Drawing by: Christina Owen
“If I am faced with an obstacle, I usually try to stay with it and slow it down dramatically to really feel my way through it.” – Caitlin Love
Caitlin Love lives in Portland, Oregon and currently plays drums in the bands Hot Victory and Northern Swords. Caitlin’s drumming is very powerful, dynamic and technically complex, and seemingly influenced by her time spent playing marching drums. Both of her current bands are not-to-be-missed; she totally slays in Hot Victory, weaving complex syncopations with drummer Ben Stoller, and plays some of the most fierce metal drumming in Northern Swords alongside bandmates Radio Sloan and Winner Bell. Caitlin also in the hip hop duo Chupacabra and works for Concert Co-op.
In the past she has drummed in a wide variety of bands that have been hugely inspiring in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, including Desert City Soundtrack, LKN, Duo of Destruction, Davies vs Dresch, Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers, The Thermals, and Her Space Holiday. She also plays bass guitar and plans to start up with the bass again soon; she played bass in Spice Tomb with Kristina Davies (Davies vs Dresch) and Kathy Mendonca (The Gossip).
Photo Collage by Jay Winebrenner (of 31 Knots) – jay winebrenner
What is a current favorite drumming technique of yours, what inspired it, and have you developed any techniques to work around obstacles in your drumming?
Since there are two drummers in Hot Victory, syncopation has become the name of the game lately. Ben (Stoller) and I strive to keep a complimentary style intact. We play off of what the other is playing, working within the open spaces created as opposed to mimicking and doubling up on the same notes and rhythms. This approach was heavily inspired by the time we both spent playing with Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers (a Portland marching band). Individually, the parts can be quite simple, but when layered with multiple rhythmic variations, the outcome can be complex and heavy. This same mentality can be applied to playing with multiple drummers or assigning individual limbs to alternating notes and rhythms.
If I am faced with an obstacle, I usually try to stay with it and slow it down dramatically to really feel my way through it. It’s easy to get lazy and locked into what I’m comfortable with, but there is no challenge in what I’m already adept with. Usually if something feels awkward or difficult, I know I’m in an area where some time can be spent.
Exclusive Tom Tom Interview by Lisa Schonberg (drummer Explode Into Colors & STLS)