Awesome Allison: An Exclusive Interview with Allison Busch of Awesome Color & Red Dawn II

Awesome Allison kills it on the kit. I have the privilege of living in Brooklyn and seeing her play whenever I want. She is a hard-hitter and a spaz. Her beats are innovative and solid. She and everyone else gets sweaty and has a great time when she sits down at the kit. Awesome Color, one of Allison’s bands, got together in Michigan where she is from. In 2008 her band toured with Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. She is a bad ass and it is not that difficult to see why. Awesome Color has 2 albums out that I know of and they are getting ready to put another one out in 2010 on Ecstatic Peace (Thurston Moore’s Label). Allison’s other band, Red Dawn II, has an album in the works as well which will also be coming out on Ecstatic Peace. Get these albums and play them on repeat. You will not be sorry.

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Exclusive Tom Tom Photo by Erin Nicole Brown

Full name: Allison Busch
Nickname / pseudonym: Awesome Allison, Sharon Gear
Age: 28
Where were you born: Flint, Michigan
Where do you live now: Brooklyn, NY & Detroit, Michigan
Bands you are drumming in currently: Awesome Color & Red Dawn II
Bands you were drumming for in the past: same as above

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Exclusive Tom Tom Magazine Photo by Rebecca Smeyne

“Keep the beat & keep the band smiling.” – Allison Busch

Tom Tom Magazine: When did you start playing the drums?

Allison Busch: at 16 years old

Tom Tom Magazine: Reason that you started playing the drums?

Allison Busch: Hyperactivity & incessant tapping on things

Tom Tom Magazine: How long did it take til you felt like a “real” and legit drummer?

Allison Busch: When I joined a band and we played a show

Awesome Color
Awesome Color

Tom Tom Magazine: What is your favorite set-up for your kit? Why?

Allison Busch: Low and spread out so you can hit hard & sloppy without splitting your knuckles or breaking sticks

TTM: What would your dream kit consist of?

AB: Giant crash cymbals, absolutely enormous

TTM: What do you do to get better at the drums / Best way to get chops?

AB: Play every day

TTM: What is your favorite drum warm up / what do you do to warm up before playing?

AB: Drink coffee and listen to some killer music to get your blood going

TTM: What do you think the role of the drummer is? (In a band)

AB: Keep the beat & keep the band smiling

TTM: Do you play any other instruments? If so … how does that effect your drumming?

AB: No, but any time I try another instrument, I play it real percussively.  I’ll just hit the strings on the guitar, not really strum or anything

TTM: What do you consider to be the most challenging thing about the drums?

AB: Not messing up the beat

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Awesome Allison

TTM: What’s your favorite part about playing drums?

AB: Hitting both crash cymbals at the same time & playing fast rolls around the kit

TTM: Most notable show you ever played?

AB: At ATP a couple of years ago, Awesome Color got to open up for my favorite bands….Wolf Eyes, Negative Approach, and The Stooges

TTM: Have you experienced any setbacks as a female drummer?

AB: Hell no

TTM: Who are your favorite drummers?

AB: Kid Millions, Animal

TTM: If you could change one thing about the drums what would it be?

AB: Front of the stage (just kidding). Unbreakable cymbals


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 …)

AB: I used to help teach drums at the Glasslands after school program

TTM: Where do you shop for your drum gear?

AB: Anywhere with used cymbals, Main Drag in Brooklyn

TTM: Best piece of advice you got as a drummer?

AB: “You must play the drum hard and blow the big man’s mind.” —Big Youth in “Rockers”

TTM: What would you recommend to a new drummer starting off / advice for new drummers?

AB: Think about hitting the bass drum, that’s where the beat really takes off

TTM: What are some of your other hobbies / interests?

AB: Skateboarding, pinball, ice hockey, horror movies

TTM: Who are some of your favorite lady drummers right now?

AB: Andrya Ambro from Talk Normal rips

TTM: Who are some of your favorite bands right now?

AB: Knyfe Hyts!  There are some killer bands in Detroit right now… Tyvek, Bad Party, Infinity People, Gardens, & Druid Perfume…that I’ll go see live, but if I put on a record it’s usually an old Radio Birdman or Motorhead jam or some Scandinavian crusty punk.

TTM: When did you start skateboarding?

AB: When I was 14

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At the kit
TTM: What is your favorite movie?

AB:Texas Chainsaw Massacre

TTM: What kind of taco is your favorite taco?

AB: Fish tacos in California and nopalitos in the Southwest

Exclusive Tom Tom Magazine Photo by Erin Nicole Brown
Exclusive Tom Tom Magazine Photo by Erin Nicole Brown

Interview By Tom Tom Magazine Creator: Mindy Abovitz (a total awesome allison fan)

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