When I first found WETDOG online I was immediately intrigued by their music. I was especially taken with their song “8 Days.” WETDOG is an all female three piece band signed to Angular Recording Corporation (Crystal Stilts, The Long Blondes). The band hails from London and have played with such bands as the Vivian Girls and Blank Dogs. Read on & enjoy …
Full name: Sarah Datblygu
Where do you live now: London
Bands you are drumming in currently: WETDOG
“People would say ‘Oh you can’t be that bad’, then they’d see me play and say ‘actually yeah, you are shit’.”
Tom Tom Magazine: When did you start playing the drums?
Sarah Datblygu: About three or four years ago I think.
Tom Tom Magazine: Reason that you started playing the drums?
Sarah Datblygu: I used to play guitar in another band but I am possibly the worst guitarist in the world. People would say ‘Oh you can’t be that bad’, then they’d see me play and say ‘actually yeah, you are shit’. I had always actually harbored secret desires to play drums, and then my friends’ band (WETDOG) needed a drummer so it all worked out fortuitously.
Tom Tom Magazine: What would your dream kit consist of?
Sarah Datblygu: Marching snare from some scouts props cupboard or something, some African bits and probably some bells and shit.
TTM: What do you do to get better at the drums / Best way to get chops?
SD: What the fK are chops?!! I don’t really do much to get better at drumming. When I’m carrying heavy shopping bags, I try and console myself that it will make me a stronger and better drummer, but I’m not sure this counts. I used to try and play drums on my sofa at home to practice but this doesn’t really work that well.
“Don’t wear a tight skirt for a gig.” – Sarah Datblygu
TTM: What do you think the role of the drummer is? (In a band)
SD: To drive the tour bus. Ho ho! No- to keep time, not that I do this very often!
TTM: Do you play any other instruments? If so … how does that effect your drumming?
SD: I play a bit of keyboard – I don’t think this has much effect on my drumming. I do some backing vocals too and this can have a detrimental effect on one’s drumming I find.
TTM: What do you consider to be the most challenging thing about the drums?
SD: Carrying the kit around.
TTM: What’s your favorite part about playing drums?
SD: I don’t know.. all of it!
TTM: Who are your favorite drummers?
SD: Keith Moon, Mo Tucker, Sophie from the Rebel, Amy from Monday Club, Sian from Plug, Hannah from the Gossip, Dave from Blur, Palmolive.
TTM: Who has influenced your style of drumming the most?
SD: Animal (muppets)
TTM: If you could change one thing about the drums what would it be?
SD: They’d be made from a new and as-yet undiscovered lightweight material which is sturdy as an ox to play, yet light as a feather to carry. Also they would pack themselves away and set themselves up too.
TTM: Where do you shop for your drum gear?
SD: This is where I should have pre-arranged a plug for some drum shop, in exchange for a discount. Damn. Hmm… I get stuff on eBay actually sometimes. Or I buy cracked cymbals from muso-geek friends of mine who won’t use them unless they’re perfect – this is a good tip for the cash-strapped drummer actually!
TTM: Best piece of advice you got as a drummer?
SD: Don’t wear a tight skirt for a gig.
TTM: What would you recommend to a new drummer starting off / advice for new drummers?
SD: Buy cheap stuff off eBay. Get someone to carry all your drums for you.
TTM: What are some of your other hobbies / interests?
SD: Wandering around Waitrose, being fascinating, making toast, swearing, and meditation.
TTM: Who are some of your favorite lady drummers right now?
SD: Oh shit, I said them all above! Yeah- Sophie from the Rebel, Amy from Monday Club, Sian from Plug, Ali from Vivian Girls, Frankie from Crystal Stilts, and Trashkit!
TTM: Who are some of your favorite bands right now?
SD: The Pheromoans, Trashkit, Plug, Ariel Pink, Country Teasers, Private Trousers, Blank Dogs, Vivian Girls, The Devil, Teenage Panzerkorps, Blessure Grave, Bigstick.
Ha, don’t wear a tight skirt when drumming. So wise.
I have to disagree on the whole bit about the drummer keeping time though. I think a few of the drummer’s roles is to get the song “in motion”, change up the dynamics and basically tell the other musicians in the band how it should be played and when it feels good to be played. Time keeping should be everyone’s role in a band.