I saw Gina play the drums for the first time in my living room at The Woodser sometime in 2003 when she was in the band Breaker! Breaker!. Breaker! Breaker! was pop-punk heaven and opened for pretty big bands like Modest Mouse & Le Tigre. Gina was an inspiring and a hard hitting punk goddess. Since then she has opened her own bike shop in Brooklyn, King Kog, started a new band with her friend Meena called Guts for Garters, and continues to rock our world. Read about what Gina is up to below.
Full name: Gina Marie Scardino
Where were you born: In northern California
Where do you live now: Brooklyn, New York
Bands you are drumming in currently: Guts for Garters
Bands you were drumming for in the past: Breaker Breaker, Fighter D, Molly Bolt. MB and FD were bands i was in when i was like 19-21. BB was my main band and my baby four years ago…
What you do for a living: I own a bike shop in Williamsburg called King Kog. Yeah!
Something outstanding about you: My high cheek bones, my gap teeth, my big butt? Ha!Ha! Well… I’m hella motivated and productive! I am always busy with a project. Whether it’s related to making stuff for my bike shop (like clothes, gear), playing music, making art, organizing events, or just being the best dancer at the party! 🙂
Tom Tom Magazine: When did you start playing the drums?
Gina Marie Scardino: The first time i sat behind a drum set was when i was 19. This girl i was starting to date at the time was in a band and one day we went to her practice space to “jam” and i tried the drums. I’ll never forget that day either cos it is 100% the moment i became a drummer. Kelly was like- “Oh how long have you been playing the drums?” I was like- “Ummm never!” She couldn’t believe it! It was just the boost i needed to get started. A month later i took my $300 savings to a music store in San Jose and bought my first kit.
Tom Tom Magazine: Reason that you started playing the drums?
Gina Marie Scardino: I ALWAYS wanted to be in a band. An all girl band more specifically. When i was in High school i used to draw logos and make up band names. One of them was called Doll Face. Ha! Ha! I got a hand me down bass, and then a guitar but i totally sucked at those! 🙁 It eventually became clear that I just wasn’t playing the right instrument!
Tom Tom Magazine: How long did it take til you felt like a real and legit drummer?
Gina Marie Scardino: Ha! Well I played my first show only 2 months after i got my drums in 1996. It was at a girl convention i helped organize. The show was at Gilman st. I was AWFUL thinking back on it. But it totally ruled at the same time, young fearless and totally inspired to make stuff-do stuff. I still have the tape. It’s Hilarious. But I guess i started feeling legit after I moved to NY and started Breaker! Breaker! (2002 i think) We had a regular practice schedule and i saw myself getting better.
Tom Tom Magazine: What is your favorite set-up for your kit? Why?
Gina Marie Scardino: I think after having 4 different kits I’ve finally got what i want. I currently have and love- a 70’s Ludwig kit. (With Over sized Toms and Kick. Woo!)
“I ALWAYS wanted to be in a band. An all girl band more specifically.” – Gina Marie Scardino
Tom Tom Magazine: What would your dream kit consist of?
Gina Marie Scardino: I think i have it now to be honest and it’s my favorite color-Red.
TTM: What do you do to get better at the drums / Best way to get chops?
GMS: See this is where I failed. Not having a consistent place to practice has definitely hurt me. Since I started playing so long ago, I think i could be way better. If i had gotten in the habit of playing on practice pads i think my rolls could be tighter too. I taught myself and I’m stoked about that, I think it’s made my style more unique. But I am at the point where I can only practice when playing with other people. So being in a consistent band that practices once or twice a week and plays/tours is what has gotten me better…
TTM: What is your favorite drum warm up / what do you do to warm up before playing?
GMS: Drink Sparks! Ha!
TTM: What do you think the role of the drummer is? (In a band)
GMS: RHYTHM BABY! The drummer is like the glue that holds it all together. The drummer can really make or break a band. I prefer to make the band and make myself a part of the stage presence too. I like setting up closer to the audience if possible, and I’ve always had a mic in my face!
TTM: Do you play any other instruments? If so, how does that effect your drumming?
GMS: I mean i can fake it on the bass but not really! Would be awesome to be in a band that trades instruments through out the set.
TTM: What do you consider to be the most challenging thing about the drums?
GMS: Tuning. I still haven’t got super rad at that yet.
TTM: What’s your favorite part about playing drums?
GMS: I dunno.. Being loud? Being Rhythmic? Getting sweaty?
“The drummer can really make or break a band. I prefer to make the band and make myself a part of the stage presence too.” – Gina Marie Scardino
TTM: Most notable show you ever played?
GMS: Hmmm.. This is a hard one! I’ve played with alot of awesome bands like The Gossip, Modest Mouse, Le Tigre, Electrelane, The Kills… I guess the Modest Mouse, Walkmen show was most notable. It was a huge crowd and MM were really cool… (Walkmen were total dicks!!) BUT we got paid $20!!!! Yes Twenty! I’ll never forget that! (and PS-That was the promoter’s fault not the bands..)
TTM: Have you experienced any setbacks as a female drummer?
GMS:Set backs no, but put up with some shit- YES! Whatever bring it on!
TTM: Who are your favorite drummers?
GMS: Bill Bruford of Yes and King Crimson, Sara Lund from Unwound, Penny Rimbaud of Crass, Ummmm…
TTM: Do you do anything else drum related besides playing in a band? (i.e. teach drums one on one, rock camp, drum circles, etc)
GMS: Not yet. I’d like to do Rock Camp tho..
TTM: Where do you shop for your drum gear?
GMS: In NY- off Craigslist and Main Drag Music. They are nice and always make me feel comfortable.
TTM: What are some of your other hobbies / interests?
GMS: Riding bikes, Silk Screening, Collecting Photo booth strips, Partying, Starting clubs, Dancing!
TTM: Who are some of your favorite lady drummers right now?
GMS:Sara Lund from Unwound. My all time fave!!
TTM: Who are some of your favorite bands right now?
GMS: I’m still stuck on the bands i grew up seeing/listening to like Bikini Kill, Jawbreaker, Slant 6, Unwound, Karp, Huggy Bear, Crass, Suburban Lawns, etc.. But lately I’m really loving Mika Miko, and Mirah.
Interview by Tom Tom Magazine Creator Mindy Abovitz. Exclusive Tom Tom Magazine Photos taken by Erin Nicole Brown.