and always try to keep the feeling in your drumming. I’m always checking out drum-videos on different online channels and there are plenty of amazing drummers out there, who are playing perfectly and are really impressive, but a lot of the time I miss the signature style and character in their drumming.
The second piece of advice is to play with the band and to not try to make a solo-show out of your drumming. But I think that piece of advice can apply to every musician.

What are your top 3 tips on playing drums live?
This is similar to the advice before. There are no specific tips that are necessary, but in no particular order I would say:
• Have fun in what you do.
• Play with band members you personally like.
• Ask myself: „Would I enjoy listening to and watching myself playing drums?“


Which bands are you listening to right now?
Obviously I am listening a lot to stuff that Im going to record in early 2015. I’m practising for three different projects at the moment which will be recorded in the first half of 2015.

Other than that there have been a lot of good new releases lately across all the genres of music I listen to. Other bands and records I like listening to at the moment are Die Antwoord, Bitterness Exhumed, Deichkind and the soundtrack from the film The Place Beyond The Pines. When I work at home I listen to instrumental hip-hop such as Hulk Hodn, Clutchy Hopkins, Twit One and stuff like that. But that really changes too often to take this as an all-time fave list.

How has Roland technology changed the way you drum?
It has really enhanced the way that I practise and write music, I can switch between real sounding jazz sets or drum’n’bass sounds in a second and just jam and directly record with it. I was already making good quality demos at home, but Roland have made it so much easier and faster. Plus using a HS-5 with other musicians it is possible to add their parts in someones living room with a great sound quality.

Who is your favourite drummer and why?
There is no way I could name one favourite drummer. It’s more that I like different drummers of different genres and their way of adding their style of drumming to a bands sound. In extreme music there are drummers such as Doc (RIP), Dave Lombardo, Dave Culross, Nicko McBrain and Gene Hoglan that I have been listening to all my drumming life. They all have unique styles that you can recognize in a second.

If I add drummers from other genres that I like to watch and listen to, I definitely name Jojo Mayer, Johnny Rabb, Marco Minnemann, Barriemore Barlow, Josh Freese… Of course there are way more though.

You have played in many bands since 18 years old, what band did you always wish you could play in?
That’s an easy one, if I could go back in time I would have loved to play in early Bad Brains, Cro-Mags or Slayer for sure.
As for bands since I started playing, Starkweather, Godflesh, Fantomas, The Prodigy and most definitely Rammstein. Those are all bands that I would have loved to spend some time with. It would have also been great to be part of some German punk bands as Schleimkeim or Schliessmuskeln.

Why do you think metal fans are so dedicated and passionate compared to other genres?
Metal is a culture as well as a genre of music, especially in countries like Germany. It’s a lifestyle, so a lot of people don’t only like the music, they love the lifestyle. If you ever go to big metal festivals in Europe, you can see people of all social classes having fun together and enjoying the same music. Not even the music-business guys, but people that bought their tickets to get some time away from their regular life. Some even use the festivals as their family holidays!


What are your future plans?
As I mentioned before there are some projects and studio-recordings coming up that I am practising and demoing for at the moment. I will record that stuff in January and February in different studios.
Besides the drumming projects I am also a teacher at a vocational school, so I need to get back to that part of my life from January too. But with a great festival season coming up, I am really looking forward to next year!