Photo by Megan Moore of Dig It Up
Full name: Andrea Silver
Nickname: hmmm don’t really have a regular nickname, but Angry was popular for a little while.
Hometown: Lorraine, Quebec
Where do you live now: Montreal, Quebec
What do you do for a living: Dental Receptionist (pays well and getting time off to tour is too easy!)
Bands You were in: Summer of George, Explode and Rebuild, Switzerland
Tom Tom Magazine: How long have you been playing drums?
Andrea Silver: 13 going on 14 years. I started when I was 11.
TTM: Did you take lessons or are you self-taught?
AS: Self-taught all the way through. I basically learned by listening to a ton of music and watching music videos or concert videos and paying attention to nothing but the drums. I’m actually really bad at remembering lyrics to songs because i’m only really listening to drums, haha!
TTM: Did you like to dance a lot as a kid? Did you always have a natural rhythm?
AS: Good question! I think I was always a hyper kid, so dancing was probably involved! But there was never a moment when my parents realized I had any sort of natural rhythm to be honest, I’m a terrible dancer.
TTM: How long have you been in whiskey trench for?
AS: Since December 2009. They asked me to do that weekend in New York and I was so stoked they asked me. Whiskey Trench have been a name in Montréal for a while and it was so exciting for me to actually become a part of it. I was originally just a filler but after that weekend, they asked me to play the rest of the shows they had lined up. I couldn’t be happier with how things worked out. I really enjoy playing with those guys.
TTM: Have you always been in bands or did you ever take a hiatus?
AS: I started playing in bands in grade 8. My High School had a yearly concert called “The Jam Session” (haha) and students would get together and create cover bands. My first experience on stage was playing a Smashing Pumpkins cover in front of the entire student body. But my first REAL band was out of high school, playing in a punk band with some friends
TTM: Is the punk drum beat your favorite to play?
AS: I enjoy it, I mean all the bands I’ve played in are “punk-derived.” I actually really have fun playing funk/r&b/hip-hop a lot.
TTM: Is that more fun to play than punk?
AS: It can be. If you start getting into a good groove, it’s almost like dancing. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of fun playing punk. It’s a great opportunity to just lose it, get out some frustrations. But I think it’s really important to have a good amount of variety in what I’m able to play.
TTM: Have you ever been in any all-girl bands?
AS: No! Unfortunately not. I played in a band for about 5 months last year with 3 other girls and 1 guy. So I guess that would be the closest thing.
TTM: That counts! Have you experienced any discrimination as a lady drummer? Or any set-backs?
AS: None. I think if anything, sometimes being a female drummer has it’s advantages. I hate to play the gender card, but my band(s) sometimes get a little more attention BECAUSE there’s a female drummer. I think a lot of times there might be an expectation of me not being a very capable drummer and that’s really unfortunate. There are so many talented female drummers out there! But in all the shows I’ve played, I think I’ve only shared the bill with another female drummer, maybe 3 times. So that might be why people are curious and maybe pessimistic when they see me get on the stage. So I try even harder to break down those false expectations of me sucking!
TTM: Do you have any favorite drummers, or admire any female drummers in particular?
AS: I’m sort of embarrassed…most of my favorite drummers are male. I just saw the Bronx last night and i think Jorma Vik is one of the most impressive drummers I’ve seen play in a while. Mariachi el Bronx played before and he was playing on this amazing stand up kit. It was unreal the stuff he was playing. I like classic Spanish drum beats; that’s what I mean about variation. Derek Grant from Alkaline Trio, ?uestlove, etc.
TTM: And your favorite bands?
AS: Oh boy. The Bronx are definitely a favorite, A Wilhelm Scream. [Those are] definitely two favorite “punk-rock” bands. Their performances are something everyone needs to see once in their lives.
TTM: What is your set-up like?
AS: Very, very simple: 4 piece, 1 crash, 1 crash ride, hi-hats. I could actually do without the crash. I’ve never been one for really elaborate kits. The kit I used in those high school concerts was, like, a 15-piece kit with a ridiculous amount of cymbals. i didn’t touch half of it! I really like the set up/tear down process. I never take a helping hand. I just really enjoy doing it myself.
TTM: That’s awesome. Usually the drummer is doing so much of the setting up and it seems annoying to do. It’s good you actually enjoy it. Do you have any other hobbies?
AS: I love it! Sometimes I make it a challenge to try and do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. As if I’m in some sort of contest. Haha, silly I know. I draw and paint. I do a lot of the designs for my band. Tee shirts, flyers, etc.
TTM: You’ve always done artwork for the bands you’ve played in?
AS: Yeah, it’s always been a reason for me to sit down and draw. Dig it Up was the first band I was in to actually have tee shirts! I started getting into doing flyers, and I did a couple designs on my bass drum. Then I started getting asked to do flyers, tee shirts and actually a whole album design for my friends’ bands! I would love to do that for a living. spread the word!
TTM: I will! Do you play any other instruments?
AS: I wish. I fool around on guitar here and there but nothing serious. I would love to really sit down and learn another instrument. Piano would be amazing. but I would one day love to play guitar or bass in a band. Just being up front, pulling sick moves, haha. Sitting down gets a little old sometimes, but I definitely keep up the energy.
Exclusive Interview for Tom Tom Magazine by: Lindsay Cain
Lindsay Cain hails from Lindenhurst, NY. She studied Journalism and Women’s Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College. Lindsay interned for BUST Magazine in 2008 and wrote for Under the Volcano, a long island-based Punk ‘zine for close to five years. She now educates in a public school near her home town and is planning on going to Grad school to study Teaching English to Students of Other Languages and Special Education.