Adrienne Davies has been the drummer for Earth for ten years. The band’s music is slow, heavy and textural; her playing is fluid and precise, somehow delicate and massive at the same time. Her physicality with the instrument is remarkably focused and fully committed. After watching her perform most people remark that she looks like she’s playing under water. When I started playing cello with Earth a couple of years ago it took some time to get used to functioning in their elegant minimalist musical universe; an extraneous note or gesture sounds ridiculous. I am still often surprised by the originality and economy of Adrienne’s playing. There’s a mysterious, expressive, very musical dynamic tension that’s all her own. The second half of our most recent album, Angels of Darkness Demons of Light, will be released in February 2012 on Southern Lord. Tours of the U.S., Europe and hopefully the Pacific Rim will follow.
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Lives in: Seattle, WA
Other pursuits: Reading Voraciously, Feline maintenance, tv and lucid dreaming
Tom Tom Magazine: Who are your favorite drummers and what have you learned from them?
Adrienne Davies: Jim Keltner, Levon Helm, Thomas Widler, Jim Sclavunos, and Ralph Molina. Simplicity.
I’ve heard you talk about how you’d been playing several years, then at some point you made a decision to focus much more on the craft of drumming. Can you describe that process and what instigated it?
I wanted to be a more well-rounded player, and I was injuring myself the way I was originally [playing]. Also, I really wanted to utilize the cymbals more and in more interesting ways. I have always preferred ride cymbals to crash or hi-hats, so I wanted to make them more interesting and expressive.
What are you working on now?
Lately I [have been working] on using hats more and learning to play at other tempos, and to not swing everything – straight feel, as well as 3/4 time and better fills.
Do you have plans and dreams about what your playing will be like years from now?
I wouldn’t say I have a conscious plan, but I just want to be a better all-around drummer, without losing my uniqueness under a sea of empty technique.
Interview and words by Lori Goldston: is an accomplished cellist from Seattle who is a member of Spectratone International, the Black Cat Orchestra, and Earth. She is also widely known for her time playing with the band Nirvana. Here she interviews her bandmate from Earth, drummer Adrienne Davies. Earth was formed in Seattle in 1989 is led by guitarist Dylan Carlson; the band’s sound is mostly instrumental, slow, and extremely captivating. Adrienne keeps all their darkness and intensity together on the drums.